It decreases productivity and squashes employee morale, sluggish application delivery is often dismissed as ‘just the way it is’. But if you catch your sales reps drumming their fingers while waiting for a file to load, or your counter staff have to explain to customers that the system is running a little slow – again – then there are four common culprits that may be slowing business applications and undermining your business:
1. Insufficient Internet Capacity
Some significant changes have happened that put the pressure on your internet service. Like most organisations, it is likely you have moved a lot of your workloads to cloud. This can be a tremendous productivity booster, especially for workers outside the office – but there is an internet trap that goes unnoticed. Traffic patterns will have changed, and this impacts application delivery speeds.
When you add the number of mobile phones doing updates on your wi-fi, along with an increase in YouTube and graphic-heavy applications, it is little wonder that old-style internet becomes overwhelmed, especially at peak times. Retail internet has limitations, and for modern business use, it is worth looking at consolidated options. Read our blog about increasing internet speed for more tips.
2. Aging Equipment
As workloads have shifted from server to cloud, your desktops and laptops will have to do more processing. For example, all terminal server processing has been done by your server – but as you pull out of terminal services and work locally with popular applications like Microsoft Office, the computer is straining to perform tasks it wasn’t designed for. It is worth considering if your computers are suitable for this new job: is there enough memory, is it being maintained, and does it have a SSD hard drive?
Our usual rule of thumb is that computers should be replaced before they reach five years old, but when facing significant changes, such as shifting workloads to cloud, a review should be conducted sooner to avoid slowdown. On the surface, it may seem that processors haven’t changed much recently, but today’s i5 processor far outperforms the i5 of a couple of years ago.
3. Limited Resources
Whether an application was introduced initially for a very small task in your operation or across the whole company, the data it contains will undoubtedly have grown over the years. This can create problems. The applications may need more resources. You may need to allocate more server memory or disk space. Databases that have been in operation for a long time may need cleansing.
We recently talked with a new retail client that had experienced massive online growth, and when we asked about business processes, we hit on one of their biggest challenges; they told us they could only offer discounts to a small section of their customer database at time. When they offered discounts across the board, their website crashed. They had been putting up with it for some time. Our investigation showed that they didn’t have enough memory for the server that runs the database, so we reached out to the app developer, and the problem was solved completely with a small increase to their cloud hosting. The shopping experience improved significantly, and where they had been losing sales, with potential customers abandoning shopping carts, now sales have increased.
4. Outgrown or Unused Applications
The application you acquired in the early days may not have all the features and benefits needed in a modern business. But before you embark on the challenging path of replacing the application, hold on a little longer and get some expert advice. Our consultants recommend checking first if the application is being used to its maximum capability, and whether a simple process improvement may be all that is needed.
Have you been to a user group recently to learn about new features? Perhaps you could find application champions who can train others to use your existing options more productively, and help you to review your processes. Could you ask for training, or to get analysis and advice from a product expert? The cost of changing applications is significant, and by exploring what options are available, you will really get your money’s worth from the right consultant. Sure, their hourly rate may seem high, but it pales in comparison to the cost of a complete change of core applications
Do you have slow business applications in your organisation?
While these four culprits are the most common when it comes to slow business applications, there is no shortage of ways that your systems can hit the brakes – and many more ways we can help you get your business back into the fast lane.