Consumer Apps Beat Enterprise Apps on Performance
November 04, 2016

Pete Goldin
APMdigest

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Consumer software is seen as more reliable than enterprise software, and that consumer grade is the new standard for apps today, according to ScaleArc's annual survey of IT decision makers.

“It is clear that consumer grade is the new enterprise grade,” said Justin Barney, president and CEO of ScaleArc. “Even IT decision makers who build enterprise apps recognize that they, and the general public, have a better experience on their personal apps than their work apps. We’ve all lost patience with websites and apps that don’t offer optimal performance.”

Organizations responsible for building enterprise applications have also felt the additional pressures of meeting higher demands from its users.

“We’ve seen the shift in expectations in our customer base,” said Michael Atkins, IT operations for DealerSocket. “People are mobile all the time and always connected, so whether it’s a work app or a personal app, no one has the patience for it to be slow or – worse yet – offline. That experience has raised the bar for the service level we have to deliver with our enterprise SaaS offering.”

Setting a New Performance Standard

More than three-quarters (78 percent) of the IT decision makers participating in the survey agreed that consumer grade is the new standard for apps today.

The reasons cited for the shift were:

■ Better interfaces (54 percent)

■ Less likely to be sluggish (32 percent)

■ Less downtime (31 percent)

Survey respondents stated that performance requirements of consumer apps are higher because of their greater visibility (52 percent) and the need for them to make money (28 percent).

Almost one-third (31 percent) of the IT decision makers polled believe that companies developing consumer apps attract more talented people to design them, another reason behind their superior performance.

Consumer Apps vs. Enterprise Software

The vast majority (81 percent) of survey respondents said that consumer software is more reliable than enterprise software, with better software performance being a primary factor. More specifically, they stated that:

■ Consumer apps have faster performance (33 percent)

■ Consumer apps have zero downtime (26 percent)

■ Consumer apps have fewer crashes (26 percent)

Nearly 40 percent of the IT decision makers who responded to ScaleArc’s survey work for companies that deliver apps or services for other companies.

“However, even this group, responsible for SLAs in excess of 99.99 percent, overwhelmingly said they find consumer apps to be more reliable than enterprise apps,” Barney explained.

Most IT workers surveyed said they switch to consumer software products when enterprise software doesn’t work. Consumer products they turn to include Skype (37 percent), Dropbox (34 percent), Google Docs (34 percent) and Google Drive (34 percent).

Roughly 95 percent of the respondents said they would be negatively impacted if a website were slow or had downtime, with popular consumer sites easily beating out enterprise sites in terms of the impact of poor performance. Nearly 80 percent of the respondents would be impacted if Google were down, and 26 percent would be impacted if Facebook were down or slow. In contrast, only 18 percent of respondents noted they would be impacted if a business application such as web conferencing didn’t perform.

Survey Methodology: ScaleArc’s annual survey polled 528 IT decision makers who work for companies that primarily deliver apps or services for other businesses (39 percent) or for consumers (32 percent).

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