Businesses that deploy a BizTalk platform find that it’s an extremely useful tool for integrated systems. Using internal staff to keep an eye on all of the activity, however, is a costly part of operating the environment. It takes the full-time dedication of both high-level and entry-level IT, and innumerable hours by these high-paid people, to truly optimize the environment.
Getting a better handle on expenses related to BizTalk comes down to a complete shift in culture for many organizations. Instead of reacting to problems when they arise — a costly way of doing business — your team needs to be out in front, identifying strengths and weaknesses in the BizTalk environment to reallocate resources in order to prevent problems.
Here are some ways to make that dramatic change to operations and reduce the cost of your BizTalk environment.
1) Deploy intelligent monitoring software: This is the key to turning your culture from reactive to proactive. When the BizTalk environment is handling millions of messages every day, it’s impossible to get ahead of what’s really going on using manual monitoring techniques. Intelligent monitoring software automatically monitors the BizTalk environment and frees your valuable IT people to focus on strategy.
2) Optimize BizTalk: A reporting function with the intelligent monitoring software allows you to see the strengths and weaknesses in your environment. These reports provide valuable insight, such as when you’re pushing your luck with your existing servers, giving you the information you need to better allocate your resources. Using the software’s reporting function to analyze data lets you take action before it is needed, expanding hardware before it breaks or anticipating software upgrades and migrations, for instance.
3) Reduce downtime: It’s always more expensive to marshal resources after a problem has occurred. An intelligent monitoring solution deployed on top of your BizTalk environment puts you out in front at the onset of problems threatening operations. Glitches are quickly identified with pinpointed information that shows your team the exact location and cause. This allows your team to resolve issues and prevent downtime or, when significant events occur, consult only relevant subject matter experts instead of calling together a team of people to pursue endless false leads. Intelligent monitoring software also lessens the time these top-paid individuals spend troubleshooting and fixing broken systems.
4) Retain the trust, inside and out: The costs of being reactive in business are both tangible and emotional. In addition to costs for tangible items like broken equipment, there is also emotional damage when your systems are unreliable. Internally, you lose the trust of other departments and you end up with overworked and frustrated IT staff. If you’re not paying for the overtime hours involved in problem resolution, your IT people are going to start looking elsewhere for salary alone.
But there’s an even bigger emotional issue when your organization experiences downtime: Customers begin to see your organization as unreliable. This is when downtime is most expensive — not only do you lose business when systems are down, but you also lose untold amounts of business in a world where it’s all too easy for buyers to click over to the next organization’s website. It’s tough enough to gain a loyal following in business today; it’s really expensive to rebuild that following if you blow it because your technology can’t keep pace.
IT chiefs and their entire teams have been removed for far less than, say, a security breach. With enough stumbles in your BizTalk environment, even the platform may be replaced. How many other platform or app providers are already waiting in the wings to “be your first-second choice”?
5) Hoard BizTalk experts like gold: IT people, and especially BizTalk experts, are well-paid for their knowledge and the work they achieve. So do you really want them doing the grunt-work of manually defining parameters, setting thresholds and wading through scores of alerts when there’s technology that performs those functions? Do you want them getting bored in their roles when they’re in such high demand?
The truth is that more money is not always the biggest motivator for IT. Often, what IT employees truly want is to be kept engaged. Manufacturers in all industries have signs throughout their plants touting the number of workdays without an accident. Why not motivate your team to see how many days your organization can go without a catastrophic event?
BizTalk is an exceptionally good tool for businesses with integrated systems. Intelligent monitoring software helps you make it a cost-effective solution.