Fil Zanasi uses the extended metaphor of a restaurant experience to highlight how a poor IT performance system can mar the ability of a CIO to do their job and present the business they support with the best possible outcome. Citing what one expects with a meal while eating out (good service, quick delivery of food, and accuracy between what was ordered and brought to the table) Zanasi points to Gartner’s recent observation that IT operations and IT development often have strained relationships.
This is true, Zanasi postulates, between servers and kitchen staff as well, and often for much the same reasons: waiters, like IT operations, are concerned with how the customer is treated and that they get what they ordered. Kitchen staff (or IT development) is much more concerned with how things are going behind the scenes. Are the right items being produced? Are bottlenecks being removed and a constant flow of product moving forward?
While Zanasi doesn’t exactly offer a solution for a restaurant, he does provide the solution to IT, and that comes in the way of a performance system:
The difference between the restaurant and the IT department however, is that with the latter, these potential conflict areas can be solved quite simply with the use of an IT Performance System. This piece of technology can automate the quality, security and performance testing of pre-production software applications, driving much more testing in far less time than a manual process. The end result being a higher quality application with better security which can be delivered to market with a quicker turn around time. Unfortunately technology is not yet advanced enough to offer this kind of result to the restaurant!
The IT Performance System can also help monitor real time customer experiences, notifying the correct resources if there appears to be a problem or system that has stranded customers. While this could be very useful for a waiter to know when a plate of food is cold in the middle, it’s even more effective for an IT group that needs to rapidly communicate between customers, operations, and development. The level of collaboration that may occur with a IT Performance system can’t be ignored, and it’s through that collaboration that success and repeatable achievements are reached.