New Riverbed new research has revealed the extent to which poor performance of digital services and applications is affecting business performance in Australia.

The firm’s 2018 Digital Performance Global Survey found that while business decision-makers in Australia almost all (99%) agreed that optimising digital performance is essential to business performance, nearly 70% of respondents said critical digital services and applications were failing, diminishing productivity and impacting the customer experience, at least a several times a month.

“The findings for Australia were generally consistent with the global results,” said Riverbed Technology ANZ VP Keith Buckley. “The gap between digital aspirations and digital performance is an issue facing business leaders across the board, and there’s a clear sense of urgency to address it – but a few differences stand out.”

Buckley said Australian business decision-makers were slightly less likely than their global counterparts to experience frequent outages. “But they were more likely to experience challenges resulting from a lack of visibility across their IT environment and into the actual end-user experience,” he added.

ww “This highlights that achieving digital success is so much more than just keeping the lights on,” he added.

“The ability to measure and manage a user’s digital experience – and having the deep insights to meaningfully improve digital performance – is critical to driving digital business outcomes.”

The global survey – which polled 1,000 business decision-makers at companies with $500 million or more in revenue, including 100 in Australia – also found 95% of Australian businesses listing major challenges around establishing a more successful digital strategy.

The most common barriers to pushing digital strategies and delivering the performance and customer experience required in a digital world were budget constraints (55%), complex and rigid legacy IT infrastructure (41%) and lack of visibility (46%).

Buckley said the urgency with which business leaders prioritised IT investments to address the ramifications of underperforming on digital experience within the next year varied across APAC, with Australia slightly below the average benchmark.

“With the NBN rollout nearing completion, and Australia set to be one of the first countries to roll out 5G technologies, now is the time for organisations to get their houses in order with respect to modernising networks and eliminating blind spots for IT,” he urged.

“We are in a good position as a nation to set the global standard with new digital capabilities over the next few years, and the work we do today is critical to realising this.

Specifically, Buckley listed some ways to help address the poor performance in Australia of digital services and applications.

“You can’t manage what you can’t see,” he said. “Prioritising tools that deliver deep insights into how digital services and apps are performance – and visibility into how your users are actually experiencing them – is key.”

He added that in many instances, organisations were moving quickly to adopt emerging technologies, but were still running it all on old-school networks, built long before the cloud came into being.

“Legacy IT is throttling digital performance,” Buckley said. “It’s a bit like trying to drive a Ferrari on a dirt road.”