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Poor Network Performance = Poor Productivity = Financial Losses

Companies failing to measure the ROI of their network investments.
  • 11 September, 2008 13:00

<p>The average IT user could be wasting at least two hours per month – between two and three days per year – on network induced delays.</p>
<p>This was one of the key findings in a Network Performance Frustration research report launched today by Dimension Data, the $3.8 billion IT solutions and services provider.  The report surveyed 957 IT users and 267 IT decision-makers responsible for managing IT networks across Europe, Australia, Central and Latin America, Far East, Middle East and Africa and North America. One hundred IT users and 40 IT decision-makers were polled from Australia. Respondents were interviewed from industries such as government, financial services, manufacturing, retail, technology, utilities, travel and media.</p>
<p>George Atrash, Dimension Data’s General Manager for Connectivity said: “This figure is particularly startling when you multiply it across an entire enterprise. In an organisation of 1000 employees, this level of lost time and productivity could be costing the enterprise tens of thousands of dollars – if not more – per year.”</p>
<p>“Organisations should be doing regular network performance assessments in order to prevent their costs being drained due to lost time and productivity from under-performing networks.”</p>
<p>The research, sponsored by Blue Coat Systems, showed that performance problems and delays ran across a range of services. Globally, IT users are losing an average of 35 minutes per month on network log-in delay, 25 minutes per month on email, and 23 minutes per month on file transfers. Lower time delays were reported in technologies like voice over IP (VoIP) and video, but these applications have such a low tolerance for delays that any time lapse might render them unusable.</p>
<p>And with the usage of video, RIA (Rich Internet Applications) and VoIP set to increase, delays will become more problematic.</p>
<p>“If an employee is unable to use a certain application or technology, they may well avoid using it altogether. This means that not only is the original investment negated, but the user is unable to enjoy any productivity benefit that the technology was supposed to give,” said Mr Atrash.</p>
<p>“While it’s possible to make costing calculations in terms of unrealised employee time, the sunken costs of wasted application and network investment are harder to quantify, but no less important.”</p>
<p>The research also revealed that, globally, over 20% of the IT decision-makers surveyed don’t take network performance into account when calculating Return on Investment (RoI), and a shocking 23% don’t calculate RoI at all.</p>
<p>In Australia, the situation was substantially better, with 50% of IT decision-makers surveyed taking network performance into account, when calculating ROI, as well as measuring the cost of poor network performance. However, 27.5% of IT decision-makers in Australia do not calculate ROI at all.</p>
<p>“It is encouraging that 50% of IT decision-makers in Australia are measuring the cost of poor network performance, but it’s very worrying that a substantial proportion of IT decision-makers - 27.5% – overlook this completely. Without looking at ROI, a company leaves itself open to productivity losses and costs which cannot be quantified. Enterprises need to realise that lost employee productivity is a substantial – yet unnecessary – drain on resources,” said Mr Atrash.</p>
<p>He added: “What’s more, the RoI business case for network performance-improving technology and solutions is both compelling and easy to prove, with a typical payback period within months, as opposed to years.”</p>
<p>About Dimension Data</p>
<p>Dimension Data plc (LSE:DDT), a specialist IT services and solution provider, helps clients plan, build, support and manage their IT infrastructures. Dimension Data applies its expertise in networking, security, operating environments, storage and contact centre technologies and its unique skills in consulting, integration and managed services to create customised client solutions.</p>
<p>About Blue Coat</p>
<p>Blue Coat Systems, Inc., founded in 1996, (NASDAQ: BCSI) is a publicly-held company based in Sunnyvale, California. Blue Coat secures Web communications and accelerates business applications across the distributed enterprise. Blue Coat’s family of appliances and client-based solutions – deployed in branch offices, Internet gateways, end points, and data centers – provide intelligent points of policy-based control enabling IT organizations to optimise security and accelerate performance for all users and applications. Blue Coat has installed more than 8,000 customers worldwide and is ranked #1 by IDC in the Secure Content and Application Delivery market.</p>
<p>About the Dimension Data Network Performance Frustration Report</p>
<p>The Network Performance Frustration research was conducted from April through to June 2008 to investigate the challenges that poor network performance presents to organisations, their employees and their IT departments. The research was commissioned by Dimension Data, sponsored by Blue Coat Systems and conducted by Datamonitor.</p>
<p>The report is a summary of the key findings of the research and is available for download from</p>
<p>For more information:</p>
<p>Helen Han</p>
<p>Dimension Data</p>
<p>Tel: +612 8249 5684</p>

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