Up to 80% of businesses suffer monthly outages of critical digital services

Riverbed survey shows that organisations struggle with delivering digital services and strategies

There are many benefits to digitisation, but companies face real challenges in achieving it, says Iyer.
There are many benefits to digitisation, but companies face real challenges in achieving it, says Iyer.

Up to 80% of businesses suffer failures of critical digital services and applications at least a few times month, according to a survey by Riverbed.

The report discloses that despite recognising the importance of digital services, of the 80% facing monthly failures, nearly one in four experience failures at least several times a week. Consequences of these failures include loss of sales and revenue, customers, and productivity, damages to brand loyalty and delays in launching products.

The Riverbed Digital Performance Global Survey 2018, surveyed 1,000 business decision makers in companies with revenue of $500m or more. The study found almost unanimous in belief that in the need to optimise digital performance, and that digitisation is critical to the future of their business. However, 95% of these same business decision makers say that major barriers - including budget constraints, legacy networks and lack of visibility - are holding them back from advancing digital strategies and delivering the performance and customer experience required in today's digital world.

"This survey underscores the tremendous opportunity that maximizing digital performance can have on the user experience and bottom line, while simultaneously highlighting the real challenges companies face today," said Subbu Iyer, CMO, Riverbed Technology. "The findings reinforce that forward-thinking companies are well positioned to lead their industries in the race towards digital transformation by prioritizing investments in modernizing their networks and tools to measure and manage the digital experience for their customers and employees. Those who hesitate to embrace digital strategies and processes will quickly fall by the wayside, and those who drive digital performance will see significant business outcomes."

The need for companies to provide a successful digital experience for customers, partners and employees is well recognized, and it continues to grow in importance. Some 91% of global business decision makers agree that providing a successful digital experience is even more critical to the company's bottom line than it was just three years ago.

Likewise, 99% of global business decision makers believe their company would benefit from improving the performance of their company's digital services and applications. They see this happening primarily through improved customer/user experience and satisfaction (53%); greater market agility (49%); increased revenue/sales and profitability (49%); increased employee productivity (49%); and faster time to market (48%).

However, it is widely recognized that inadequately performing systems today are a key limitation to a successful digital strategy. In fact, of the 95% of global business decision makers who said they face significant challenges when it comes to achieving a more successful digital strategy, most cited multiple challenges including budget constraints (51%); overly complex or rigid legacy IT infrastructure (45%); lack of full visibility across the digital or end user experience (40%); lack of available or appropriately-skilled personnel (39%); and lack of buy-in from leadership on prioritizing digital initiatives (37%)

For companies facing digital failures, half believe that issues should be solved within an hour, while 20% said that services had to be resumed within the hour. To mitigate the damage of these outages, businesses are looking for better management tools and infrastructure, to provide visibility across digital services and to deliver agility.

Of the organisations surveyed, 77% say it is critical that their company invest in improving the digital experience for users or customers in the next 12 months. Key areas for investment include modernizing networks and infrastructure to drive greater agility (60%); ability to better monitor and manage the end user's digital experience (59%); improving service desk capabilities (59%); and accelerating development of applications (58%).

A significant number of business decision makers also identified cloud solutions and emerging technologies as key drivers of the digital experience moving forward. Nearly all, 99%, of global business decision makers believe the use of cloud technologies is important to their companies' ongoing digital strategy, and business leaders would like their companies to invest in emerging technologies such as data analytics (60%); Internet of Things (59%); blockchain (48%); machine learning (47%); artificial intelligence (47%); virtual reality (36%) and 5G (21%).

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