Infrastructure Management Software Blog

Smart Decisions Today instead of Desperate Ones Tomorrow

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to participate in a briefing in which a dozen IT executives from a leading financial institution came to discuss their unique requirements and how we can help them meet their aggressive growth goals. The first slide that their head of technology presented contained the equation “change = opportunity + risk”. This started a six hour discussion about market and technology disruptions and how they affect their quest for increased performance, capacity, and efficiency.

The theme of the day was business value. The customer had recently made several major changes to their IT infrastructure, all to embrace innovations that provided more performance for less money. Some of these upgrades meant dropping vendors of proprietary technologies who have served them well for years in favor of open platforms such as Linux. In financial markets, efficiency rules.

While efficiency was the foundation of many of their technology decisions, innovation was their passion. Advanced technology was the enabler that allows them to be first, best, and fastest in meeting their customers’ demanding needs. The company needs to develop new financial instruments to address rapidly changing and unprecedented (at least in recent history) market conditions. With rising transaction volumes (long-term trend, anyway) and rising customer expectations, there is a constant need to increase system performance and capacity. And, for IT solutions that can manage growing complexity.

In addition to technology changes, the regulatory environment for financial services firms is also shifting rapidly. While some decade-old regulations such as Glass-Steagall are now gone, new ones are taking their place and there will be new regulations to fix perceived free market inadequacies. This places additional load on IT systems as they must track and log every moving part to ensure compliance with new rules.

Reporting granularity is a major requirement for any IT system. While averages provide useful trend information, they fall short in deliverable actionable intelligence for troubleshooting. Generally, it is spikes that cause system outages rather than averages. And, if your data collection times are too broad, you lose the ability to focus on the indecent that caused an outage or lost data. This was a big discussion topic.

Another memorable take away from the day was when one of their executives said “I would rather make smart decisions today instead of desperate ones in the future.” This was the premise for setting up what turned out to be a very productive meeting.

What smart decisions are you making to simplify managing your IT infrastructure?

For HP Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel

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