Without quick – nay, immediate – problem resolution, IT Pros are very often the first to be blamed for slow application performance. In the latest survey from SolarWinds, 176 IT Pros from the federal government disclosed how they manage applications in their environments, and the results indicate that government IT Pros lack the valuable, cross-IT domain visibility required to fix app-related problems fast. And when apps perform slowly for military, intelligence or other government initiatives, national security may in fact be at risk. 

 

We asked respondents which apps they’re using, where certain types of apps are stored, how they identify application problems, how they address app performance issues, and about SLA requirements, among other things.


For example, which apps are hosted where in government IT environments?

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For full survey results, click here

 

 

Government IT Pros weighed in on where they host their applications for: email, video and web conferencing, office use, file sharing, social media, collaboration, analytics, enterprise resource planning, CRM, and proprietary and custom business uses. Most respondents said that unique types of applications are hosted in different locations – both on premise and in various cloud environments including public, community and private clouds at government agencies. Ultimately, IT Pros are responsible for application performance – for anything from Microsoft Exchange to Google Docs to Tweetdeck – regardless of whether the application resides on premise or in the cloud, so they must be able to identify where a problem lies and address it quickly.

 

When asked how they identify causes of their application problems, the majority of government IT Pros depend on their own siloed IT solution to identify root causes of application issues:

  • 54 percent use monitoring tools specific to their primary application or infrastructure area
  • 42 percent use interface data from the individual applications or infrastructure they use
  • Only 5.7 percent use integrated monitoring across application and infrastructure silos

 

Because the majority of government IT Pros use siloed tools or approaches that don’t provide cross-domain visibility or application-centric correlation between layers, it is not surprising that most government IT pros take up to a day just to determine where an application problem is located within their environments, find its cause and resolve the problem. Within seven to 24 hours:

  • 82 percent of respondents can determine where an application problem is located within their environments
  • 85 percent can uncover the root cause of a problem in an application
  • 88 percent can fix the problem

 

We want to know: “How slow is too slow?”

  • While most respondents said they have less than an hour of downtime per month (86%), they are still likely experiencing significant delays and problems because it takes up to a day for IT Pros to fix the issues. So while the application may not be down, it is assuredly slow. 
  • Nearly 80 percent of respondents said their response time SLA metrics for key applications have reduced more than 50 percent in the past two years as organizations call for shorter response times and thus put higher performance requirements in place for IT Pros to attain.

 

It’s clear that performance expectations for government IT Pros are high. Even the shortest delays from unresponsive web pages, online apps that don’t work, and crawling download speeds, etc. can impact customers or prevent employees from working as quickly and efficiently as they expect to, especially given today’s demands for speed and the “always on” mindset. And when applications used in military operations or critical government communications experience problems, government IT Pros must have the solutions and strategies in place to ensure they can find and resolve problems quickly.

 

Visibility into converged infrastructures and comprehensive management of the application stack (AppStack), or the application delivery chain comprised of the application and all the backend IT that supports it – software, middleware and extended infrastructure required for performance – is critical for efficient monitoring and management of government IT infrastructures.

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Various products within the SolarWinds IT management portfolio are designed to help answer, “Why is the app running slow?,” enabling IT Pros to go from the application down, or from the hardware infrastructure up, to quickly identify and troubleshoot “fires” in an app environment. This top-to-bottom visibility helps IT organizations to better predict, prioritize and resolve issues before the end user and the business are affected.