Why Keep the Lights On (KTLO) is a waste

If you have never used it before, you can be excused for being more than just a little bit delighted to discover TechTarget’s WhatIs.com tech definition search resource, which is available directly from Computer Weekly.

The comprehensive resource is really pretty hard to catch out — but one term crops up this week that may need a little more definition.

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Our new technology acronym of the day is Keep the Lights On (KTLO).

Keep the Lights On (KTLO) technology refers to that portion of information technology expenditure a company has to perform on daily operational tasks.

Crucially (although this hasn’t been properly clarified as yet) KTLO involves around those operations carried out “simply to keep the lights on” i.e. and therefore NOT those operations that will generate any business value for the firm itself.

KTLO is where IT budget is dedicated to tasks such as:

• application maintenance,

• change requests,

• standard updates and

• general systems operations

This term has been highlighted by rapid application delivery platform company OutSystems — the company calls the KTLO dilemma a US$2 trillion IT problem and explains that as much as 85% of total IT spend may be used to simply keep the lights on.

Beating KTLO?

The eponymously named OutSystems (web and mobile applications) Platform version 8 was released this summer back in June 2013. This version introduces real-time user performance monitoring through a dashboard which tracks application performance down to the user and page view.

“Utilising industry standard performance guidelines, graphs and alerts monitor the health of the application and the networks supporting it, to ensure that the application is performing to user expectations,” said the company, in a press statement.

Also of potential developer interest, this tool features built-in support for grid layouts so that programmers can use drag & drop (and sizing handles) to resize and move UI elements to create structured user interfaces with “pixel-perfect” alignment.

So where are we?

A cute mention of nice acronym in order to introduce an agile developer tool with some good alert and UI management technologies — or a real “tech trend” just about to become as hackneyed and overused as big data and cloud?

Don’t approach big data cloud deployments if you have a KTLO challenge…

… you heard it here first.

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Data Management