We recently posted about “Tips on how to choose an IT Systems Management solution that fits your budget“. While that post went into detail about the hidden costs you should be aware of, this post will take you on an overview of how to deliver consistent IT services at the lowest possible cost.
First, let’s discuss productivity. In a Forrester poll of IT Executives on how to increase productivity, 64% pointed to end-to-end infrastructure monitoring to increase productivity. In this case, researchers agree that having a unified monitoring dashboard can help create a more highly productive and proactive team; catching outages and solving problems before they happen. Being proactive also lowers Mean-Time-To-Repair (MTTR), which is a critical KPI to measure IT productivity.
The same Forrester report goes on to explain that 55% of IT executives state that proper capacity management and planning is key to meet business demand. In other words, having total capacity visibility across the entire data center is essential to making smart business decisions. This includes total capacity visibility and reporting across physical, virtual, legacy and even cloud resources. Without visibility across these multiple environments, or the integrated reporting to roll up the capacity data, there is no control. Managing capacity is perhaps the first, and in most cases the biggest step, toward a more proactive IT environment. Capacity monitoring, alerting and reporting (across all platforms and environments) is how IT departments can recognize and fix problems before they happen.
- Take Away: It’s important to look for IT capacity dashboards that can monitor, alert, and report across multiple platforms and environments to give IT a unified and accurate view of total capacity. That’s how IT starts moving from reactive to proactive and increases productivity dramatically.
- Additional Resources: Six Essentials to Capacity Management
The second factor to consider is cost. Forrester reports that 68% of IT Executives say software and hardware and tool consolidation is the key to cost cutting. New tools can greatly reduce your annual software spend by decreasing the amount of monitoring point tools you have. Having too many points tools leads to wasted time and budget when constantly deploying, configuring, maintaining, updating and paying annual renewal fees. Not only that, but a unified dashboard for one, clear view of IT is nearly impossible with multiple tools or modules and leaves IT trying to cobble together a mix-mash of point tools. That leads to false alerts, conflicting stories, inaccurate data and headaches. Not a good combination.
Another notable stat is that the largest single spend of the IT budget at 43% is on IT staff and contractors. It’s obvious that wasting staff time is a critical error. Legacy or incorrect tools may be wasting up to 40% or more staff time which will surely burn through your budget. A huge waste of staff time is when IT groups are using separate, disparate monitoring tools, which leads to difficulty finding where problems reside (server team, network team, application team, etc) before the problem can start to be resolved. The result is increased mean-time-to-repair and more IT department blame game. A single, unified view of IT solves this problem by getting the IT departments working from the same data source and on the same page.
The last cost consideration is the inability to measure quality of service. 75% of IT Executives can not accurately measure quality of service. It’s obvious that IT needs to show value to the business. This is why it is critical to set and report on IT Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Find a tool that makes setting, monitoring and reporting on IT SLAs easy, and that can be deployed and reporting in hours.
- Take Away: Multiple monitoring point tools and suites with too many modules are expensive and waste staff time. Consolidate tooling to make your IT more productive and save on budget.
- Additional Resources: The Unified IT Dashboard
- Take Away: Get started setting, monitoring and reporting on SLAs. It can be an great way to prove the value of IT and departments can start small and get the quick wins first.
- Additional Resources: The SLA Way to IT Success White Paper
The easiest way to initiate change is to find better IT tools for your teams use. If you are currently considering a unified IT Systems Management suite for your IT infrastructure, there is no better time than to start now. Look for a unified monitoring solution that will fit for your budget, meet your needs, solve your problems, and can scale to grow with your business. An easy-to-use solution with fast deployment and simple configuration will greatly assist with setup. Enabling IT with an intuitive ITSM suite that will get the job done will make IT more proactive in meeting SLAs, as well as helping solve immediate problems quickly and easily.