All companies, large and small, must ensure that their business and IT strategies are in alignment in order to meet critical business goals and objectives.To do this, IT service providers need to be able to show respective business lines that the IT department is functioning properly, and demonstrate that the overall investment in the infrastructure that supports business applications, like collaboration and messaging, is justifiable, and in fact, giving back to the business as a whole. A solid IT governance framework that considers all stakeholders' interests - from the business line, to the IT department and, most importantly, the end user experience - needs to be established to ensure that businesses are not only sustainable, but successful.
Microsoft applications are a mainstay for a majority of businesses today, and will be for the foreseeable future. From the OS to applications, including: Exchange, for messaging; SharePoint, for collaboration; and, Lync, for communications, IT departments and service providers alike need to be able to provide the business with key application performance metrics and statistics, quickly, and at any given time, for these productivity applications.
When it comes to IT governance, service providers need to go through various steps to meet critical business needs for each customer based on end user experience, including:
- Implement a new productivity application for a customer by designing and implementing the infrastructure based on each customer's individual eeds.
- Demonstrate to the customer that the existing server farm that supports applications (like Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint or Lync) cannot support the workloads anymore. In this case, workloads may need to be migrated from an existing infrastructure to a new or extended one.
- Provide a detailed status report on the performance of productivity applications on an existing infrastructure to show that it does not cover the business needs from an end user perspective.
- Provide a report on how the new design of the underlying infrastructure can handle application workloads efficiently, and based on the customer's unique business needs.
Service providers must provide key metrics to customers from a variety of perspectives, including:
Availability of the platform
- For the Frontend
- For the application server
- For the backend
- For the global service
- Of the portal
- Of the application URL
- Of critical services that are dependent on the application
Use of the platform
- Number of messages and documents
- Numbers of items
- Evolutions of previous metrics
- Storage usage by the application platform
Overall, in order for service providers to optimize IT costs, avoid availability or performance problems, and ensure proper resource management, monitoring and analyzing how physical servers, virtual machines, the OS and applications perform together (whether on premises, in the cloud or in a hybrid model) is mandatory. Organizations need intuitive and automated tools, like GSX Monitor & Analyzer, to monitor application performance on each server of your infrastructure. With GSX Monitor & Analyzer, service provider partners can also proactively check and report on application performance at the server, cluster and organization level to ensure that service disruptions don't affect end user productivity. Ultimately, the goal is to increase ROI. To get there, building a strong IT governance framework with detailed performance monitoring, analysis and reporting tools is the first step.