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Business Impact Management
Measuring the financial and business impact from process to packet
By: Quocirca
Published: March 2007
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Measuring the financial and business impact from process to packet
The need to understand how the performance and problems within the technical infrastructure impacts the capabilities of the business is massive. However, the majority of companies can only measure application and specific asset performance, whereas many issues within the infrastructure lie at the transport level, where packet switching presents both great opportunities and major issues.

  • The business depends on the performance of the infrastructure The technological environment for most businesses now means that companies are completely dependent on it. Should there be problems in this environment, the business will be immediately impacted - with associated business costs.
  • Stopping at the network asset level is not good enough Network performance, and therefore the impact on the business, is dependent on how well the underlying transport is performing. Measuring data packet performance provides the foundation for a complete understanding of the business impact of technology.
  • Technology and business reporting systems must be linked Using drill down and drill up techniques, it must be possible for the business and the technologists to share and hand over information in the easiest way possible. A business person must be able to drill down through the information presented to them until they reach a point where they can no longer understand what is being presented - at this point, the technologist should be able to take over directly.
  • Understanding the infrastructure requires certain tools to be available Companies must be in a position to know what technical assets they are dealing with, what the interdependencies are between these assets, and what business impact there will be on the failure or sub-standard performance of any asset. The interaction of these assets - i.e. the packet performance - must also be measured and reported on.
  • Different data types and different applications need different management Just taking an application optimisation view of the network will not solve today's issues of dealing with data, voice and video. The actual data traffic must be inspected and managed to ensure that quality of service requirements are met, and that security is maintained.
  • Moving to a business impact management solution has to be inclusive The majority of organisations will already have tooling in place to provide reporting against technical issues. Where possible, these investments must be safeguarded, and the new tooling brought in to provide business impact management must be able to work and integrate with what is already present - including existing physical resources and human skills.

CONCLUSION
Today's companies are dependent on their technical infrastructure, yet few have the capability to fully assess the impact that issues in the infrastructure have on the business itself. With the majority of IT groups having to continually fight fires, the time has come for businesses to have better visibility of how technical issues are constraining the business - and so to prioritise and expedite technical fixes and changes that will help to keep them at the forefront of their markets.

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