The weather report: How accurate capacity forecasting supports your business

The weather report: How accurate capacity forecasting supports your business

According to a recent study from Enterprise Management Associates, the use of analytics to support IT capacity management has been a top priority for businesses for the past few years. An advanced solution that can provide visibility into resource usage is a critical asset, and EMA researchers found that 42 percent of enterprises have either already deployed or plan to put such technology in place within the next two years.

However, it’s not just about viewing current capacity levels – businesses also need to be able to glean visibility into the future, and forecast their needs through predictive analytics.

What capacity planning and weather forecasting have in common

Before many people leave the house to start their day, they’ll take a look at the weather forecast. After all, learning that a storm is affecting the area isn’t helpful once the rain has started to fall. Viewing the forecast, however, enables you to grab an umbrella before you head out for the day, and be prepared for the impending weather.

Accurate capacity planning can have a similar effect on your enterprise IT infrastructure. While capacity management is an imperative pursuit, putting a proactive spin on this initiative with the help of predictive analytics can help ensure that every platform has the support it needs to enable beneficial end-user performance – both now and into the future.

In this way, leveraging predictive analytics as part of your capacity management allows your IT stakeholders to truly forecast your future needs, and make the proper adjustments to support growing resource use and the addition of new applications or other infrastructure components. A reactive approach, on the other hand, is akin to getting caught in the rain without an umbrella, and being unprepared to handle increasing capacity requirements that will ultimately have negative effects on end-user access and performance.

Preventing blind spots: Accurate capacity forecasting 

Currently, however, many enterprises struggle to achieve this proactive stance with their IT capacity. Instead, they’re stuck in a reactive cycle, without the visibility and insight to plan for capacity needs until their infrastructure is reaching its limits.

These blind spots can create numerous negative impacts, not the least of which being a lack of support resulting in slow, laggy performance. In other scenarios, organizations without the ability to accurately forecast capacity needs may simply overestimate their needs, causing them to pay for more resources than they need. And as ITProPortal contributor Leon Levy pointed out, the latter approach may also result in businesses simply adding capacity without any real plan in order to avoid performance hangups.

“In smaller organizations, IT systems are usually well understood and it is relatively easy to ‘buy’ your way out of trouble by purchasing additional hardware at a low cost,” Levy wrote.

Going back to our rainstorm example, though, this is similar to purchasing an umbrella once you’ve already left the house. Not only are you spending more than you need, but chances are good that you’ve already gotten soaked on your way to the store.

The solution: Predictive analytics for capacity forecasting

Overall, it’s best to simply plan ahead, watch the forecast and bring what you need to be prepared. Translating this to your IT infrastructure, stakeholders need a solution that will enable them to view their capacity “forecast,” or the specific predictive analytics that can help map future capacity needs according to the current infrastructure.

A best-in-class infrastructure performance management solution provides in-depth capacity analytics about cloud, SAN, database, storage and server environments. In this way, decision-makers can effectively view current capacity, and make the most accurate predictions about their future needs.

Don’t get caught in the rain with your business’s capacity needs. To find out more about the benefits of capacity planning and how an infrastructure performance management solution can support the most accurate forecast, connect with our Galileo Performance Explorer experts today.

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