FEATURE ARTICLE

Subject: June2001 ECMgt.com: Better, Faster and Maybe Cheaper
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June 1, 2001 *4,200 subscribers* Volume 3, Issue 6
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Better, Faster and Maybe Cheaper
By Phil Weaver, President of Platform Computing

Whether you're in e-commerce or a traditional enterprise company with Internet, intranet or extranet functions, you can't escape the words better, faster, cheaper. They're ingrained into our vocabulary and our minds. They're a part of our everyday goals and objectives. They're the words that push us and help us achieve a competitive advantage over other companies in our space.

The truth is that there should be a new mantra in the world of e-commerce. We should be chanting reliable, available and intelligent. No longer is it enough to keep your website up and running. You need to ensure that you're able to scale quickly and efficiently to meet customer demand. Beyond that, you need to make sure all of the backend systems that support your e-commerce efforts are reliable, available, and able to take intelligent corrective action.

With the arrival of the Internet as a global communications tool, it is clear that companies have a critical need to manage their Web-related resources.

Some may argue that the solution is to add more hardware. My response is that you have to have software to manage all of those hardware assets as well as your software, data and networks. Adding hardware may increase your capacity, but if the machine fails, your customers are the big losers. Adding more hardware simply increases the management demands of your systems.

Another alternative would be to add more people to monitor the systems and fix the problems. Anyone who follows technology knows that there is a critical shortage of people trained in Internet infrastructure. Up until now, the only solution was to hire expensive people who eventually get frustrated with the growing demands and mundane tasks involved in keeping a site healthy. This scenario clearly indicates a critical business need for automation.

E-commerce companies today are slowly getting up to speed on Distributed Resource Management (DRM) tools that can prevent their e-commerce websites and backend systems from crashing. DRM software can keep Web-based business operations status quo and eliminate the need to yank systems administrators out of bed in the middle of the night to troubleshoot problems.

Today, DRM software enables companies to enhance the availability, reliability and performance of systems, applications and services that support Web sites, extranets and intranets. Software products, such as SiteAssure by Platform Computing, use load balancing, deep monitoring, multi-tiered escalation and task automation to allow administrators to control application environments easily and automatically. They can be combined with workload management products to provide highly scalable and reliable application provisioning for the most demanding computing needs.

In addition, today's DRM tools allow companies to program expertise into the software so that problems are automatically addressed and corrected without human intervention. Such automated problem-solving is fast, reliable and cost-effective.

Faster, better and maybe cheaper? The answer is yes. With DRM tools, it's faster to have your systems take intelligent corrective action than to do it manually. Your e-commerce operations become more reliable and generally more available, so they provide a better experience for the end user. And cheaper? Absolutely. By using intelligent software, you're not spending tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on additional infrastructure that require more human resources to manage.

Companies that not only want to survive, but also prosper in the world of e-commerce need to change their vocabularies. Faster, better, cheaper just won't do it. Reliable, available and intelligent will.

 

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