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IT-Business Alignment: It Must Include Performance

According to numerous sources including a recent article in CIO Insight, a chief concern for CIOs is the alignment of the IT and business sectors of a company. It can and certainly does happen that IT, having to put out fires and implement the latest in technologies while keeping the entire system up and performing smoothly, gets caught up in their own priorities and crises. Meanwhile, the business side might be suffering from out outdated CRM solution or the lack of proper policy on database use. Such a disparity affects both sides; by the time IT catches up with such problems, unusual solutions will have entered in such as data for thousands of clients being entered in incorrect database fields. IT will have to spend thousands of hours straightening it out, while the company will be losing time searching in vain for misplaced customer information.

Hence, it greatly benefits CIOs to stay current with business plans, programs, and day-to-day operations–if for no other reason than to prevent cumbersome problems from unexpectedly rising up and draining already-overtaxed IT resources. But such coordination can obviously be far more beneficial; with IT and business working in tandem toward common goals, those goals are reached with greater ease meaning an expanding profit margin to everyone’s benefit.

System performance is obviously part of such alignment. System speed or the lack thereof affects every aspect of an enterprise, but most importantly affects direct relations with–and delivery to–clients. Unfortunately, many IT departments only address performance issues when they become noticeable and users are complaining. But by that time, that department or perhaps even the entire enterprise has been suffering less-noticeable performance decreases for some time and production has been impacted over the longer term.

One crucial aspect of maintaining system performance is the addressing of file fragmentation. The splitting of files into multiple pieces (fragments) has for years been the operating system solution for full utilization of disk space. This “solution” has required the contribution of an entire industry–defragmentation software–to counter fragmentation’s negative affect on performance. In the last few years, this has meant defragmentation solutions that can be scheduled to run when the least number of users are accessing a system and when they can provide the most benefit.

But in aligning IT and business activities, it is obviously best to provide consistent performance both from IT personnel and the system itself. With scheduled defragmentation, overworked IT personnel must analyze the site to isolate the busiest volumes, then schedule defragmentation on them; in today’s frantic datacenter environments, this task can only be a burden. But system performance is also impacted; testing has shown that scheduled defragmentation leaves performance-impacting fragmentation behind in between runs, and in some cases isn’t defragmenting at all.

In moving toward the ideal alignment IT and business operations, consistent system performance and reliability can only be provided through a fully automatic defragmentation solution, one which requires no scheduling and one which will run whenever idle system resources are available. Fortunately, such solutions are now appearing on the market–making for one more point of alignment for enterprises everywhere.

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