In many companies, most of the company seems to operate by a completely different set of rules and communicate in a different language than those the IT or computer services sector of the business. This division is somewhat artificial and partially maintained by the IT people themselves because of a certain culture technical people have about their specialized knowledge and application areas. But at heart, those strange people down in IT have the same goals as every other business person which is to succeed both personally and corporately in shared projects.
But those of us on the business side of the corporate landscape depend on the computer folks to let us know how things are going with that highly valuable asset that we have in our IT systems, hardware and software. Most medium to large businesses run very high capacity computers or multitudes of computers connected through a network and those systems must perform at top capacity each day to accomplish the goals of the business.
The upgrade and maintenance budgets for the computers that run your business no doubt represents a fairly sizable percentage of the corporate budget each year. But because those systems are what make you competitive in the marketplace, that investment is worth the money to assure that the mission critical jobs those powerful systems do get done on time each week and month.
When a computer begins to show signs of straining under the load of work, we are giving it, that can be a cause of significant concern for a business. If your business paradigm dictates that the load of traffic or system resources could be pushed to beyond what the computers can do with their existing computing power, that weakness in the IT infrastructure represents a significant risk to the company should the system become overloaded when there is a large body of work to be done by these machines.
What not every business person knows is that there may be a hidden goldmine of computing capacity already resident in your IT resources that simply is not being tapped to its fullest. You know that it isn’t uncommon for your IT professionals to report that your systems are at 80-90% capacity and must be upgraded to handle the next big increase in business.
That hidden goldmine is a discipline that has actually been around for quite sometime but is infrequently tapped in the modern business world. That discipline is called “capacity planning”. By implementing a capacity planning office and monitoring function, you can put the tools and the talent in place to precisely measure scientifically if your computer systems are at capacity of if there is just a need for system tuning or realignment of computing schedules to get more out of the systems you already own.
Recently a large oil company in the Midwest noted that many of its mission critical functions were being delayed in processing, seemingly because the computer systems were overloaded and in dire need of an expensive and time consuming upgrade. Capacity planning measurements were taken and the system was diagnosed to determine what the real problem was and it was found that job priorities of new functions were not tuned to the load of the system at critical time frames. The adjustments were made by talented systems administrators and the IT infrastructure continued to perform at top-notch capacity and the delays were eliminated with no additional hardware or upgrades needed.
By utilizing capacity planning software tools and enabling your IT team to take advantage of this highly scientific computer measurement and prediction method, the business can get the most out of its computer resources and use its corporate resources to further the business objectives of the company. And that benefits everyone.