Top 5 Challenges to IT Scalability
by Alec Pinkham Alec Pinkham on

It’s usually a great sign for a business if IT “needs to scale” up a particular technology quickly—maybe sales are growing, or new employees are coming on board, or a new product shows a lot of promise in the market. It could be a combination of all three. Expectations are usually pretty high from the business side that IT can roll out an application quickly to a new team, or set up a “remote office” in no time with everything users will need. That’s especially true now that SaaS applications and cloud-provided services are fueling businesses.

For IT, it isn’t quite as easy as a few clicks or call to a provider. Here are the primary roadblocks for IT teams trying to scale up in distributed, SaaS-driven environments.

1. Application Footprint

There are two known factors IT faces today when managing apps: First, the number being used in your company is increasing, and second, you no longer own all of them. With easy “SaaS availability” and distributed budgets, any team can sign up for and start using a new app without ever involving IT. While non-IT folks see this as a new dawn, we know that the moment that app is slow they’re going to blame you for it. If you’re not keeping up with what’s on the network, you’re bound to run into the network blame game.

2. Performance and Reliability

Apps rarely go down anymore. Maybe “once or twice a year” do your major application providers have unscheduled downtime, and if it happens during off hours it can be a non-event. The issue facing enterprise employees today is slow applications. Apps can get a bad reputation on your sales floor or limit your marketing team because of performance and reliability issues.

3. Identity Access Management (IAM)

Legacy systems have a range of problems when coupled with modern applications and performance demands. They can be costly to maintain and difficult to manage across a corporate infrastructure. This is why companies like Lastpass has seen success lately by approaching the solution through SSO and SaaS offerings. IAM is easy when your company has 50 employees across two locations, but when you’re supporting 500 employees in 20 locations, the processes used to provision apps need to be optimized. You can’t rely on ad-hoc work or scripts anymore, but need to evolve to use more sophisticated solutions.

4. “Hybrid Cloud” Support

Today’s enterprise infrastructure is an amalgam of legacy infrastructure you own and new infrastructure in the cloud. Depending on your company’s particular journey, the balance may tip to either side, but increasingly it’s providers who own devices and links. Scalability is key, but sacrificing visibility and control of these devices means IT needs to identify new solutions and methods to monitor and alert on the performance of their network and applications. Doing this with smaller centralized teams is also becoming the norm since there aren’t as many physical devices to manage.

5. Cost Pressures

As IT teams shift their planning toward a distributed, cloud-based model, they aren’t always getting more money to support that. Plus, there’s pressure across the board to reduce costs, and pressure for IT to prove its value by having a positive effect on the business’s bottom line. IT has to be more efficient with spending while increasing performance and reliability. This has a huge effect on what’s possible for scalability, especially as the market changes constantly. Adding more seats to a SaaS subscription may be easy, but it’s not cheap. The complexity of SaaS pricing and licensing can also bring confusion and unwelcome billing surprises when IT makes changes or additions.

These challenges as a whole can be overwhelming for IT, which still has to have control over infrastructure. AppNeta monitors the network—really, the entire app delivery path—to ensure that IT isn’t in the dark.

To learn more about how to take control of end user experience by leveraging comprehensive network visibility, download our whitepaper, “Digital Experience Monitoring from AppNeta”.

Filed Under: cloud computing, Performance Monitoring

Tags: IT budget , IT scalability , SaaS applications