How We Can Help

1. Do you ever wonder if your resource assets are deployed effectively, if those assets match their true demand, and if the investment in those assets is providing a proper return?

Too much resource too soon costs a lot of money, while too little too late costs a lot more. Capital has always been precious, but in today’s economy precious has taken on a new meaning. The ability to accurately match the resource needs of business initiatives to IT resource investments can have a substantial impact on the bottom line. A Pacific Reach resource capacity plan will show you where assets are over-taxed and in need of relief or where they are under-used and ripe for reclamation. And perhaps most importantly, it will show you the information necessary to ensure that you have the right assets in place at the right time.

2. Are you actively implementing or considering ITIL?

Implementing ITIL (the Information Technology Infrastructure Library set of best practices originally published by the British government) means a cultural change for many IT shops. While there is no “silver bullet” solution that addresses all that ITIL recommends, industry solution providers are becoming more focused on providing products and services consistent with ITIL. Pacific Reach has over sixteen years experience helping clients establish business level capacity planning – a key element of ITIL.

3. Do you ever have difficulty explaining exactly how your IT expenditures relate to the business? Do you think this relationship is well understood in your organization?

As an IT executive today, you know you must understand how your company’s business lines and infrastructure are consuming IT resources – and you must be sure that this relationship is communicated and understood throughout your organization. Based on your Key Business Indicators, a Pacific Reach resource capacity plan establishes a direct relationship between the demand for resources and your business and presents the results in a language and context that forms a new bond between you and your business partners.

4. Are you able to respond to new business initiatives in a timely fashion or do you frequently find yourself reacting to a crisis?

Assuring that adequate resources are in place to meet the needs of your business partners can be a tricky business. A shift in business direction, the introduction of new product lines or changes in the pricing model all drive the need for IT development and production resources. Inadequate or untimely resources can seriously curtail your ability to deliver development, rollout, and production services to your business partners. A Pacific Reach resource capacity plan establishes strong communication channels with your business partners, which combined with intimate knowledge about your resource situation forms an early warning system allowing you to turn crisis management into smooth, calculated response.

5. Are you thinking of server consolidation?

Most midrange Unix and NT servers were installed as one-off application solutions, sometimes with and sometimes without direct IT participation. Many companies now find that over the years these “islands of processing” have proliferated until there are now dozens if not hundreds of servers, possibly even physically scattered throughout the organization making maintenance and support a nightmare. And that’s just the production servers – frequently each application also has its own private “sand-box” development server(s) as well. A Pacific Reach resource capacity plan can help you define the opportunities for server consolidation and allow you to tap into current techniques now being exploited to capitalize on these potentially huge savings.

6. Do you know why you bought your last capacity increase? Did it last as long as you expected? Do you know why and when you will buy your next?

In the late 1950s, Professor C. Northcote Parkinson noted a very simple but complicated observation now known as Parkinson’s Law: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. It turns out that this can be applied to computer systems as well. While online systems do indeed reflect the immediate demand of users, many applications and system processes are easily scheduled to non-peak times. However, given available capacity, the work may easily migrate into periods where it creates false peaks, blurring visibility to the true peak demand and distorting the apparent need for additional capacity. A Pacific Reach resource capacity plan can help you stay focused on the real capacity demand and avoid costly reactive capacity increases prompted from misleading observations.

7. Is your capacity plan in lockstep with your IT strategic plan?

You probably have a vision or even a roadmap of how you see IT evolving in your organization over the next few years. Chances are that it includes not only new applications but technology shifts and technology-enabling business ventures as well. Will your strategic plan require a complete re-tooling of your resources or can existing resources be redeployed? The more you understand about your resource assets and how those assets will change over time, the better your position to assess the true cost and potential of your strategic plan. A Pacific Reach resource capacity plan provides a firm foundation for your strategic plan, enabling you to realize your IT vision while maximizing your investment in resources.

8. Does your actual resource consumption track to your plan and do you know why or why not?

Things change – every month, every week, every day. One of the most common causes for unexpected capacity requirements is that capacity planned for one activity is consumed by another unplanned activity and when the original activity is ready to go online the capacity is not there. Even the best capacity plan must be reconciled to reality – frequently – to make sure that unplanned activities are addressed and that the planned activities occur and use resources as predicted. Every Pacific Reach resource capacity plan provides a reconciliation process to help you monitor how your resource dollars are actually being used.

9. Are you constantly chasing performance problems that seem to come out of nowhere?

System performance problems are an unnecessary drain on technical staff, an irritant or worse to your business partners, and a distraction for the entire organization. The negative effects on your business can range from poor efficiency to actual loss of business opportunities. From any perspective it’s a cost to be avoided. Performance problems can be masked by too much capacity and they can be caused by too little capacity. A Pacific Reach resource capacity plan will identify dangerous consumption trends and opportunities for tuning before problems occur, letting you avoid the costly results by avoiding the problem.

10. Does an unplanned outage or performance problem result in a huge backlog that takes forever to work off?

It’s often easy to overlook the need for reserve processing capacity, particularly when today’s technologies allow us to push utilization to maximum levels. But what happens when we need a little extra capacity to recover from an unplanned event? Frequently the cost to the business is more than enough to have paid for the reserve. Every organization has a different reserve need based on a variety of business and technical factors. A Pacific Reach resource capacity plan will help you develop your reserve profile and ensure that the profile is monitored and maintained over time, allowing you to substitute judicious reserve allocation to avoid those unplanned and unpleasant business costs.

11. Do you have past experiences where capacity planning services or products failed to live up to your expectations or do you feel that you already have all the right capacity planning tools in place?

There are typically two extremes to capacity planning. High-end industry accounting and consulting firms provide such generalized views that they are often difficult to relate to real ongoing resource demand solutions while the other extreme offers such technically detailed data analysis that it is only understandable and meaningful to the technician operating the product or service. A Pacific Reach resource capacity plan bridges this gap by fusing the technical analysis with the business plan in a way that is technically sound but business based and business oriented.  It capitalizes on existing products in your shop rather than competing with them and it complements rather then displaces your existing capacity planning staff.

12. Do you have an abundance of capacity & performance reports and statistics but still feel a lack of real information about how your resource dollars are being consumed?

It’s not just about numbers and charts, it’s about numbers and charts that mean something to your business and help you make sound decisions about how you allocate your resource dollars. A Pacific Reach resource capacity plan matches hard metrics about resource consumption and business events, blends in soft intelligence about your business plans, and aligns the results with your IT plans. It provides you with a single repository of current, historical and future growth profiles across all platforms and a cross-enterprise view of key application and business components. It not only establishes a foundation for expenditures, but also serves as a single source of valuable information about all of your systems and platforms.

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