Application downtime is costing the average business more than $100,000 (£56,000) an hour.
In a poll of 138 organisations by Forrester Research, a third of respondents estimated the cost of application failure to be between $10,000 and $100,000, while a quarter estimated it to be between $100,000 and $500,000.
Some 13 per cent estimated costs to be between $500,000 and $1m, and four per cent estimated the cost to be greater than $1m per hour.
The research, commissioned by IT performance firm Compuware, also revealed that 67 per cent of enterprises either did not know or could not provide an estimate of the financial cost to their business of IT downtime.
"The majority of organisations do not fully understand the business impact associated with poor or non-performing applications," said Mike Lucas, regional technology manager of Compuware UK and Ireland, in a statement.
"This lack of understanding can probably be attributed to the gulf that still exists between IT and the business."
Although the research showed the majority of organisations could not provide information about the financial impact of downtime, it did show that most use a variety of different metrics to measure the affect of downtime.
When asked which measures of business impact the IT department could use to gauge performance problems, 70 per cent said they could measure the applications affected by the problem and 69 per cent the number of users affected by the problem.
Some 61 per cent said they could measure the business locations affected by the problem, 48 per cent the persistence of the problem, and 42 per cent the specific transactions affected by the problem.
But just 28 per cent of respondents indicated that they had all five of these measures in place.
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