Looking back, the emergence of business service management (BSM) seem inevitable. This new generation of tools helps IT organizations manage technology infrastructures within the context of the main services they provide to their customers. BSM tools are critical enablers for the increasingly popular process that focuses on IT Service Management (ITSM) approach.
What is driving this evolution is related to BSM and IT management paradigm? Executive Consultant Troy DuMoulin Pink Elephant, an ITIL program and consulting firm, explains, "The interest in ITIL, the evolution of legislation such as SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002), and an interest in standards is symptomatic of something much more simple in the basic focus of the grow in the formalization and legislation is an awareness of exposure and reliance that the business is in IT .. Previously, IT is seen as an enabler, but somehow supportive but separate from the business process itself. But now there is a realization that there is no real separation between the process business and the underlying IT services and systems. "
Information technology has become so important for businesses today - so ubiquitous in every aspect - that most businesses really can not function without it anymore. Even a simple manual tasks such as filling the car with gas or cash the check now require the support of IT systems.
This high dependence on IT has placed the company at a crossroads. They were forced to address this new dependency by putting processes and technology to ensure that IT serves business do its job effectively. So move to the BSM can be viewed as a natural reaction to the new way to interact with IT and enable the business.
"BSM is one way for companies to agree on what business expectations, and manage IT to the agreed performance expectations," clarifies Brian Childers, a consultant who also serves the Board of Directors for the itSMF USA, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the practice of The best in IT management services. "Once we understand the expectations, we can build the process to be consistent with expectations, and manage against them."
Vendors respond quickly to the imperative of this new service management. Leading software providers - such as HP, BMC, Mercury and Managed Objects - BSM has introduced a new version of their popular tool to help revolutionize the way IT managers to assess performance and take advantage of technological knowledge to meet business needs. And new kinds of automated, self-learning software from companies like Netuitive, making it easier than ever for managers to cut their technology silos and tie together existing management tools.
"Over the years - especially during the IT build-out fanatic from the late 1990s - the company assembled a mishmash of IT systems within their organizations," added Tony Gilbert, a vice president at Netuitive. "The result today is a set of components in a heterogeneous IT environment, and the silos of individual departments to manage each. The right set of tools enable BSM to tie together all these pieces of technology in an enterprise and to monitor IT from the perspective of providing the services."
BSM tools help IT groups see the technology in terms of how they impact business services, and zero-in on the specific causes of performance problems that affect the service - a company when they do not have the ability to manage IT technology only through the silo. New BSM tools can also enable the company to prioritize resources based on the relative importance of business services. For example, a brokerage firm can manage online commerce or online banking services holistically, not piecemeal in the silo: the server group, database group, application group.
More than Just Technology
But to actually change management approach is not easy. "Over the last 20 years our industry has been focused on technology management of IT Management. It has been a domain, such as mainframe, network and domain databases people are not really living in isolation .." Pink Elephant DuMoulin continued, "A basic premise is that there is a business requirement for IT to understand how any given IT component associated with each other and how these devices support, or potentially disable business processes. When you understand IT from this perspective you see that You can not be managed by the technology or device you need to understand the relationship between the two devices. and how they relate to IT services, and ultimately how IT services are consumed by the business. "
Those factors remain a problem as well. For many organizations, BSM often requiring changes in corporate culture. IT personnel must learn that they not only manage the boxes and the applications, but really provide a service that consumes a business to survive and thrive. Most experts agree that the tools out there, and are necessary, but they go hand in hand with the change process and change the way companies view the value of IT.
"Some people believe that no matter what technology you use as long as you have the proper process in place," commented Ken Wendle, ITSM Solution Lead at the HP. "But I always said that IT service management is a combination of people and processes, enabled by appropriate technology, all working in synergy with each other. It is about smart blending technology to activate and implement the correct processes, which will then enable organizations to conduct business priorities. "
"I've seen a company that puts the proper process in place, and train the right person, but then made silo process," HP Wendle also notes. "But was cut silo ITSM technology, not only to create a set of process silos on top of them. ITSM is about taking a holistic approach."
BSM Continues Evolution
BSM Where to go from here? "One of the ingredients is missing today is the registration of the business community," believe itSMF's Childers. "They need to understand what BSM and why they want to support all that I do not think a better job by bringing onboard a business standpoint, BSM will progress faster .."
"I do not think the company has been getting all the benefits of the technology that they can," agreed Wendle HP. "Business people need to understand and appreciate what IT can do to help the business side of organizations."
Clearly there is work to be done, but the implementation of ITSM and BSM tools that support it continue to gain momentum as more and more companies realize that this is a prerequisite for success in this new world where business and IT has become one.
"The prediction is that over the next five years, ITSM will impact such as the ERP system, or maybe more," concluded itSMF's Childers. "I do not think ITSM will go, because too much sense." And BSM vendors will continue to develop innovative new tools to help.