Despite heavy corporate IT investments, more than half of US enterprises surveyed say that application performance has suffered and security risks have grown following the move from traditional client-server application models to web-enabled approaches, according to research conducted by Computerworld, sponsored by Redline Networks.
According to the May 2004 study, 'Challenges With Web-enabled Application Delivery', half the businesses surveyed are still either in the planning stages of addressing their problems, or are simply "living with the pain".
More than 60% said that their application performance has suffered and that security risks had increased following the move to web-enabled applications. Beyond the cost of deploying the applications, these companies said that, in order to deal with the problems encountered, they had spent an average of over US$200,000 (in some cases over US$500,000) mainly on network and firewall upgrades, additional server capacity, and web tier point products.
Highlights of the survey's results include:
- Custom applications are the number one category of web-enabled enterprise application, exceeding any single vendor's applications in terms of number of installations. Some 49% of respondents said they use in-house-developed applications, with Microsoft Outlook Web Access following in second place.
- The average company has deployed 84 web-enabled applications, with large enterprises running an average of 184 such applications.
- Almost all (92%) of enterprises cited at least one major challenge in deploying web-enabled applications. At the top of the list was 'user response time and performance', followed by 'increased security challenges and risks'. Other top challenges included 'infrastructure scalability', 'high availability and reliability', 'bandwidth utilisation and cost', and 'network management complexity'.
"It is clear from the survey that enterprises are facing significant challenges with the delivery of web-enabled applications," explained Matt Duffy, Computerworld's director of research. "While large enterprises are leading in spending to address those challenges, the majority still consider themselves in either a planning or a 'wait and see' stage."
"New solutions are needed to address the delivery challenges without adding so many layers of complexity that the data centre becomes unmanageable," added Craig Stouffer, Redline Networks' vice president of marketing. "A substantial growth opportunity exists for vendors who, like Redline, can address the challenges, from performance and security to scalability, availability and flexible management, within the context of single-box architecture."
The complete results of the survey have been made available for download from Redline Networks' web site.