Turbonomic Blog

Unclear who owns application performance? What are the consequences?

Posted by Eva Tuczai on Jan 16, 2020 11:07:06 AM

This blog is part of a series in which we share some of the results from our State of Performance in Modern Applications Survey. Want to binge read the results? Download the full report here.

If something is important to a business, then it must be measured and it must be owned. So we decided to dig into people’s perceptions about who influences and who owns application performance. While there was strong correlation between those that influence and those that ultimately own application performance, it was surprising to see how fragmented the responses were in terms of ultimate ownership.

We asked the questions, “What job roles actively influence application performance in your organization?” and “In your organization, who is ultimately responsible for application performance?” There was a strong correlation between those that are understood to influence application performance and those that ultimately own it. Application Owners, Developers, and DevOps are viewed as the leading influencers and ultimate owners of application performance.

Turbonomic_2019-State-of-Performance-in-Modern-Applications_influence-vs.responsible-for-app-performance

But when we break these responses out by function we see some interesting differences of perspective.

Turbonomic_2019-State-of-Performance-in-Modern-Applications_influence-vs.responsible-for-app-performance_perspective-by-role

It is easier to identify who influences application performance than who is ultimately responsible for it.

When more than 50% of a population agrees on an answer, then this is indicative of a trend.  Less than that, there is either an acknowledgment of multiple roles are required, or there is a lack of definition. When we look at the perspectives of different functions on the matter of “influence” vs. “ultimately responsible” we see that the Top Influencer answer from each perspective is 49-80%, indicating general agreement. Answers for Owner (ultimately responsible) ranged from 22-40%, indicating that there is less agreement. In other words, in organizations it is easier to identify who influences application performance than it is to say who owns it. 

Only Application Owners, DevOps and Developers saw themselves as both Influencers and Owners of application performance. All other roles saw someone else, implying they did not see themselves as key influencers or owners. 

Also of note, Infrastructure teams saw Application Owners both as Influencers and Owners of application performance, which lines up with how Application Owners see themselves. Yet DevOps and Developers do not see them in this role. If we consider that, DevOps and Developers are “closer” to the application technology, are there organizational disconnects between how people see responsibilities?

Why are there differences in perspective on who is ultimately responsible for application performance?

While the perspective of those within specific functions were generally in agreement on who is the Top Influencer of application performance, the responses for who is Owner/Responsible is more diverse. The same is true when we break these questions out by industry, below.

Turbonomic_2019-State-of-Performance-in-Modern-Applications_influence-vs.responsible-for-app-performance_by-industry

It appears that ownership of application performance may not be well identified within most companies and/or not well communicated to all the roles. Without clear ownership, it’s hard to make important decisions, like goal setting, and execute against them.

In your experience, what are the consequences of not clearly defining ownership for application performance in an organization? (Leave a comment below!)

Want a complete break-out of the data? Download the full report here.

Topics: Cloud Native

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