Building the Business Case for Monitoring Tools – New Benchmark Data

Now, more than ever, the business is relying on IT to keep things afloat and innovate to grow in this new environment. To make it happen, you’ll need to do things differently and invest in people, processes, and tools.

When it comes to spending, businesses are more conservative and are putting a lot more scrutiny on spending for new initiatives. We also see bills you’ve authorized year after year are being scrutinized too.

The good news is with all the heavy lifting your team has done over the last few months, you now have the attention of your leadership team. If there are projects you feel necessary to keep the business resilient, secure, and competitive, now is the time to ask.

But ask through the lens of business outcomes. You know what you need and the benefits it will bring, but now it’s necessary to translate the IT benefit to the business benefit, so your purchasing department and executive sponsor will be able get your projects approved faster. At SolarWinds we’re seeing this come up in our conversations with customers more since the pandemic began. You are asking us—give me the ammo to build a business case.

Well, here it is. We just received survey results of how our customers have benefitted from our monitoring solutions. Results and details of the survey are in the presentation below, and we’ve also included a calculator, so you can input the details specific to your organization and calculate the benefits specific to your use case and business goals. Let us know if you’d like assistance in putting together your business case.


To give you a taste, here’s quick summary table of how to translate your IT project to the business impact. Simply put, organizations are trying to grow revenue faster than the competition, reduce costs to fund growth, and deliver shareholder value through profit. For some of these metrics, you’ll need to work with other teams to understand business impacts. In many cases, you can work with your help desk to get a report of current MTTR, incidents by severity, and so on. If you’re running a limited POC, you may be able to extrapolate benefits you’ve seen to the larger production environment.

Business Goal

IT project

Relating IT to the Business Goal

SolarWinds Customer Benchmark

Grow Revenue

Optimize application to make it faster to increase lead conversion

By speeding up the application, it can improve the user experience by X, resulting Y more leads that will convert to $Z in revenue.

19% average customer experience metric improvement (such as CSAT/CES/NPS)

Automate developer/DBA troubleshooting/research tasks to add resources to develop new features faster.

By saving X hours per week, this time can be reinvested into bringing new features to market X months faster with an expected benefit of $Y in revenue from new features. (Or an expected benefit of fewer support cases with faster bug fixes.)

10 hours saved per week with automation of manual tasks (median)

Reduce/Optimize Costs

Consolidate monitoring tools to save time and reduce software renewal costs

By consolidating monitoring on a single platform, we can save X hours per year and eliminate X tools, saving $x in software renewal and labor costs.

10 hours saved per week with automation of manual tasks (median)

Three monitoring tools eliminated (average)

Improve application availability by reducing incidents and mean time to resolution with comprehensive monitoring and alerting

By improving application availability by X points (by reducing incidents and MTTR), it can reduce the cost of downtime by $x.

23% average reduction in MTTR

22% average reduction in incidents

Median cost/hour of downtime - $367,500

The study referenced above covers our monitoring portfolio (network, systems, database, and application performance monitoring). I’ve also compiled some data points that might help you compile a business case for other projects in the table below. Additionally, we have many product reviews discussing benefits others have experienced. These can be found third-party sites like Gartner Peer Insights and TrustRadius.

Business Goal

IT project

Relating IT to the Business Goal

Industry Statistics

Reduce Costs

Monitor cloud infrastructure to reduce waste

Monitor VM sprawl to reduce infrastructure needs.

By monitoring for over provisioned cloud services, we estimate to save X% on our cloud bill, savings $x a year.

Between idle resources and overprovisioning, wasted cloud spend will exceed $14.1 billion in 2019. 40 percent of instances were sized at least one size larger than needed for their workloads.

Cloud users estimate 27 percent waste in 2019, and optimizing existing cloud use for cost savings continues to be the top initiative in 2019.

Implement an automated patching and vulnerability management solution to help protect company, customer, and employee data.

By implementing a reliable patching and vulnerability solution, we can significantly reduce threats by X% and eliminate costs related to loss of reputation and ransom payments.

46% of organizations had an incident caused by an unpatched vulnerability. 68% percent of organizations breached from an unpatched vulnerability suffered losses of 10k or more data records last year.


Baltimore spent $18 million to address damages from a 2019 attack. Before that, an attack on the city of Atlanta reportedly cost about $17 million in recovery, damages, and other losses.

Implement automated software to demonstrate compliance.

By implementing automated compliance management and reporting tools, we can help protect against regulatory penalties for non-compliance.

The penalties for (HIPAA) noncompliance are based on the level of negligence and can range from $100 to $50,000 per violation (or per record), with a maximum penalty of $1.5 million per year for violations of an identical provision.


Fines (for PCI non-compliance) vary from $5,000 to $100,000 per month until the merchants achieve compliance.

Implement an IT asset management solution to manage license compliance and save costs.

By implementing an asset management solution, we can reduce wasted software license costs by $X a year.

According to the managing director of Deloitte’s software asset management practice, if a company doesn’t have visibility into their software environment, they could renew $50M of licenses when they’re only using $20M of licenses.

If you’ve had recent success demonstrating business value for your IT projects, please comment below and share data points leveraged in building your business case. Thanks for sharing in advance!
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