Just like many others in this world, I go to sporting events, watch them on television and look up details on the web. For the web based one, you generally start out with the final results of a game, or if it is still going on, you get the current score. You then can click in for more details such as in football, points per quarter, quarterback statistics, penalties, etc. Typically there are endless details such as rushing yards per player, passing yards per player and a slew of other details.
I’m still suprised today when I walk into corporate environments and they have no idea what the score of the game is as it relates to monitoring and managing the business. They are looking at individual consoles with tons of details, but missing facts, they are looking at reports of health, but with missing facts. This type of infrastructure management is from the 90’s, some would say 80’s.
Think about a shift change over. You have people that have been locked inside of the Data Center for their shift. The next shift is walking in, they want to get up to speed on the score of the game… are we winning (everything up and running, looking great), losing (large network outages) or is it a close game (a few applications having performance impact)? Sure they have some electronic board in some cases that someone writes in the current status, oh please, post-it note infrastructure management, your kidding.
As a manager or an IT person, when it’s my time to jump into the game, I want a scoreboard that shows me the current status and health of the most important corporate applications. I want to be able to drill in and see any active issues, look at the health over the past 24 hours, I might even be interested if the payroll system is up and running since it’s payday!!!
As an executive, I only want to know about a few of the corporate applications, but I’d like details on the health of the business, some finiancial related details such as the amount of web transactions yesterday and I’d like it compared against previous days and targets. If there are any current outages, I just want to see that it is being worked on, I’m busy, I don’t want to have to ask people, read emails that have been replied to 100’s of times, I need to get my coffee, catch up on the news and check my stock portfolio (JUST KIDDING!!).
As an end user of the corporate applications, I would like to check the scoreboard from time to time. Sometimes it is easier to check the scoreboard to check on a specific application that is running slow rather than calling the Help Desk.
A scoreboard is unique per environment, but the overall concept is the same. It is a matter of picking the high level details that the different roles within the environment feel are the DNA (KPI) markers of health that are important to them.
Are you ready to join the game, do you know the score?