Capacity planning in Information and Communication Technology is the process of calculating IT infrastructure, software and communication systems production. It is Must need to meet by keeping multiple factors to get the work completed efficiently without any hiccups.
Effective handling of Capacity Planning helps achieve the Stability and Successful Service delivery of their systems.
It is recommended to have Capacity Analysis periodically to keep up to date System performance. However, there are number of flaws seen in it from time to time. That causes poor performance of systems and poor customer experience.
1) Platform Understanding
Before calculating Capacity for any Software or system you must know the resources in use. Those resources include Inputs, incoming, outgoing and type of requests with frequencies. Once who, what and how gets answered, then first step gets completed.
The other factor to consider is your service level factor. Service levels are calculated based on the service you’re providing in an agreeable time period or limits.
It has been observed many times that software or systems are deployed without calculating its load. As a result, it causes poor performances for end-users and customers, which is perfect recipe of poor customer experience.
In a contact center environment, if you have to calculate the load on ACD system then you take in account the Calls or contacts it gets on day to day basis, with duration in multiple interval base as a base report. On top of it you must forecast for next three to six months. Forecast Report may includes how much Call load and Seats are expected in particular time period.
Similarly on Software level, you analyze how much requests it gets from end-users. This includes clients on Application layer, engine layer and database layer (if any). It helps knowing what is optimum level to achieve. After initial understanding, you forecast the number of requests and expected output for forecast time period.
2) Accurate forecast
Quite often, accurately forecasting on platform gets missed which is another factor. This Forecast Report is built on many factors:
- Based on current utilization of Software or Platform.
- Current trends or new trend in market.
- Factor to consider is the peak volume.
The Report on Capacity Forecasts becomes helpful through automated platforms. These reports are helpful to regularly review that Capacity is up to the mark.
There are often change requests on the systems, and teams planning on them, sometimes do not consider sizing effort from resource on System and workforce point of view.
Adding new calculation within the system or adding new promotion may or may not impact the Service delivery or service levels, which should be intelligently calculated.
3) Monitoring Platform
One of many mistakes, organizations make is not having an effective monitoring system. This must be in place to calculate load and peak values with some analysis. That insight provides IT to proactively prepare systems or software accordingly.
For instance, they may have monitoring system but it isn’t calculating everything from cradle to grave. One should make sure that monitoring system should be able to calculate and take into consideration all values. Having very basic monitoring solution cannot provide enough insight timely to support. It cannot save time for customers in the outage hours.
Better monitoring systems can provide Proactive handling of problems and can generate support tickets automatically. The automation from proactive APIs is helpful in automating your ticketing system.
Without having Monitoring system, you’re basically driving a car without knowing how much fuel or what speed you have.
4) Timely Reviews on Capacity
The last major factor is to Review the trends regularly. For instance, you should be able to review the trends from past months or year. This helps in considering forecasts in that Capacity Review. However, it may be monthly or quarterly, but has to happen. This is to ensure that systems are up to date and able to sustain for any new load.
One of the examples is the virus you get to know, and for that you have to apply patches in timely manner to ensure lesser damage.
The same way you have to make sure your system is running up to the mark and is ready for production for next three to six months.
If it’s a web application, you should be able to review:
+ How much load it had in last six months?
+ What was the response times on those?
+ How much downtime was on them?
+ Whether was it within service level or not?
+ Adding new physical site in next three months will add more human-resource, and will it impact?
5) Communication between stakeholders
Above all, the communication within the organization related to promotions, must be well shared, with System owners.
That way they can forecast the capacity needed, licenses needed or more specifications needed to cover the support and growth.
As IT is the driving factor in growth, they are second important team to know about the promotions to ensure that they are ready to support.
Many in sales and customer service do not consider seeking input from IT or engineering teams. Sometimes, they speak to them after they have made the plan. In some cases, after they plan launch which really is a worst way to start promotion or expect a better Service level.
All of the above five major steps if done right, can no longer cause System outages. Capacity planning help improve your customer experience, growth and employee experience.
Jawad Abid is multi-talented Business, Technology and Customer Service Professional, with two decades of Experience. He worked with Large Telecoms, Banks & Outsource Service Providers, Startups and Fortune 500 companies in multiple Roles. He’s passionate about Gaining Knowledge on Technologies, How Technologies enable Businesses & Improve Lives, and Sharing Knowledge in the attempt of giving back to Community.
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