Slow Business Apps: What’s the Worst That Can Happen?
by Joe Michalowski on

The closer the relationship between an application and your revenue, the easier it is to measure the impact of poor performance. This is why, for example, researchers found that an e-commerce site experiences 7% lower conversion rates for just a 1-second delay in page responses.

Companies often invest heavily in performance monitoring for their business-to-customer applications. But it’s much more complicated to calculate the business impact of poor internal application performance and invest accordingly.

So what’s the worst that can happen if you have chronically slow business applications? If you want to maximize business performance, you have to understand the residual effects of bad application performance.

The Problem with How Companies Usually Look at Business App Performance

There are two important metrics that companies look at when it comes to business-critical application performance—uptime and average load speed. The problem is that these two metrics don’t provide the depth of insight necessary to recognize the true impact on your business.

Uptime and load speed are IT-focused rather than end-user focused. That is, IT departments are focused on minimizing downtime numbers and maximizing application speeds. But end users aren’t affected by downtime and slow speeds in such a binary way.

For example, your average application speed could be within one to three seconds the majority of the time, but experience delays of 10 seconds or more during peak business hours. So the average page load speed might appear acceptable from an IT perspective, but the residual effects of those delays can have a massive impact on your end users—even if they’re only for one or two hours per day.

Shifting your focus from an IT perspective to the perspective of your employees will help you see how business app performance truly impacts the organization’s performance.

Four Consequences of Slow Business Applications

Because almost every business function relies on a piece of software, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that slow performance will negatively impact your organization. But as long as apps are up and running smoothly for the most part, what could happen if they just perform slowly?

Here are four consequences of slow business application performance:

  • Loss of Employee Productivity: Downtime is an obvious problem, but even slight delays in performance can result in diminished employee productivity. As a worst-case scenario, chronically slow applications can push employees to revert to older, less efficient processes, which have clear negative impacts on productivity (you upgraded for a reason!).
  • Diminished Quality of Service: Employees are the lifeblood of an organization—if they don’t perform well, the business doesn’t perform well. So it’s critical to ensure high quality of service for the business applications that help employees perform. Every delay in service diminishes quality to a point that can impact employee trust in the application (or even the department or company as a whole if the issue persists long enough). By eliminating questions about business app performance, you can focus on improving software functionality to drive greater profitability across the organization.
  • Hindered Collaboration: Unified communications platforms have become such important pieces of the business world that many employees wouldn’t be able to work at all without them. If end users consistently experience hindered collaboration across offices or even countries, critical processes can be interrupted to the point that your organization loses revenue or misses out on new business opportunities.
  • Lack of Innovation: Digital transformation is a reality that every business in every industry must contend with. It may not be obvious, but consistently slow business applications actually hamper your ability to innovate and stay ahead of disruption. The more complaints from end users about slow application performance, the more resources your IT development team must devote to improving your current stack of applications. If you don’t improve the end-user experience, your IT developers won’t be able to innovate and make your business processes more efficient.

It’s clear that just because slow performance doesn’t directly impact revenue doesn’t mean there aren’t residual effects on profitability.

For more on the performance metrics you should be paying attention to, check out our on-demand webinar, 5 End-User Metrics You Can’t Afford to Lose.

Filed Under: Industry Insights, Performance Monitoring

Tags: application downtime , business applications