Guest Post Yair Horovitz , Chief Functional Architect - Big Data Analytics
The business cares about services and customers, not about technology and infrastructure according to BSM CAB (Customer Advisory Board) and Operation Analytics SIG (Special Interest Group) customers at HP Discover.
While IT’s job is to enable the business, this is not always apparent from the data IT analyzes and reports on. Often times, business simply views IT expenses as unnecessary costs as the information IT provides does not seem to relate to the way business views and measures success. To justify the expenditure on monitoring tools and to realize real value from them, IT Operations need to provide business metrics that business owners can understand.
To properly communicate, IT needs to adopt a top-down approach. In this approach the services that matter to the business need to be defined, and KPIs that measure business aspects of these services need to be put in place.
How to create clear communication between business and IT
Underlying infrastructure and technology measurements should be obfuscated from the business. They should only be used for building the business KPIs and for providing data that enables root cause analysis of the impacted business services.
One of the business metrics cited by customers that can be used to determine business data was lost customer hours. This can be measured based on the drop in usage as reported by Real User Monitoring. This drop in usage can even be translated to monetary values based on the average hourly expenditure of a customer. This is just an example, any business related metric can be used (e.g. unnecessary resources used, reduction in opened tickets etc.)
Once this type of business metric is in place—and its business value is apparent—the relevant business stakeholders are far more engaged and are willing to support IT’s efforts. They are then willing not only to invest in outage reduction, but also to finance additional tools and procedures that are required to add more business-related visibility.
Ideally the collaboration will reach a stage where the business relies on IT’s KPIs to really understand how the business is performing.
To reach this alignment, IT needs to understand how the business measures success, and provide the tools that can calculate and visualize these metrics.
This approach will turn IT monitoring into a business information system.
HP Operational Analytics is a new product in HP’s Business Service Management portfolio. It provides the ability to store and analyze everything to further enable IT to visualize and understand business related information, as well as speed up the time to resolve identified business issues.