Are You Getting the Most from Your IT Infrastructure?

    August 26, 2015

    By Per Bauer

    Fully optimized IT service maturity means that your online services are successfully meeting all of your business requirements  without wasting unnecessary resources.

    The purpose of any IT department is to maximize efficiency and productivity, ensuring that both internal and consumer-facing systems run smoothly amidst the chaos of competitive markets.

    But many businesses don’t know where to start when it comes to optimizing their IT infrastructure. What’s more, poor IT decision-making can lead to undue strains and inefficiencies, creating more problems than solutions.

    The key to IT lies in finding a way to meet your desired goals, especially those of effective response times and high throughput, without wasting any resources.

    The first step is effective capacity planning  in other words, finding the balance point at which a system is properly utilized, but not overextended.

    This allows a business to remain optimized under a variety of changing demands and requirements over a longer period of time.

    But the most effective, business-specific solution to solid capacity planning can often be elusive, and its proper implementation requires both tried-and-true industry expertise and out-of-the-box thinking.

    A Fresh Approach

    Oftentimes, business leaders picture capacity planning as a type of performance management, and the industry trend of the past few years has been to approach the issue with a top ten list of problem areas.

    Essentially, this approach attempts to identify and rank the system components that are most in danger of exceeding utilization limits or hitting throughput walls, hindering response times and business operations.

    Unfortunately, though, this method almost always yields ineffective results. Companies should take that paradigm and flip it on its head. Improve online services by looking for so-called cold spots, the servers and components in your system that, for whatever reason, are being significantly underutilized.

    You can still use the same over-utilization reporting mechanisms that are already in place, but now you’re looking for the system pieces that barely get touched.

    Looking at the big picture, you may realize that you don’t actually have any over-utilization problems, you’re just using your perfectly capable resources inefficiently. In the end, it’s about asking the right questions.

    These underused assets most often take the form of the physical servers that you still have the opportunity to better consolidate within your system.

    Oftentimes, select virtual machines have been allocated too many resources, while others too few – this process gives you the chance to remove resources from those over-utilized areas and redistribute them into the available pool.

    And as you do this, you may find unexpected benefits.

    Thanks to your overutilization problems, you might have planned to invest in new infrastructure in six months’ time to add system capacity — but reallocating those resources back into the available pool now may allow you to defer that investment for another year, freeing up capital at the same time.

    Start at the Foundation

    When it comes to IT infrastructure, you have to walk before you can run. Building a solid foundation is critical in managing your continued growth and making optimization sustainable.

    Gain a better understanding of your existing IT, where you are today, and what it’s going to take to get where you want to go.

    Fortunately, there are a number of tools available that provide useful and actionable insights into your IT infrastructure. And we at TeamQuest lay out the steps you and your business need to take in order to reach your optimization goals.

    Our IT Service Optimization Maturity Guide is the best place to start, helping you to gain a solid understanding of how sophisticated your IT capabilities are.

    We’ll survey your IT infrastructure, then provide you with the expert guidance needed to make the improvements and adjustments that will take you to optimal performance.

    (Main image credit: Wikimedia)

    Category: capacity-planning