The case for Business Transaction Management in troubled times

Despite the bad times, businesses still require their IT to help them stay ahead of the competition by offering customers attractive and innovative products with the service levels they have come to expect says OpTier's Motti Tal.
Written by Motti Tal, Contributor
Commentary--The current turmoil in the economy and the projected near and medium term downturn have immediate effects on the way we manage enterprise IT. Businesses across the globe are taking action to reduce cost and improve efficiencies. IT is taking a big hit, and the challenge of effectively managing IT with reduced headcount and budgets is growing. Uncertainty is limiting business and IT from knowing they can truly prepare for future demand, the crisis in the capital markets industry is an important example at how the current volatility was very difficult to handle business wise and a formidable challenge for IT.

Furthermore, increased M&A activity is driving intensified consolidation and integration requirements. And, as scrutiny increases around every dollar spent on IT cost reduction initiatives increase the importance of ongoing consolidation and shared services initiatives. At the same time, businesses still require their IT to help them stay ahead of the competition by offering customers attractive and innovative products with the service levels they have come to expect.

Business Transaction Management (BTM) technology addresses these critical needs.

BTM technology is the most effective technology available for assuring service levels are met, outages are avoided and IT resources are utilized in accordance with business priorities. It is being successfully used by leading organizations, and is especially helpful for those currently facing economic challenges.

By using BTM technology, organizations are boosting business activity using existing resources, improving the efficiency of IT management and driving down the cost of ownership for application and system management tools.

Boost business activity using existing resources
Using BTM complete and continuous business transaction visibility is gained across all tiers in the infrastructure, in real time. This visibility allows the direct alignment of system resources with the most important business activities.

For example, some business transactions can really be infrequently used but hogging computing resources. Using a BTM solution these transactions can be easily identified and optimized to free up valuable resources for more important business generating activities.

Transactions that are rarely used and do not contribute to business success can be decommissioned altogether, further freeing up resources. Any resource heavy transactions are re-tuned to assure optimal usage, increasing the ROI of the existing infrastructure and deferring hardware expenses.

Avoid outages and improve IT management efficiency
Outages are expensive and are damaging to ones business. Transactions are the most effective early warning sensors indicating impending outages before they occur, allowing time and providing insight to address them.

Take a large UK-based bank for example. In detecting a developing service disruption and a potential outage it had discovered that an alert based on BTM technology showed up before any of its more traditional system and application monitors by as much as four hours. These extra four hours gave staff enough time to attend to the application, assure business transactions continued to flow smoothly through the system and avoid an outage. This directly contributed to business results and customer satisfaction. Many peer organizations have reported similar experiences.

BTM is also the most effective method of isolating the cause of performance problems. It does so without requiring multiple experts to co-operate or join an “all hands call”. BTM assures only necessary people are called to attend to performance issues. It provides a full transaction execution record coupled with a cross tier performance breakdown view freeing up resources and allowing an IT department to operate effectively, even when headcounts are down.

Using BTM technology also frees up costly man hours spent building reports for the business and IT management. Instead of having to excavate data from multiple sources and manually create reports information depicting service levels, resources and business usage trends is readily available from a single solution at the press of a button.

Reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) of applications, servers and management tools
Operational expenditure and capital expenditures combined make up an IT department’s TCO. We have shown above how BTM will help you save on capital expenditures in deferred hardware purchases and operational expenditures in better utilization of expert times and reduced outages. However, TCO also consist of the cost of licenses for supporting software tools. The use of these tools can be scaled down with the confidence in knowing that transactions are being monitored with the necessary visibility. Significant savings for organizations adopting BTM are being driven by the decommissioning of monitoring agents and the appropriate use of technical deep dive tools.

Expedite the adoption of shared services
Shared IT services present a significant value proposition for businesses cutting down on costs. This is why so many businesses are building them and making efforts to move as many infrastructure, application and service functions as possible onto them.

BTM is unique in its ability to provide end-to-end visibility that extends from application front ends across the shared environment and further down the execution chain to external providers. It gives application owners the same level of control and confidence in their application on the shared environment that they would have on a dedicated system. This is an important contributing factor to an organizations rate of shared services adoption.

BTM helps companies assure they can make it past these hard times and come out on the other side with better and stronger capabilities in IT and business.

Motti Tal is a founder of OpTier and serves as its executive vice president of marketing, product and business development.

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