The previous four posts in this blog series have touched on the demands of the modern workload generated by the acceptance of mobile devices into many aspects of our lives. We looked at the changes this has brought to organizations and how they might respond to the new order. But while we may have technical solutions available to satiate the demand, what changes are necessary in the capacity planning process?
Mobile devices have created the consumer expectations of immediacy in terms of information delivery, ease of use, media quality, and personalization. The requests for information need Systems of Engagement (SOE) and Systems of Record (SOR). The data necessary to fulfill the request may not reside in one particular organization but across several and must be drawn together quickly to present the requested information in an accurate, secure and timely manner. The consumer is not constrained by device or contact availability (as in ATM locations or call centers) and mobile technologies have empowered consumers to be able to issue multiple requests on a personal mobile device whenever they wish.
One outcome of this empowerment is the change in traditional IT workload patterns. External circumstances may trigger a sudden increase in transaction volumes, collaborations may increase the transaction count or perhaps cause issues if there is a failure in the intertwined processes. Marketing departments may push for more dynamic campaigns in addition to their published plan. The result can lead to erratic workload patterns causing overloads and temporary demands for inadequate IT resources.
The scope of coverage for capacity planners must expand to accommodate the new challenges. The answer lies not just in technology capability but also in the management of the technology which in turn requires an understanding of mapping the business applications of the organization onto business goals, organizational structure, and the IT infrastructure and capability of both the organization and its partners.
The IBM z13 is ideally positioned to meet the challenges. To help produce an effective plan the following areas might be considered:
- The value of virtualization
- The impact of specialty engines, SMT and SIMD
- Real time analytics.
- The speed of I/O
- Large memory benefits
- Cloud capability
- SOE and SOR integration
- Temporary upgrades
- Smart scaling
The above capabilities will help to form, protect, and manage your capacity plan. However, it is suggested that input to the plan and new organization-wide commitment to capacity plan ought to include the following:
- A capacity planning team structure to include IT, the business, and collaborative partners
- Close liaison with marketing to establish expectations
- Review of internal and external SLAs
- Expansion of analytics for business and infrastructure
- Automatic response to busy periods resource allocation
- Understanding what resources lie within and outside of the organization
- Processes to encourage accountability and understanding in the extended capacity planning team
See IBM Redbooks for more information on the IBM z13 capabilities.