|By Trever Scott||
|January 28, 2013 07:00 AM EST||
As Senior Director/IT Leader of Information Technology at Dole Fresh Fruit North America, I am responsible for providing consistent and reliable distribution services for our division. Dole's mission is to provide our customers with safe, healthy, high-quality products and services. To succeed, our business critical systems must be highly available and we need to quickly identify and resolve problems as they arise.
When I assumed this role in March 2008, IT credibility was at an all-time low. Our internal IT user community was very frustrated with the poor stability of the applications supporting our logistics functions including transportation, product tracking and traceability from Dole farms to our distribution centers. System stability was so poor it disrupted our ability to ship products effectively.
Formerly, we used and supported systems unique to each country. To improve our system environment, we decided to implement an infrastructure that would provide worldwide access to production and sales information on a common platform. This worldwide platform has a very complicated infrastructure with multiple real-time and batched interfaces that operate 24 hours a day.
The three main system functions are ERP, transportation/yard management and traceability/equipment tracking. Issues with the hardware and support of these applications and interfaces had a negative impact on the business, providing a pressing need to better monitor the health of our systems.
One of the primary reasons we selected Compuware APM was their eagerness to be true partners. During the project, the Dole and Compuware teams met daily to learn how to use the tools to identify the root causes of our instability problems. Additionally, we were impressed with their position in the market and as a respected APM leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant.
We use Compuware's APM solution to monitor the health and performance of more than 60 Windows, Red Hat Linux, HP/Unix, and AIX servers in addition to monitoring our critical business applications. With Compuware APM, we have achieved improvements of 45 percent in query response time and 65 percent improvement in server utilization. We are able to pinpoint slow queries and stored procedures, prompting us to modify memory and servers for better performance. As a result, our query processing went down from minutes to seconds.
We also monitor our application performance from the end-user position, enabling us to lower incidents by 35 percent and reduce problem resolution effort from days or weeks to just hours. This allowed us to become more responsive to our internal users.
The efficiencies gained in incident management empower us to focus on resolving root-cause problems, improving systems stability, and transaction efficiency. This is also made possible by the visibility Compuware APM provides into areas that were previously a mystery. APM has helped us resolve problems that had plagued Dole for years, greatly increasing credibility to our IT organization. Capably dealing with systems outages and performance problems is our most important accomplishment to date.
Our next focus area is to improve our APM Capability Maturity Scale to more effectively use Compuware APM to improve the end-user experience. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Compuware because the company delivers innovative solutions that provide tremendous business value to our organization on an ongoing basis.
As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ability. Many are unable to effectively engage and inspire, creating forward momentum in the direction of desired change. Renowned for its approach to leadership and emphasis on their people, organizations increasingly look to our military for insight into these challenges.
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