Common challenges of using analytics for performance management

Raj Patel, Sr. Director, Corporate and Field Marketing

So, you want performance analytics? As you should. Analytics-based decision-making has helped IT administrators promote efficiency and cost optimization in their enterprises. It’s also shown companies errors in their workflows and generally improved their end users’ experiences. Getting more data about end-to-end performance, and making adjustments based on what that information tells you simply makes your IT infrastructure better. When it’s time to make the move to a platform-based analytics approach for end-to-end IT infrastructure monitoring and management, though, there will inevitably be some hurdles, but overcoming them is more than worth the challenge.

Veering from vendor relationships

Vendor-agnostic performance analytics show companies how to solve complex problems without favor or bias toward any product or service. We all have well-established relationships with different vendors, and we rely on their products and services to – let’s face it – run our businesses. When you decide to use analytics though, accuracy and neutrality are very important factors. Vendor-specific tools are not designed to deliver an objective understanding of overall performance in heterogeneous ecosystems. IT administrators and teams focused on performance need to be willing to make decisions for the long-term health of their ecosystems without blinders on due to vendor preferences.

Unlocking all of your data

To gain holistic visibility and insight into your infrastructure, you need to correlate and analyze data from every piece of your system related to every workload that is being delivered. The data that runs between interconnected systems is an untapped goldmine of knowledge that must be properly correlated and analyzed to continually optimize perpetually changing and complex infrastructures. Relying on a cobbled-together, device-specific understanding of end-to-end performance based on incomplete data and averages of averages does not, and will not, give you the complete picture that you need.

Getting internal buy-in

Analytics-driven initiatives often result in significant transformations for IT infrastructures. You will likely identify better solutions and configurations, and rule-out “tried-and-true” standards altogether. It’s only natural for decision-makers to be concerned about managing change when analytics reveal a better solution to a problem that will have a domino effect on budgets and technologies. However, your focus needs to remain on serving end users above all. No executive can ignore direct, quantifiable evidence. Basing decisions on analytics will support your positions with real, meaningful insights about performance management.

Using analytics to improve IT infrastructure performance isn’t designed to eliminate the value of experience or intuition. However, it will reveal some answers that help IT teams rethink their approaches to infrastructure performance optimization. If the goal is to create an ecosystem that gives end users the best experience, none of these challenges are big enough to threaten the significant value companies will find with true performance analytics.

Want to bring performance analytics to your infrastructure? Request a Virtual Instruments demo today.