4 Great Questions to Ask to Make Sure Your Business Service Monitoring is Fit For Purpose

monitoringThousands of air passengers had to take off from Paris’s biggest airport without their bags on Friday because a computer error had caused security scanners to break down.

The authorities promised to send luggage on but were unable to say when this would happen.

The problem, which started at 5.00am, took hours to sort – it was not until 1.00pm that the breakdown was finally repaired and service restored, albeit at a slower pace than usual.

About 10% of the daily luggage that the airport handles was left on the ground, that’s between 8,000-10,000 bags grounded as their owners flew to far-flung destinations in hundreds of planes which took off before baggage-handlers could load their suitcases on to them.

Incidents like this always serve as a “call to action” for me.

Let’s be clear – the planes took off, with passengers on them and no-one’s safety was compromised. In other words, the main function of the airport and the airlines flying from it performed successfully. Yet 10% of passengers (or customers) asked to rate their experience, probably would not be satisfied.

Actually I think that the airport and its IT responded fairly well but you can always do better and it’s important that lessons are learned, not only for an organisation that suffers an IT fail, but for everyone whose service delivery is dependent on efficient IT performance.

High profile computer errors serve as a reminder to make sure that your systems are performing to the peak of your customers’ expectations and not just your main service delivery systems – check that your supporting infrastructure is working too. Metaphorically speaking you should check your IT estate is in a position to deliver your customers and their bags to their destination.

Virtually every service failure presents early symptoms that, if the right people know about them, can be prevented.

Furthermore, with business service monitoring in place you can spot these early symptoms instantly and automated remediation efforts can begin before a human hand even reaches a keyboard.

Complex trend and event analysis can quickly identify abnormal conditions and their potential for impacting user experiences, enabling prioritization based on business impact. Predictive analytics enable forecasts of future requirements, enabling organizations to avoid issues caused by insufficient capacity.

Often, customers complain less about a problem and more about lack of communication concerning what your organisation is doing about it. Charles De Gaulle efficiently handles about 80,000 bags a day but on this occasion they could not do that and they did not know when passengers would be reunited with their bags – efficient business service monitoring gives you better information to communicate to your customers and should an equivalent incident arise in your service delivery you’ll be able to relay to your customers when you expect resumption of “normal service”.

Put it on your “to-do” list this week. Ask yourself…

  1. How efficient is your business service monitoring?
  2. Are the right people alerted about when an IT problem occurs?
  3. Does your system start to automatically repair errors?
  4. Does your system provide information that you can pass on to your customer?

Organizations are facing new challenges that legacy monitoring tools are ill-equipped to handle, checking that your business service monitoring arrangements are fit for purpose will provide your business with a competitive advantage.

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