Optimizing the Exchange Environment

As stated in Microsoft Operations Framework, the Optimizing Quadrant encompasses processes and IT functions aimed at planning and implementing enhancements to the IT environment, through a continuous cycle of process improvement. When optimizing the Exchange environment, IT organizations first need to ensure they are effective—for example, make sure services are available enough—before they focus on efficiency. Effective risk management, as discussed in the Risk Management Discipline for Operations topic, will help accomplish that goal. The least expensive way to run a service is not to run it at all. However, once an organization has decided to run a service, it should be as available as the business needs it to be. Once the service meets that requirement, IT can focus on reducing costs. Reducing costs for a service that does not already meet availability requirements only leads to more frustration.

An example of an Exchange-related optimization exercise might be an organization’s desire to reduce messaging costs while maintaining or improving service levels. Businesses are often motivated to improve as the result of some specific event or catalyst, such as a catastrophic failure; a new requirement, such as Sarbanes-Oxley, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA), or other regulatory governance requirement; or as the result of a service management assessment, either through a consultant-led formal assessment or a more informal self-assessment (both of which are discussed in Conducting an Assessment).

The topics in this section provide:

Information about how to conduct an assessment. (See Conducting an Assessment.)

Examples of assessment results, which indicate areas needing improvement. (See Examples of Assessment Results.)

Recommendations for analyzing these results and for making improvements to the areas identified in the assessment. (See Analyzing the Results of the Assessment and Making Improvements.)



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