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Every year in living memory I’ve sat in the obligatory “how to complete your annual goals in the HR system” meeting, and each time I’ve been told: make sure you make your objectives “SMART” – Specific, Measurable, Achievable and so on.
Our HR cousins have been telling us this for years, and yet we seem to continue to measure the performance of our IT department on a largely qualitative – that is, subjective – basis. This is something of a surprise given how measurable many aspects of IT operations can be. There’s so much you can do – much of which is dead easy – to make the performance of your IT department quantifiable. And if you can quantify it, you can identify what’s good and what you have the chance to improve.
Excuse - Monitoring - Systems - Loads - Monitoring
There’s no excuse for not doing basic monitoring on your systems. There are loads of competitively priced commercial monitoring packages from the likes of SolarWinds and ManageEngine, and if you really don’t want to spend money then there are plenty of free tools as well – Spiceworks is the one I come across most. Tracking system uptime, disk and RAM usage, network traffic, switch-port up/down activity – all of which are fundamental and straightforward – gives real-time visibility of what’s going on, and helps you to react to issues and predict capacity growth.
The other element of measurement is perhaps less obvious: the behind-the-scenes stuff. Your basic monitoring will allow you to collect and report on the uptime and performance statistics of your system, but what lies behind that uptime? Producing a graph that has a straight line at 100 per cent from the beginning of time is great when you’re showing the company board how stable your services are.
Facts - Cent - Figure
But what about the facts behind that 100 per cent figure?...
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