Capacity Management for the Digital and Agile World
It’s funny as soon as you mention Capacity Management, the only question that tends to come back is – Why do we need Capacity Management? When you also start speaking about Agile or DevOps or Cloud in the same sentence then it starts to make you think.
I’ve been working in IT for over 20 years now, most of it within Capacity Management and it’s been fascinating to see how technology and the systems and services they provide have changed and evolved over this timeframe. But also, more important how dependent we have become on them within our daily lives such as online shopping, banking, social media interactions, tv and movies streaming the list goes on… People joke that if they have internet access they’d never need to leave their houses!
The joke aside, as the public increase in demand and reliance on these digital services grows, as does the fact we take for granted the fact that we are used to having fast and reliable services. The highly elastic, on demand, auto scaled world of hybrid, private and public cloud environments are used to underpin these services, with the ability of being able to add component resources as quick as it would take you to make a cup of coffee.
The ideology of Agile and DevOps is to provide a model framework of delivering speed to market, a fix as we go approach and allowing customers to have the latest application or feature ASAP. Organizations delivering these digital services want the leading edge over rivals for business gain, increasing market share and revenues and ultimately profits.
So, what about Capacity Management? Well there does seem to be a misunderstanding that introducing a process like Capacity Management to this Agile and DevOps world would just slow everything down. Couple that with the belief that the risks to service impact would be small.
Yes of course in some cases that could be true, but are they small risks? Do they know specifics about the potential impacts to their services? What the overall impact to their customers and overall business there could be? We’re all for agility and speed to market, why wouldn’t we be? But at what cost? We’ve seen many times about how online financial services have been impacted through slow performance or accessibility issues, in turn leaving customers unable to perform daily important tasks such as access bank accounts and pay bills or transfer money.
In 2019, they are estimating that over 2BN people worldwide will be using digital banking services. Services underpinned by critical applications that run on hybrid IT systems which rely on fast-transactional processing of legacy systems such as mainframes and IBM i systems.
Therefore, should they not be classed as part of the digital and agile world?
When discussing Digital Transformation initiatives, we also need to consider an important point which tends to get overlooked by some people (although not your CFO!) that the cloud is not free!
It’s utility computing. You are billed for what you use just as the natural gas or electricity is in your home. The use of cloud systems and services, switches our focus from component (resource) monitoring and planning focus to a cost monitoring and planning focus, as in theory like gas and electricity we can have as much as we want to use.
It is still very important to have a process that can focus on monitoring, planning and reporting across legacy, elastic and hybrid systems while being able to control, optimize, and forecast component usage and associated costs, while being able to deliver reliable and performant business services.
Get this right and you’ll see an increase in customer base and satisfaction, increasing sales, revenues and ultimately profits! Keeping everyone very (especially the CEO/CFO) and the workforce especially at bonus time!
So, remember Capacity Management is as important in a Digital and Agile world has it ever has been before. Organizations still need to incorporate this important process within their Digital transformation framework to ensure that both business and service assurance is provided, mitigating risks, preventing impacts, and limiting damage to reputation but still focusing on delivering speed and value to market.
Remember, they say once you lose a customer it is very difficult to win them back!
Make sure to check out our webcast: Capacity Management for the Digital and Agile World