Systems Planning vs Monitoring

I have enjoyed some conversations as of late that have been showing me the difference between Systems Planning and Systems Monitoring.

These are two very different types of activities but very much intertwined.  Often the challenge is that when people start talking about planning about usage of an application they get caught in the IT metrics that come from monitoring and do not really give us a way to map these metrics or data points to the actual planning process.

This issue is really about the ability to link technology with the business.  The business view is the plan, which will think about how the user will grow in their use of the application.  The business does not care about the metrics really, but we can not answer the business question without a deep understanding of the underlying metrics and then be able to give a simple way to have someone be able explain what this will mean from a planning point of view.

Here are a couple of real examples, add some if you want:

  • SOA – cost per service consumed
  • Legacy Systems – MIP (millions of instructions per second)
  • Business Process Outsourcing – Cost per transaction
    • Cost per minute in a call centre
    • Cost per call resolution
    • Cost per invoice process
  • Databases – cost per gigabyte
  • Backup – cost per gigabyte

In the above examples there are some very complex metrics that should include, people, process and technology cost both from a development and operational cost but if done properly really does a great job in helping quickly help the business in understanding in their terms.

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