Throughout my career, IT organizations have tried to find ways to communicate their value to the business. Likewise, the business has been looking for ways to better understand the real impact of the network on their top line. One key disconnect has always been in trying to link network activity/performance to actual business activities, such as orders or transactions.
What typically occurs is that the IT team produces reams of reports or excel spreadsheets with network performance data. That information is either emailed or printed for the business users to review and hopefully make some connection to what they were seeing on the business side.
An organization we work with wanted to better understand the link between their online credit card transactions and network performance. The business side had felt for some time that the network might be responsible for higher abandon rates in one of their key services. They could see from one of their business Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that the transaction abandon rate increased when they reached a certain number of concurrent transactions. The business unit suspected that the network was contributing to the high abandon rate on their web-based credit card applications. However, they lacked the ability to see the related network performance to confirm a correlation.
So management asked IT to help identify where changes in network utilization and application latency were affecting the business' KPI. The goal – to better understand the impact of the network on the customer experience.
Sound like a familiar problem? The biggest challenge holding organizations back from getting this level of visibility is the existing toolsets they use. Basically, we subscribe to the mantra – “you can't measure what you can't collect.” That is why we have built the ability for SevOne to collect any data from your environment, whether it's traditional polled data, Flow data, or any 3rd party time stamped data.
To continue with the use case above, by leveraging the SevOne collection capabilities, the IT team could now see the network performance metrics alongside the abandon rate KPIs and confirm that the network was contributing to lost business. What they quickly recognized was that as load increased, performance degraded, and more customers began to “abandon” their transactions.
Since both the network and business KPIs are now in SevOne, all of the same real-time and historical visibility, baselining, proactive alerting and reporting capabilities can be leveraged. This gives the organization the complete and immediate visibility needed to ensure that as behavior in the environment changes, both the IT team and the business can get the information they need to more effectively improve and optimize their services.
So, what is the end result? The network team has the visibility they need to optimize and improve the performance of the network and its impact on the businesses services. Ultimately, the financial benefits for the business are increased by reducing lost transactions due to network performance. In addition, the business can further differentiate and improve their market reputation by proving that they can process their customers' trades quickly.
By incorporating business relevant data into network performance monitoring, you can reduce the risk of customer facing performance issues. Operations teams will quickly see if performance issues start with the network or if slowness or abandon rates are separate and unrelated events. This reduction in MTTI saves money, improves service quality, and improves business reputation.
Pete Cruz is Senior Director of Product Marketing and Management for SevOne.