The process of assuring the performance of systems can be expensive. The costs involved can include software development, implementation and maintenance of monitoring systems and hardware investment. It can be easy to forget, however, that a system that performs well has higher value to the business than one that performs badly. Thus, if there is no critical performance problem that needs resolution it can be seen as an ineffective use of resources.
As a counter-point to this, it is worthwhile considering the cost that a slow system can incur in a business with a simple “Full time equivalent” employee analysis: Let us assume that there is a business system used by 2,000 employees a day. These employees use a system to do a task an average of 5 times a day, and due to a slow system this takes an average of 5 minutes a time. This means that each employee is spending around 5% of an 8 hour day doing this, or the equivalent of around 100 FTE. If the same process could be improved to taking an average of 4 minutes this would drop by about 16 FTE.
Given the likely cost per employee such a saving should introduce measurable business value. The probability of being able to achieve performance improvements of this sort is high for many systems. Thus, it is likely that investment in performance assurance will have a good return on investment. Alternatively a simple analysis such as this can usefully be used in a “cost of risk” assessment to justify the performance assurance work that is needed.