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The three words that can cost your business six figures a year

Nip those IT issues in the bud


If you’re like most of us, there are three words that can enrage even the most serene of people.

“Loading please wait…”

A perfect state of Zen can be completely thwarted. The “spinning wheel of death” can hijack our productivity and often, our sanity. No matter how big or small the company, the story is always the same: When employees or customers are forced to wait for an application to load, productivity decreases, stress increases and reputation (and bottom line) of the company can be put in jeopardy.

In fact, a recent study revealed that companies lose and average of $140,000 a year because of performance issues.

For large enterprises, an application failure can cost $500,000 to $1,000,000 an hour.

Yes, an hour.

And despite these startling numbers, so many businesses have accepted the “spinning wheel of death” as the way things are; slow “networks” or applications are an obnoxious but normal part of doing business. It’s often seen more as an annoyance than a business problem and tends to get pushed way down on a priority list of issues to address, if it’s ever addressed at all.

But few businesses have taken an objective look at how much waiting for slow applications is actually impacting their bottom line… And when you start crunching the numbers – it might be more of a financial burden than you realize.

Why the #$@ is this happening in the first place?

Years ago, getting slow applications “back to normal” was fairly simple and straightforward. But nowadays, even the simplest IT systems have become extremely complex. IT has to find the problem amidst a hairy ball of infrastructure components -servers, databases, applications, networks, cloud…you get the point.

Long story short, it makes finding the source of the problem like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Lots of data with no insight

But surely IT is equipped with tools to troubleshoot and discover what is really going on? Right?

Yes. There are a plethora of excellent tools IT can use to examine performance of individual segments of the infrastructure; tools that will provide insights into the network, another into the database, another into the server, and so on. In fact, most companies have between six and 100 tools they use to troubleshoot problems like this.

But therein lies the problem. The issue is not the absence of tools but the absence of actionable insight those tools provide. Used individually, it’s easy for them to miss the overall problem. The majority of organizations don’t have a “single pane of glass” that lends itself to that level of insight.

It’s no wonder that it takes an average of seven hours to find and fix a performance problem…or that 31 percent of performance problems are never solved at all. And when performance sucks…so does business.

Productivity plummets. Employees and customers rage. Revenue is lost. People cry in the bathroom.

So what’s a business to do?

It doesn’t have to be this way. Seriously.

The picture seems grim…particularly for small- to medium-sized businesses that can’t afford enterprise-level technology to help them solve this problem. But there is hope.

The key is empowering IT with visibility. Having a complete, holistic view of the application in all places, it can quickly find the anomaly causing the problem.

A granular view of the entire system can look at the complete reach of the application, providing end-to-end visibility into its workings. It can trigger alerts at an early stage such that users may not even notice the problem yet.

Businesses empowered with this level of visibility have saved hundreds of productive hours and millions of dollars by being able to discover and fix issues quickly, possibly before any users notice it.

But what about the small to med-sized business?

Unfortunately, although every business loses money with this problem. the advanced technical equipment described above is generally only available to those with an enterprise-level budget.

Technology companies are realizing this problem is prevalent across all sizes of businesses and the solution is not continued trial and error multi-tool monitoring; it’s providing enterprise -level insights as a service, giving smaller companies the option to find and solve these costly problems without having to buy and maintain hardware.

Key Takeaways

  • No matter how big or small your business may be, every business relies on applications for productivity and profitability.


  • Any level of slowdown of those applications lose the business money.


  • Without the right insights into your ENTIRE infrastructure, IT will waste time and money on a wild goose chase.


  • Whether your business is a large enterprise that can purchase advanced infrastructure, or a small business that hires a consultant to provide the insights these tools can provide, knowing what is going on in your infrastructure will quickly reap positive bottom line benefits.


(This article is an excerpt from Slow Death By Spinning Wheels: Why Slow Applications Are Losing Companies Significantly More Than They Realize – And What Can Be Done to Stop It, by Sol Mascarenas. Go here. to read the full white paper.)


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Sol Mascarenas

Sol Mascarenas is the VP of Business Development at Vista Solutions in Fort Collins. Sol has spent the last 19 years working with Fortune 100 companies that were losing millions of dollars and hundreds of productive hours every year because of slow and failing business applications. He also bring his experience and insights to small- and medium-sized businesses to help them solve application problems so that they can be more productive and profitable. Learn more about Vista Solutions.

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