IT Needs to do Better Job of Communicating Value of Monitoring

For some reason, people don't understand the value of monitoring when it's clearly all about the bottom line.

Chances are at least a percentage of the IT pros who read this blog are monitoring professionals. That means, you make sure your web site is running optimally and it’s important work. Problem is not enough people seem to get the value of what you do.

I read an interview with Sergey Chernyshev, who is Director of web systems and applications at truTV as part of the O’Reilly Radar Velocity Profile series, which helps publicize the upcoming Velocity Conference.

When asked what his biggest challenge as a Monitoring pro, Chernyshev answered this way:

The toughest is to make people believe that [Web Performance Optimization] is important and change perspectives on how to approach performance.

It doesn’t seem like it should be all that hard, but it remains esoteric for all but a few people inside the organization. People might not understand the down and dirty details of monitoring and performance, but surely they get what happens when things aren’t working.

You can be sure your bosses in the C-Suite get that performance relates to traffic, which relates to dollars. The more directly your web site deals with core business issues, the more important that becomes. If you’re doing business directly on the Internet as an eCommerce site, it’s inextricably linked to your bottom line.

Picture you’re shopping for books. You go to Site A and it’s slow. It takes a while for the screen to paint. When you try to conduct a search, it’s pokey. Most people lose patience quickly on the Internet. Chances are in fact, you might only have a few seconds to hold their attention. If you spend that decision time just getting up and running, you’ve probably lost.

Now compare that with a snappy site that opens immediately. You conduct a search and the results pop into place. You click an option. You click buy. It’s all smooth and easy and effortless. Which site do figure is going to get better bottom line results?

That’s why it’s so crazy that people don’t understand the implications of performance more clearly. As with so many things in IT, perhaps it’s just a communication issue. Drop all the geek-speak and just talk about dollars and cents.

Clearly if the site’s down you’re losing money, right? That’s simple enough to understand, but where it gets more complicated is break-downs by degrees, ones that affect just certain aspects of the population using one operating system or from one particular area. Sometimes it’s about something you’re doing. Sometimes it’s got nothing to do with you.

But regardless of the reason or who it’s affecting, your goal should be to be operating optimally (whatever that means to you) at all times. And when it’s not, it costs money. That seems easy to enough to comprehend doesn’t it? It should. It all comes to down to business.

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