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  • Over the last couple of decades, the number of applications used by a typical enterprise has risen dramatically. As organizations have become more reliant on these software tools, concerns over performance have grown. A newly released study conducted by cloud services and application infrastructure provider Riverbed examined the current state of applications and performance. The "Global Application Performance Survey 2015," which queried approximately 900 global business executives, delivers key insights into this evolving space. It found that while business and IT executives agree that app performance is at the heart of a successful enterprise, enormous gaps often exist between the needs of a business and what IT is able to deliver. What's more, this disconnect frequently leads to a variety of problems—which are often serious—for organizations. They include diminished morale among employees, a negative impact on brand image and lost revenue. Here are some of the key takeaways from the survey.

  • As the demand for more IT-enabled capabilities increases and the expectation that IT will become more of a strategic partner to the business grows along with it, organizations will face more critical decisions than ever when it comes to accounting for application development and maintenance (ADM) in their budgets. With that in mind, software analysis vendor Cast Software asked Saad Ayub, a former CIO for companies such as Scholastic, the Hartford and Aetna, to craft an approach to ADM budgeting that would help companies craft budgets geared toward ensuring their applications are delivering the desired business outcomes. As Ayub made clear in the summary of the resulting nine-step process he created, budgeting for the care and feeding of applications is a delicate balancing act. "The easy part is around defining what new capabilities need to be built," Ayub wrote. "The hard part is getting an agreement on appropriate investments for improving the application landscape, which will ensure that the company is positioned for long-term growth." Ayub hopes that his methodology can help organizations achieve the right mix of collaboration and metrics needed to make the most of an application portfolio.

  • It's no secret that software licensing has become a giant thorn in the side of both IT departments and the business in general. Not only is today's licensing environment incredibly complex and becoming tougher, it's also undergoing radical change. Virtualization, clouds, software as a service (SaaS), mobile apps and entirely new digital delivery models introduce both opportunities and challenges—and alter the stakes dramatically. A new report from digital security firm Gemalto, "Software Licensing: Expectations, Challenges and the Future," notes that new and evolving models are affecting the way software vendors and buyers interact. The key themes the report identifies include: the need for a framework that supports anywhere, anytime access; user-centric licensing that revolves around individuals and not machines; better usage tracking and pricing models; and a common-use experience that spans on-premise use, clouds and various devices. Here are some of the key findings from the survey of 600 enterprise software users and 180 software vendors.