Cloud Computing killed the Capacity star

The last couple of months I have been thinking about a subject for a presentation and it is about the fact that Capacity Management is going to be the obsolete process for many IT organizations… in the future.

When businesses really embrace new concepts like Cloud Computing and Software as a Service do they still have a need for Capacity Management? These are some of the thoughts I have so far:

  •  Businesses need to change faster and more often –  traditional ways of doing demand management as input into a capacity plan that is to be used for Capital expenditure budgeting (wow – long sentence!!) is no longer sufficient. The business needs the benefits of the systems and they need it NOW…
    Yes, I agree that there is still the need for a strategic approach to the delivery of IT Services but with the opportunity to rent capacity on a ‘pay as you go’ basis makes all this a lot easier.
  • In times of economic instability you need low fixed cost – well, currently we purchase servers and expensive infrastructure like we buy clothes for our kids: they are too big but “they’ll grow into it”. So we end up with expensive boxes that are only used for approx. 15 – 20% of their capacity. Not quite a low fixed cost option. How about we use virtualization opportunities for the infrastructure we currently own and utilize services in the cloud on a ‘pay as you go’ basis to minimize the fixed capital expenditure. This way we can manipulate the variable components of our budgets as needed and respond quicker to changes in the market.
  • IT Service as a utility – Many of our business clients talk about IT Service in the same way as they would about electricity and light. Why would you create a capacity plan for electricity? You simply flick a switch and it is there… that is exactly what they expect from IT. “I simply turn on the PC and all the applications I need are there and they work”. It’s quite simple really… no capacity management needed, and it is going to be quite difficult (I think) to be able to justify the expenditure on capacity management when this is the perception as the customer side…
  • Business Capacity Management is more important then ever – From a strategic point of view we need to stay in touch with the business, their pain points and business opportunities. This way we can help and support the business now and in the future. Based on our discussions with the business we can add ideas for new or changed services to our service pipeline to keep in mind for future service updates. Changes in business focus, vision and strategy need to be aligned with what we are doing in our IT department.
I know – my thoughts are not completely finished yet, so I am not ready to put it in a presentation to attack the conference / speaking circuit but I am sure I am on to something!!!!
Just like that song in the 1980’s “Video killed the radio Star” we will be thinking about Capacity Management quite differently a few years from now… there may still be a need for it but in a completely different way, and for different audiences..
After all: we still listen to the radio and not everybody watches MTV-music videos!

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