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When apps behave badly

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According to a new survey from NGINX, our apps are performing very badly indeed. And perhaps what’s worse news is that a whole lot of companies really aren’t doing anything about it.

NGINX did an in-depth survey of 1800 IT professionals on a variety of topics and it turned out there were several surprises, according to Peter Guagenti, chief marketing officer of the company. He said he was very surprised to see how widespread use of containers and microservices were (close to 2/3 surveyed were either already using or seriously exploring containers and nearly the same percentage was true for microservices).

But what absolutely shocked him and his team was the data on performance. According to the survey, app performance was a significant issue for 75% of respondents — they reported their app was either somewhat or extremely slow. Ok, that’s not good. But what’s worse was the fact that one-third of survey takers said their companies were doing absolutely nothing about it. Wow, nothing? (If you don’t want to be one of those ignoring performance, here are 19 ways to make your pages load faster.)

We know that slow applications cost companies tens of thousands of dollars, at least, in lost revenue as users get fed up and head to a competitor or just give up in general. “Not paying attention to this is the modern day equivalent of not paying attention to customer service,” Guagenti said.

On one hand, Guagenti said he can empathize. “What’s really going on here is the constant push-pull. Most organizations are understaffed. They need to build new features and the entire process is targeted at creating new features and not maintenance or performance tuning.” What ends up happening, he explained, is that companies become unwilling to go backwards.

And that’s how apps end up performing badly. What do you think companies need to do to fix this?