Editor's Note: I worked with lots of monitoring tool vendors and by far, my favorite tagline was, "It's Not the Network." The company had a product that monitored application performance and marketing started by raising the awareness level of their customers beyond just packets. Today customers care about end-to-end business service delivery across their entire information infrastruture. The following article is from a company with such a product. I thought it helps to post the above video to put it in proper context.
ITIL (IT Service Management) defines Business Service Management (“BSM”) as "the management of business services delivered to business customers."
The promise of BSM is to align the goals of IT with the goals of the business thus:
- creating business agility,
- increasing customer retention, and
- increasing employee productivity.
This is done by reducing downtime, minimizing MTTR and creating greater operational latitude. BSM allows IT organizations to prioritize projects thus enabling IT to be proactive rather than reactive. Moreover, BSM gives visibility to process performance trends and its impact on key business functions before problems become critical.
Roi Keren, CEO of Centerity Systems, Inc. states, traditional BSM systems are all but inaccessible to most IT organizations. Furthermore in order to implement a traditional BSM system, organizations are required to purchase separate monitoring modules for each aspect of the IT environment that most simply lack and cannot afford. Traditional BSM solutions have typically been designed for very large organizations that had already invested heavily in IT monitoring platforms and frameworks. A typical implementation period for these BSM solutions can be from several months up to a year because of the complex integration work needed between the separate monitoring components and to other systems. These implementations require up-front mega-investment in tools, not to mention the overall impact on TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) that includes recurring personnel costs for daily operations and annual maintenance costs plus over 70% of these projects fail before having any real return on investment.
Because of these hurdles, “[t]he current reality is that IT is playing catch-up with business maturity, and the fact is that businesses [and business processes] are maturing at a faster rate than IT. The challenge for IT is to maximize the pace of change and demonstrate strategic value to the business.” as stated in the 2011 BSM MATURITY BENCHMARK STUDY (http://www.novell.com/docrep/2011/11/bsm_benchmark.pdf) by BSMReview.com. Because of IT’s immaturity relative to the business, “IT is at risk of being increasingly marginalized” per the Study. Also per the Study, there is a “belief by all roles & functions that process improvement is the best way to improve service metrics which supports continued industry focus on ITIL best practices.”
The bottom line is that BSM is very important and useful but until now, only giant enterprises could consider funding it. Mr. Keren and BSM Review both see growing interest among small and mid-sized companies who can also reap the rewards of BSM if only they could afford it. Now they can. The time is ripe for all companies to use BSM.
Often mistakenly, existing monitoring tools will show that the infrastructure is functioning normally but internal and external customers are seeing slow log-in times, slow connection speeds and general unresponsiveness. Traditional tools have views limited to the performance of individual elements at one monitoring layer; thus, creating isolated silos of useless information. Moreover, IT is itself compartmentalized in that its personnel are typically charged with monitoring only one aspect of an organization’s infrastructure at a time. This is the main reason and central value for the Next Generation of BSM. These Next Generation solutions have complete visibility to all elements and applications at all monitoring layers, this allows for the correlation of activity across different monitoring layers and intra-departmental/business functions. This refocuses IT on process monitoring verses traditional elemental monitoring allowing for the alignment of IT with goals critical to the over business.
The key to success for any company is to increase its business agility via its IT practices, by maximize uptime and minimize MTTR, leading to greater client retention, increased employee productivity and creating greater operational latitude for the business. This agility will only come from deploying the Next Generation BSM solutions that can identify:
- where in the business processes the problem is occurring,
- what is the impact to critical business processes,
- what particular part of the infrastructure is responsible for the issues, and
- where and what is the key to resolving the issues.
This is the new face of the Next Generation BSM solutions.
More BSM technical details and requirements will be coming from Marty Pejko in the future.
Author Profile: Marty Pejko, COO of Centerity Systems Inc., has over 25 years of technology experience in enterprise software, security, networking and communications. Prior to joining Centerity, Marty worked as VP of Global Channels for Guardium (acquired by IBM), as VP of Global Channel Sales for Network Intelligence (acquired by EMC/RSA), as VP of Business Development for International Sales for Quantum Bridge Communications (acquired by Motorola) and as Corporate Counsel for GeoTel Communications (acquired by Cisco). Marty also had senior consulting relationships with Lotus Development (acquired by IBM) and BBN Corporation (acquired by GTE). Marty holds a Bachelor Degree in Economics from Colby College and a Law Degree from Northeastern University.