The majority of the company appears to operate by a completely different set of rules and communicate in a different language than those in the IT or computer services sector of the business in many companies. Because of a certain culture among technical people regarding their specialized knowledge and application areas, this division is somewhat artificial and is partially maintained by the IT people themselves. But, at the end of the day, those strange people in IT have the same goals as any other business person: to succeed both personally and corporately in shared projects.
Those of us on the business side of the corporate landscape, on the other hand, rely on the computer people to keep us updated on the status of 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 a slew of computers linked by a network, and those systems must operate at peak performance every day in order to meet the company’s objectives.
Each year, the upgrade and maintenance budgets for the computers that run your business undoubtedly represent a sizable portion of the corporate budget. However, because those systems are what keep you competitive in the market, the investment is worthwhile to ensure that the mission-critical tasks performed by those powerful systems are completed on time each week and month.
When a computer begins to strain under the load of work that we are assigning to it, this can be a major source of concern for a company. If your business paradigm requires that the load of traffic or system resources be pushed beyond what the computers can do with their current 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 businessperson realizes is that there could be a hidden goldmine of computing capacity already resident in your IT resources that is simply not being utilized to its full potential. You are well aware that it is not uncommon for your IT professionals to report that your systems are operating at 80-90 percent capacity and must be upgraded to handle the next significant increase in business.
That hidden goldmine is a discipline that has been around for a long time but is rarely used in the modern business world. That discipline is known as “capacity planning.” By establishing a capacity planning office and monitoring function, you can put the tools and talent in place to precisely measure scientifically whether your computer systems are at capacity or if system tuning or realignment of computing schedules is required to get more out of the systems you already own.
Recently, a large oil company in the Midwest discovered that many of its mission-critical functions were being delayed in processing, ostensibly due to overloaded computer systems in desperate need of an expensive and time-consuming upgrade. Capacity planning measurements were taken and the system was diagnosed to determine what the true problem was, and it was discovered that job priorities of new functions were not tuned to the system’s load at critical time frames. The adjustments were made by skilled system administrators, and the IT infrastructure continued to operate at peak efficiency, with no additional hardware or upgrades required.
So, businesses can get the most out of their computer resources and use corporate resources to further the company’s business objectives by utilizing capacity planning software tools and allowing your IT team to take advantage of this highly scientific computer measurement and prediction method. And everyone benefits from it.