Poorly performing IT is one of the biggest irritation factors in organisations. Not only does it feed dissatisfaction among employees, it also makes the end customer its victim. In the end, poor IT performance leads in every case to unnecessary loss of income and damage to image, which is of course a shame. But what concrete steps can an organisation take against IT performance problems? The three tips below help to overcome IT performance problems!
1: Create oversight and insight
To tackle IT performance problems at the core, it is obviously necessary to have insight into the various application chains. The question, however, is whether this is really ‘obvious’ for most companies. Often, an organisation does realise the need for insight, but in practice is nowhere near achieving it.
For example, we often see that organisations:
- only monitor at application level. While this does provide insight into the performance of individual applications, the chain as a whole is ignored, despite the fact that IT performance problems often arise in the connections and dependencies between different applications.
- do not monitor uniformly. By monitoring different applications in different ways, you have to deal with different metrics. And which insight is then the truth? Without a single, common, objective point of truth, it is difficult to take external suppliers to task and deduce the cause.
- do not monitor independently. Many application suppliers use technical monitoring tools to give insight into the performance of their own application. Apart from the fact that this tells little about the application’s performance as part of the whole chain, it is not always reliable. It is a typical case of ‘being one’s own judge and jury’. It is therefore advisable to use independent monitoring, either by engaging an external party or by doing it yourself.
2: Carry out clear supplier management
Complex chains often consist of multiple IT components that are supplied by different suppliers. Each supplier subsequently looks only at his own component. In the event of an incident, it is difficult to determine which application or supplier in the chain is causing the incident, which ultimately results in the ‘blame game’. Then all the suppliers point at each other, but nobody resolves the problem. This costs a lot of time and money, and causes much frustration. Furthermore, the solutions that are eventually chosen are just patches, and no structural solution is found.
This can be prevented with the aid of an eXperience Level Agreement (XLA). By moving from an SLA to an XLA, agreements can be made about achieving optimal customer satisfaction. Here, the agreements are not purely about the operation of the technical components; the end user’s experience is also taken into account. This gives suppliers a different type of responsibility, in which they have to cooperate with other components in the chain.
3: Go for expertise
Various tools are available which can help with application performance management and chain monitoring. It is, however, important to determine whether you have the right in-house knowledge for these. Do you have qualified staff who can read and interpret these metrics? And have processes been established to efficiently escalate performance problems? Performance management, and in particular chain monitoring, are fields that are frequently underestimated. Good software alone will not get you there. You should therefore pay attention to knowledge and expertise. Preventing IT performance problems or resolving them quickly also calls for a change in the organisation’s mind-set and sometimes its way of working. After all, it’s not enough to simply collect and read metrics; actions have to be taken in response to the results.
All in all, performance management is a crucial part of the IT manager’s tasks these days. These three tips help to prevent performance problems or resolve them quickly. For the IT manager, this means having a grip on his IT service provision and an objective truth to report on. In the end, it helps him to guarantee to good user experience to the business and actively contribute to customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, productivity and turnover.
After his study Business engineering Iman started his career at KPN. Because of his commercial ambitions he quickly switched to Nexor, a sales outsourcing company. In three years Nexor, Iman executed projects for more than 25 IT companies with various propositions in different markets. In 2011 Iman joined Ymor and for the past seven years he has been enabling the growth of Ymor in the role of Sales Director. In this role Iman builded up the Ymor Commercial organisation and was responsible for the onboarding of many new Ymor customers. Since beginning 2018 Iman has taken up the role of Managing Director, together with Jeffrey Braam. Thanks to Iman’s involvement in almost all our customers projects, he has gained a lot of knowledge of the APM market and the challenges of IT organizations. In his blogs, he likes to share this knowledge.
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