Availability, of a service, is an upmost priority for many businesses. It is of particular significance to those in information technology, communication and data management. Most service level agreements have terms and conditions related to availability of service. In business continuity and disaster recovery, Meant Time To Recovery (MTTR) leads to the renewed availability of a service. Availability of services is often a key performance indicator (KPI) for many executives.
Availability is important in all aspects of business. Key resource availability, continued availability of existing services, the speed of which services can be made available after an outage, how quickly a new service can be made available to a user, and how quickly a user can access a service are all critical factors in the success of an enterprise.
The speed at which social, technology and economic changes occur is, or seems to be, accelerating. Correspondingly, the time taken to deliver a service should be the shortest possible for both the customer and the organization delivering the service and delivering [it] right the first time.
In the public mind, government and other public service organizations, ability to implement change is slow. This is an inappropriate characterization particularly when compared to commercial organizations. Things seem to be similar between the two but the characteristics are different.
Time to Market
Time to Market (TTM) has its origins in the 1990s. TTM has various definitions (e.g. BusinessDictionary, Wikipedia, Techopedia, Cambridge Dictionary) but all have in common a time factor and the delivery of an item of value. The Cambridge Dictionary defines TTM as “the amount of time it takes to design and manufacture a product before it is available to buy”. Wikipedia extends the definition to include the “it takes from a product being conceived” and incorporates the value of being first to market where products are outmoded quickly.
Time to Availability
Time to Availability (TTA) like TTM is a measure of speed. But rather than achieving a commercial, profit oriented transaction, TTA’s focus is the speed at which a service is made available. For public or non-profit administrations, as opposed to for profit entities, Time to Availability is the equivalent of Time to Market.
Time to Availability and Change Management
Change management is about making a new service or function available to someone. Time to Availability, like Time to Market, is a measure of the speed in which that change is accomplished. There are many ways Time to Availability can be measured or applied with an organization. How quickly:
- Can a NEW server be made available to a user (development & delivery).
- Can access to an Existing service be restored to a user (incident & outage management).
- Can a user access functionality within a service (service performance).
For public or non-profit organizations a key change management metric should be Time to Availability. The simple focus should be on when is the new service made available.