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The case for the CPO

  • 26/01/2012
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  • Posted by EuroSTAR

Achieving and maintaining performance assurance at the Enterprise level is a difficult enough challenge for most organisations. The time has definitely arrived to augment the “C” level head-count with a new role, the CPO or Chief Performance Officer. Some companies are doing this already on an informal basis but I doubt that there are many who have appointed someone whose sole responsibility is to make sure that infrastructure and applications remain available and performant.

You might argue that this already sits with the CTO however the CTO’s job is hectic enough and visibility of cross-silo performance can easily slip under the radar.The key requirement is for someone to have overall responsibility for application performance. This needs to be across all business units and all projects whether they be in discovery, in-flight or in production.

Fundamentally underpinning this role is the need to correctly align infrastructure and application KPI’s. This means that an applications footprint within the IT Estate is always a known quantity in terms of resource provisioning and consumption and how It does (or will) interact with other applications and services both internal and external.

I see the CPO as working with the CTO/CIO to provide governance on Business expectations for performance and what IT can realistically deliver.They should also be involved in the software procurement process to ensure that appropriate performance SLA’s are part of every supplier contract.

The dawn of a new age in IT or just common sense?


Originally hailing from Auckland, New Zealand, Ian Molyneaux has worked in IT for over 35 years. He is Head of Performance at software consultancy Intechnica, which specialises in .NET development and performance assurance for the enterprise with a focus on cloud. Last year Ian published a chapter of his book ‘The Art of Application Performance Testing’ as a EuroSTAR eBook. You can download a copy here.

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