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Consumer Tech Poses Risk To Core IT Systems

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The increasing use of consumer tech within business is placing unrealistic demands on IT personnel

Compuware has warned that the increasing uptake of both cloud computing and consumer tech within the enterprise is threatening the ‘maturity’ and indeed the performance of some corporate systems.

This is according to the findings of a Compuware study, conducted via Vanson Bourne, which interviewed 510 CIOs about corporate performance blind spots because of the cloud and consumer gadgets.

Increased Risk

The survey found that a clear majority of CIOs (77 percent) believe that the further consumerisation of IT will lead to greatly increased business risks. However this is offset by the fact that 86 percent of CIOs said deeper insight into the end users’ experience of applications helps improve what Compuware refers to as “IT maturity.”

So what exactly is this so called ‘IT maturity’ that Compuware refers to? Well, according to Michael Alan, APM Director at Compuware, it refers to the fact that many enterprises deliver their traditional applications via the corporate network and data centre. Problems are easy to diagnose because these organisations tend to have the right management tools in place to quickly diagnose and fix problems as they arise.

But Alan told eWEEK Europe UK that problems occur nowadays because, with the advent of the Cloud and increasing smartphone usage, some corporate apps are bypassing the corporate network and data centre in favour of the delivering data via the internet. This makes it harder for companies to quickly diagnose and fix problems as they occur.

Indeed, the Compuware survey found that the lack of transparency into the performance of cloud and SaaS providers is currently reversing ‘IT maturity’ across 64 percent of enterprises and 73 percent of CIOs thought that the consumerisation of IT (i.e. people bringing their own smartphones, laptops into work) will be restricted by the maturity of their application performance management capabilities.

Unrealistic Demands?

“What came out in the survey very clearly is that consumerisation of IT is placing unrealistic or very high demands on the IT department. People nowadays expect to be able to open a Gmail or Facebook account in a matter of minutes and are not prepared to wait. We as consumers are adopting technology very quick,” said Alan.

He warned that many organisations have not taken into account how these trends can impact their application performance management tools.

The Compuware survey also discovered that 64 percent of CIOs admitted that support for staff mobility is almost impossible due to reliance on external networks, as this makes it much harder to control performance and the end user experience.

“This research shows that the age-old disconnect between business and IT is at risk of widening,” said Steve Tack, CTO of Compuware’s APM Business Unit at Compuware in a statement. “Employees are clearly hungry to use the same technologies in their business environments that they are already using in their personal lives. This is creating more challenges for those responsible to keep these technologies up and running.”

“To adapt to this changing dynamic, it’s critical for organisations to extend best practice management beyond the firewall by first understanding the end user experience of new technologies and services,” said Tack. “This is the only way to support end users as they look to take advantage of trends such as cloud and mobility, which can be tremendously beneficial to the business if managed well.”

In the summer Compuware bolstered its application performance management credentials by acquiring dynaTrace for a hefty $256 million (£160m).