5 critical considerations for capacity planning in the digital era

5 critical considerations for capacity planning in the digital era

Some tips to help with this critical function.

Capacity planning is one of the most critical functions for a CIO. Data centre, network, and software capacities are determined by the way a company grows and the spikes or dips in its customer demand. The reason why capacity planning can go awry sometimes is that it requires the CIO to have a very good idea of the capacity the company needs based on various growth projections. The capacity plan should be able to handle unforeseen scenarios and the infrastructure should be able to scale up or down depending on the requirements. Here are a few tips that will help CIOs plan better for capacity.

Get the big picture
Assumptions, in terms of the way your enterprise will grow, will not help. Spend time with top management; get insights into how they view the business. Mere growth estimates are not adequate to help you come up with a good capacity plan. You will need an overall view of how your enterprise will expand its business over the coming year. You should also have an idea of how the overall economy will impact your business sector and how that will change capacity requirements.

Evaluate IT assets
It’s extremely important to have a very good idea of how the existing hardware, networking and applications infrastructure support the company’s current needs. That will aid in better purchase decisions. If your IT resources are not handling today’s needs well enough you can look at how to improve performance.

Project future needs in line with business objectives
These days, when companies are transforming digitally, predicting future needs can often be tricky. This is because an infrastructure that supports digital initiatives requires out of the box approaches as the performance levels required are far higher than what would have been needed in a pre-digital scenario.

Cloud and digital can complicate capacity planning
As enterprises transform digitally, the number of apps they use will explode and getting visibility into the kind of resources needed, in terms of servers and connectivity, becomes blurry. Here, depending on how you plan, you might end up building overcapacity, where resources are not adequately utilised, or undercapacity, which might choke resources when there is a sudden surge in traffic. It’s very important that you evaluate all the issues that come with cloud adoption and new apps that come with deploying digital technologies.

Prepare a realistic roadmap for expansion
Create a realistic roadmap that takes into account the company’s various growth scenarios, including minimum and maximum growth. Involve all stakeholders so that you get a granular view of infrastructure requirements.