SEATTLE -- F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking, today announced the results of a study commissioned by F5 and conducted by Forrester Consulting entitled Improving Application Deployments. The study, which took place in the first half of 2007, surveyed 300 North American Information Technology (IT) decision-makers and influencers from companies across a broad range of industries, with 53 percent reporting that prior-year application deployments suffered performance issues. In addition, 46 percent of respondents reported projects not completed on time, and 41 percent reported projects not completed within budget. To help eliminate these performance issues, Forrester points to a unified, policy-driven approach to application delivery.
The most often cited root causes of performance issues were network and back-end infrastructure, with 71 percent reporting that their performance issues occur in production environments (versus pre-deployment).
Shortcomings in these areas, the study found, reflect the myriad of interrelated requirements being levied on IT departments to drive business initiatives. Specifically, IT is being charged to rollout applications to support business efforts, but also, to cut costs by consolidating IT assets-all while ensuring both security and business continuity/disaster recovery for users and administrators.
Compounding deployment issues and additional business requirements, enterprises are also expanding heterogeneous application portfolios with each new deployment. The study found that most companies have a diverse mix of packaged applications (SAP, PeopleSoft, Oracle, etc.), "homegrown" custom applications, and open source. This diverse mixture-along with increasingly rich characteristics of Web 2.0 applications-makes it even more difficult for IT departments to seamlessly integrate new applications without significantly modifying their infrastructures or encountering performance woes.
Application Delivery Infrastructure Solutions Can Solve the Dilemma IT Faces
The critical bridge between IT and the business priorities it supports, the study said, is an application delivery infrastructure. Forrester defines this as "technologies that streamline the connection of any user to any application by minimizing deployment burdens, reducing management costs, optimizing performance, and increasing security." And IT departments seem to be receiving this message, with 74 percent of respondents categorizing the network as a strategic asset for delivering applications successfully and Forrester noting that "the results of this study show that organizations don't believe incumbent packet-focused vendors have the requisite expertise and skill set to solve application issues."