back to article How do you quantify service performance

Service availability and performance are key to running businesses efficiently, given today’s massive reliance on computing systems. How do you determine how a system should perform, and how do you measure that performance? The measurement aspect is relatively simple. All modern operating systems come with basic in-built …

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"Best Practice" is to blame

"We are a professional organisation. We demand the best from our people. Therefore we require that our systems are the best, too. This will reflect well on the team and on the company."

What this means is that all a salesperson has to do is mention the word "enterprise" (which automatically doubles the price of every component, much as "gaming" does for home users), throw in a few "integrated" "standards compliant" (which standards? doesn't matter - there are so many it's bound to be compliant with one or another) and "expandable" and they can spend the rest of the day leafing through the Mercedes catalog in the expectation of the commission they'll get from a few random buzzwords.

The thing is, everyone's afraid that their systems won't measure up. Hence they are desperate to find out what their industry leaders consider "best practice" and slavishly emulate that. Not a thought is given to whether their requirements are the same as the multi-billion, international, FTSE-100 "leader" who did a vanity piece in a glossy mag that the IT directory just happened to see. No, that's "best practice" and since we're the "best", too we should have it. No matter that it's only meant for a 9-5, Mon-Fri email server for the part-time office manager in a far-flung outpost. It simply MUST by resilient, redundant, expandable, remotely managed, fully monitored and covered by a gold plated service contract - with 5 minute callout times.

Afterall, we want to be featured in a glossy sales publication, with the IT director swaggering about, boasting about redefining the boundaries of best practice. That is just before he/she/it jumps ship seconds ahead of the outsourcing deal which will cut the IT budget in half, as we can't afford all these gold-plated systems - forget best practice, good enough will be the new watchword.

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