• 08/06/2010
    6:52 PM
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Building APM Requirements And A Business Case

Last week we looked at laying the foundation for an APM solution, but now it's time to get to work. We introduced Jim - a veteran IT manager who lacks any APM solution. As we discussed, he needs to establish key performance indicators around a critical application, including performance metrics and SLAs. His billing system also has a service catalog and detailed security and reporting modules built into the system. As a Web-based application, the backend database is distributed and the applicati

Beyond technical requirements, we had a fourth section in the requirements document that dealt with training, online documentation, and support levels that will be required from the vendor Jim selects. We also took some time here to speak with Jim about the process needed to ensure the performance monitoring adapted to the changes that will occur with the application. Planned downtime was an example of this, as the tool needed to adapt to the company's planned weekly maintenance window, and exclude performance data from that timeframe.

With the requirements complete, Jim now had to justify how much he could spend on the APM tool. His budget was tight and while this was a mandate from the CIO, he still needed to present a business case to the CFO. Jim was really concerned that his budget would not match his requirements. Building the business case for APM around revenue generating tools like an online ordering application is a bit easier than a billing application, because with online ordering it may be a bit easier to calculate revenue impact.

This is why Jim never had an APM tool in the past.  He knew there was value in APM, but it was hard to quantify. Jim did his best creating the business case and with the CIO, went to present to the CFO. If approved, Jim can then move to the next step of evaluating vendors. We'll tell you how it goes next week.

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