Make a Better Business Case for End-to-End Monitoring
August 17, 2016

Ted Wilson
SL Corporation

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Monitoring your middleware platforms with a consolidated monitoring application has been shown over and over to reduce the frequency and duration of severity 1 and 2 incidents and prevent losses of revenue attributed to downtime. However, making a strong business care for end-end monitoring and middleware monitoring can be challenging and can present unique learning opportunities. Here are some recommendations to help you make a better business case.

1. Use tangible benefits and savings only

Annual outage volume, agreed-upon Mean-Time-to-Resolution (MTTR) times, and Service Level Agreement (SLA) penalties are the most common. Soft benefits such as better use of IT resources, reduces damage to the brand, and fewer people on conference calls will certainly provide a benefit, but a hard savings is difficult to quantify and should probably not be included in the financial justification.

One large bank had as many as 115 people on their war room conference calls. And calls averaged several hours with one call last year taking 27 hours! While there is certainly a productivity gain to be made, your finance team is unlikely to agree on a hard savings amount by eliminating some of these calls.

2. Start small and pick the right application for your proof of concept

The “right” application should be one that will bridge the gap between the technology and the business. It is always great if you can quantify results based on your application or service running in your environment.

3. Get your main detractors socialized in this process as early as you can

This is not a popularity contest and you are probably going to be shining a bright light on some problem areas. But your detractors can become your biggest supporters once they are able to work with a common version of the truth that is based on actual performance data. They don’t have to miss out on many war room conferences to see the value in effective end-to-end monitoring.

4. Ensure the financial portion of the business case is conservative

Ensure that the financial portion of the business case is conservative and none of the assumptions can be argued by your finance team. Use internally available data obtained from the business owners, support teams, and your trouble ticketing system administrator. And remember that it is better to underestimate your savings and overestimate your costs. You want to show a fast payback based on conservative numbers that cannot be argued.

Ted Wilson is Chief Operating Officer at SL Corporation.

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