January 31, 2006, 12:00 AM

Users find half of mission-critical site problems, not IT staff

More than 50% of companies reporting web application problems say such issues have cost them business.

Half of significant web site problems such as errors or slow response times are found by customers rather than by the IT professionals who manage the site, according to a new survey. Of those companies that reported web application problems, more than 50% reported that their company had lost business as a direct result of the problems.

The survey, conducted by King Research under the sponsorship of web performance monitoring company Coradiant Inc., also determined that among companies that use a “blended” set of performance monitoring tools-a combination of enterprise management systems, synthetic transaction monitoring and real-user monitoring-the percentage of problems initially discovered by end users was reduced from 50% to 35%. About 6% of survey respondents reported using such a multiple-tool approach.

Companies that use a blended monitoring method also reported they resolved 90% of problems within half a day. By contrast, companies not using a blended approach to monitoring reported correcting only 78% of problems within the same time period.

Among other findings, 86% of companies responding said their end users experienced mission-critical problems in using the site, and respondents estimate an organization’s IT department becomes aware of only about 65% of web site problems experienced by end users. About 35% estimate more than 10% of their IT manpower was devoted to fixing site problems and nearly half of all web site problems require more than one hour to resolve.

“IT organizations that use monitoring to move from a reactive to a proactive web management approach are experiencing significantly better results with less headaches,” says Brett Helm, Coradiant CEO. The online survey was based on responses from 346 IT professionals.

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