Justifying the Cost of an IBM i System Monitoring Package

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There are many benefits to buying an IBM i system monitoring and notification package. It detects current issues on your partitions, automatically notifies key responders when an issue occurs, and escalates notifications when necessary. A system monitoring package can also be programmed to automatically take action to solve issues.

Most IT managers understand and appreciate the value of buying a good system monitoring package. But corporate management may take more convincing before approving the purchase. Unlike other third-party IBM i packages such as paperless processing, my system monitoring packages reduce costs and improve the efficiency of the IT department when responding to programming and system issues.

If you’re thinking about buying system monitoring software, here are some ROI considerations that can be used to justify the purchase.

ROI from Reducing Monitoring Costs of IT Staff

The biggest payback is the elimination of dedicated daytime and overnight monitoring resources. Many shops still provide round-the-clock staff or hire services to manually monitor and react to system issues, such as program errors, long running jobs, and hardware errors. During the day, manual system monitoring may be combined with other functions, such as the Help Desk, system and network administration, your Programming staff, or even users who watch the system alongside their other duties. During off-hours, someone else must keep an eye on the system, be it either paid staff or an outside organization that watches the system when you can’t.

A system monitoring package reverses the monitoring cycle.

Rather than having dedicated resources watching the system looking for problems, system monitoring software observes what’s currently happening on your IBM i partition and it contacts designated responders whenever a problem occurs. It reduces the need for 24×7 dedicated monitoring staff. Which means you can move from using assigned monitoring staff to using on-call responders who only spring into action when there’s an issue. And your system monitoring time will plummet.

For system monitoring ROI, it’s important to document how much it costs your organization to manually monitor your IBM i partitions. Your monitoring cost can be used to offset the software purchase price for the first year. After the first year, yearly software maintenance costs can be offset against the continual reduction of staff costs by eliminating manual monitoring.

The other benefit of documenting current monitoring costs is that it creates options for staff reduction or redeployment after software deployment. Let’s say you’re currently dedicating .75 staffing resources to 24×7 monitoring. With a system monitoring package, you estimate that you can reduce that staff allocation to .25 resources, saving .5 people resources. Knowing this, you have several options, including:

  1. You can eliminate the .5 position, saving the budget money spent on that function
  2. You can retrain that position to perform another function – Dedicated monitoring resources can take over other administrative functions, such as applications support, help desk, or computing equipment maintenance, providing more support while retaining talented staffers
  3. You can reallocate that budget towards another function – Maybe you need another programming resource for a hot project. The budget for that .5 person could be reallocated to your programming department, reducing the additional budget needed for your new resource. Or you may be able to shift that budget towards services or equipment you need to purchase.

There are several ways you can calculate ROI savings for system monitoring, just by knowing what you’re currently paying for that function.

ROI from Fair Software Pricing

Another key to realizing ROI savings is to search out and buy a system monitoring package from a vendor who uses a fair pricing strategy that doesn’t break your operating budget and that provides a fair yearly cost of ownership. My personal philosophy for fair pricing has always included straight-forward and affordable flat pricing; no yearly maintenance fee increases; no hidden fees during a hardware upgrade; and not having to pay for capabilities you don’t need.

Remember, there’s more to buying software than just capital acquisition cost. What you’ll pay for the yearly cost of ownership is just as important as what you pay up-front. Look for a system monitoring vendor who can help your ROI by providing the solution you need at a fair price.

ROI is Everywhere

The benefits of using IBM i system monitoring software start immediately and compounding ROI is realized within the first three to six months after implementation. Contact us at DRV Tech if you need help evaluating or getting started with your system monitoring solution. And don’t forget to check the helpful articles related to this post below.

Interested in learning more about DRV Tech’s system monitoring software? Click below to learn more about how MessageFlex works.

Ready to see MessageFlex in action? Click below to get started with a free demo or 15-day trial!

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