Today's information-driven enterprise relies on IT more than ever. The primary interface with customers is via IT, and IT pros increasingly are being called upon to answer to stakeholders and board members. Business is conducted directly via the Internet and websites, which are under the domain of IT departments, and company reputations depend on the reliability of those interfaces.
A 2013 study by Ponemon put the average cost per outage incident at US$690,204 or around US$5,000 per minute. That figure includes damage to organisational reputation, but does not account for the potential personal damage to the careers of the men and women responsible for IT operations.
Best practices for optimising IT
To better understand how to avoid outages, IT managers must be able to collect data and analyse the current situation in terms of how many resources are being used to meet service levels.It is also important to be able to predict demands that will be placed on the system, as illustrated by the Singtel example.Below is a simple guide for the IT department as they forecast such situations and plan strategies to mitigate it:
- Understand your workloads and their resource demands.
- Create a configuration larger than your analysis indicates, with some spare systems to ensure you have sufficient resources to meet demands.
- Go through the steps necessary to make the systems more efficient.
Absent detailed business input, for many systems, history is a good indicator of future demands. Measure resource demands over the past six to 12 months and use those to input into a queuing model to accurately predict where and when a failure may occur. Leveraging all of this data will enable you to find the least expensive configuration needed to meet service levels.
IT has to know how, at the business level, infrastructure affects business. Helping the business make the right decisions based on accurate data can reduce business risk and enable more customers to purchase what they want, when they want it.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.