More than 50% of European multinational companies are struggling to guarantee the performance of their applications at a time when they are expecting traffic to increase, an IDC study has found.
Organisations are opting to increase their network capacity, rather than optimising the network to cope with increased traffic, according to the report, which was conducted for network firm Ipanema Technologies.
IDC questioned 107 large enterprise IT organisations from the UK, France and Germany.
It found that 72% of organisations questioned do not have an application-centric service level agreement in place to monitor and manage the performance of their core applications.
Many organisations estimated that the number of applications that will run on the network will increase, as will the number of end-users accessing them.
Of those surveyed, 88% expected Wan traffic to increase as a result, with 75% confident that they could cope with the increase, and 71% intending to increase their network capacity in the next two years.
IDC said that a rise in outsourcing and datacentre consolidation has led to the company network carrying more critical applications.
"Applications themselves have become more diverse and demanding.
"A real-time and peer-to-peer application such as voice over IP puts high demands on the network," its report said.
"Although several technologies, such as compression, exist to improve application performance over the wide area network, most represent point solutions.
"True Wan efficiency requires a global solution and one that links application performance requirements directly to Wan behaviour," said IDC's report.
Ipanema produces application performance management appliances that can show what proportion of a network's bandwidth is being used by a particular application, and can dynamically control this.
Mike Bailey, UK manager for Ipanema Technologies, said, "There are some performance management tools available, but people are not generally able to manage the whole infrastructure.
"An application is a constantly changing thing that runs over a network, and usage is unpredictable.
"The ability to manage and monitor things end-to-end over the Wan is not really there," he concluded.