Measuring Data Center Efficiency at eBay

Last week eBay made headlines with a powerful bit of thought leadership, releasing a white paper called the Digital Service Efficiency report. According to the article in GigaOm, “the company has boiled its business down to a single currency—transactions (specifically URL requests) associated with users’ buying and selling on the site—and created a slew of metrics that measure how efficiently it delivers those transactions in terms of revenue, performance, cost and carbon footprint.”

This is a great example of a company managing the business of its technology. By surfacing and combining the right data from disparate systems, Apptio uncovers insights that lead to increased efficiency, improved planning, and—maybe the most exciting—better business alignment. Tying IT infrastructure to specific business concerns not only cements the strategic relevance of IT, it also enables a whole new vocabulary with which to talk to business unit leaders.

The white paper describes how eBay accomplished this and lays out a framework for other companies who want to follow suit. As Dean Nelson, eBay’s vice president of Global Foundation Services, says in the GigaOm article:

“We all have the same challenges, the same things to solve for, but we have numerous ways to solve it… [other companies’ implementations] may change completely, but the point is the conversation is starting.”

This is breakthrough thinking writ large and given wings… very exciting stuff and highly recommended reading.