Two Questions Everyone in Capacity Planning Should Know How to Answer

    August 27, 2015

    By Jeff Schultz

    An IT Department needs to collaborate with all other branches of the organization when it comes time to determine their operational budget for the next fiscal year.

    Anyone who works for a large organization knows that July isn’t just a time for fireworks and BBQs — it’s also when you plan your budget for the next fiscal year.

    If you work in IT, you know you’re always expected to have an answer for everything, but when it comes to planning your budget, there are really only two questions that need to be asked: Do you have enough resources on hand for the next fiscal year? And how much do you need to invest to accommodate for expected capacity?

    Planning Your Budget

    To answer these questions, determine if your current operating budget is large enough to accommodate potential growth in areas like processing, customer demand, and feature function of your applications. If you determine your future operating expenses will exceed your current budget, make sure you’re clear about how much more you’ll need the company to invest.

    This is also the time to assess operational efficiency and root out any weaknesses. Are you reacting to problems, or solving them before they start? Are your system’s resources being managed effectively? Optimizing your infrastructure now will save your company money later, but you’ll have to present a strong case for that initial investment when it comes time to put the budget together.

    Collaborating in Your Company

    Within a successful organization, no department can be an island. Creating a budget is a company-wide effort and requires constructive, interdepartmental collaboration and communication. If each department created a budget separately and then tried to put it all together, the pieces would never fit.

    An IT department can’t possibly lay out a realistic budget without first speaking to the people who actually work with the applications. That way, they can learn about any potential changes coming or current areas that might not be functioning properly.

    It’s also important to talk to salespeople and executives to get a better idea of customer growth and consumer trends, which will have a direct impact on things like throughput and response time.

    For an IT department, building a capable and adaptable infrastructure demands a clear understanding of what each individual piece of your company needs in order to function properly and drive business forward. That’s hard to do if you don’t know what’s going on outside your cubicle.

    The Tools You Need

    The key to creating a solid budget is having the ability to collect and incorporate all of these variables into your capacity planning strategy. TeamQuest offers a wide range of capacity planning services and ITSO support to help you plan for the next fiscal year. Powerful tools like TeamQuest Predictor and Analyzer will reveal cost-effective ways to reduce or eliminate over-provisioning.

    TeamQuest can also help you optimize your IT infrastructure. Our Service Optimization Maturity Assessment will let you know whether your department has reached a point where it’s contributing substantial value to your company, or if you might need to make some room in the budget to help you get there.

    (Main image credit: GotCredit/flickr)

    Category: capacity-planning