One of the most important things an IT department can do for itself is demonstrate its value to business leaders clearly and regularly. The easiest way to do this is with a dynamic, real-time dashboard view of the IT operation.
The bad news is that accurate, functional, and responsive dashboards have historically been difficult to produce, as well as lacking the features necessary to show the range of services, solutions, and operations at work behind the scenes. The good news is that System Center Operations Manager 2012 Dashboards is a huge leap forward – and I think it has gone overlooked by a lot of System Center 2012 SP1 users. This is also one of the many reasons to upgrade to SP1 as soon as you can.
Ops Manager is a technical product and, historically, has been too complex for anyone outside of the IT team to use consistently. In our recent release updates, however, we have created some impressive dashboard functionality which addresses the primary needs for this kind of tool:
- IT managers and business leaders both need fast access to data about their applications and infrastructure in order to make quick decisions and troubleshoot.
- To see this data at a glance, users need a one-stop, modular display that can have a customizable level of depth and insight into that data.
- This modular, customizable view of the data should be able to show any set of metrics, KPI’s, environments, or apps – all without needing to navigate between views.
- This dashboard needs to be something that can be built and deployed in minutes, and updated or adjusted in seconds.
- This needs to be easy enough to be used by leaders outside of the IT team, and it needs to be viewable in a multiple formats – e.g. via an operations console, a web console, or the common and familiar SharePoint web part.
If this all seems too good to be true, or if you want to see how this modular, single-pane dashboard really works, I recommend reading more about how to build an Ops Manager dashboard and how to add widgets to it.
This tool has gotten a lot of traction under the radar with companies around the world, and its users are benefitting from its functionality. One of these users is Stephen Hall from T. Rowe Price:
Stephen’s experience is echoed by passionate users who are using this tool to graphically demonstrate the operations and performance of their IT infrastructure. If you haven’t used System Center Operations Manager 2012 Dashboards before, there’s no time like the present!
Another important facet of this dashboard tool is that it is distinctly different from an automated report. The primary difference is that a report is processing data for a specific period of time in the past, whereas a dashboard is projecting and visualizing current and future data. Dashboards can also visualize data (which can be invaluable when IT admins need to manage up), and it also allows data to be seen in the context of other work streams operating concurrently.