Definition

IT performance management (information technology performance management)

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Tools for IT shops seeking full-stack control and unified operations
Contributor(s): Austin Allen

IT performance management is the supervision of an organization's information technolocy (IT) infrastructure to ensure that key performance indicators (KPIs), service levels and budgets are in compliance with the organization's goals. The term encompasses purchasing decisions, the standardization of IT equipment and guidance on capital and human resources.

IT performance management also refers to a class of software tools that allow the IT operations group to monitor and control  infrastructure stacks. In addition to monitoring infrastructure performance, these tools help an IT operations team gather and analyze performance metrics over time, forecast future demands and identify abandoned or underutilized resources. 

IT performance encompasses areas such as general system performance, server virtualization and cloud management, application performance monitoring (APM), network management and automation (or self-learning) management. Performance management tools are especially necessary as more aspects of an IT environment become virtualized and more complex. Virtualizing aspects of the infrastructure may be easy to do, but it means that the infrastructure can grow tenfold, which is why monitoring tools are essential for management. There are specific tools to monitor apps that run in the cloud.

Simpler tools provide raw data, which means that IT operations teams must first make sense of the information in order to take action; increasingly, IT performance management tools analyze the collected data to find potential bugs or irregularities that may lead to failure. Predictive IT performance management tools seek to discover the beginnings of problems and remediate them before issues occur.

This was last updated in May 2016

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