Business Service Management (BAC/BSM/APM/NNM)
More than everything monitoring, BSM provides the means to determine how IT impacts the bottom line. Its purpose and main benefit is to ensure that IT Operations are able to reactively and proactively determine where they should be spending their time to best impact the business. This covers event management to solve immediate issues, resource allocation and through reporting performance based on the data of applications, infrastructure, networks and from third-party platforms. BSM includes powerful analytics that gives IT the means to prepare, predict and pinpoint by learning behavior and analyzing IT data forward and backwards in time using Big Data Analytics applied to IT Operations.

BSM at HP Software Universe

by Michael Procopio


 


HP Software Universe is next week, 16-18 June, in Las Vegas. Business Service Management (BSM) will be well represented.


In the Business Transaction Management area there are 13 sessions. Most of them are lead by customers. The sessions are listed below.


In the Network Management track Aruna Ravichandran is speaking in three sessions, you can see information on those at her post HPSoftware Universe/HP Technology Forum (HPTF) - Network Management sessions. The rest of the track is listed in the post Network Management at HP Software Universe.


Amy Feldman, Dennis Corning and Peter Spielvogel the ITOps bloggers has covered a number of the sessions in the Consolidated event and performance management. Here are a list of the posts:



 


Business Transaction Management Track













































































































Session ID Title Presenting company
1114 Confessions of a product manager: get the real scoop on the latest HP Business Availability Center HP
1165 The MITRE Corporation: higher operational effectiveness at lower cost through automated alert management MITRE Corporation, AlarmPoint
1233 Key decisions and practical techniques in configuring business transaction management
1236 Real User Management: know how your TCP/IP applications perform for your users HP
1267 Using HP Business Availability Center to analyze and triage application and infrastructure anomalies and problems BCBS of Florida
1303 Sodexo: partnering with HP Software-as-a-Service to ensure critical e-business application performance and availability Sodexo
1342 Wrigley: HP Business Availability Center deployed on Software-as-a-Service yields big improvements in IT monitoring without increasing staff Wrigley
1360 Lockheed Martin: deploying HP Business Availability Center in a virtual environment and forwarding alerts through an iPhone Twitter-based application Lockheed Martin
1363 DIRECTV: an HP Business Availability Center and HP operations implementation DIRECTV
1401 Liberty Life: taking the fast track to implementing HP Business Availability Center and gaining business value in 6 months Liberty Life
1425 Sentara Healthcare: improving the availability of critical business services and fixing IT problems before they impact customers Sentara Healthcare
1436 Lockheed Martin: practical advice for configuring and operating HP End User Management solutions Lockheed Martin
1452 Vale: deploying HP Business Availability Center solutions to monitor applications and systems and to help ensure availability and performance Vale

 You can get the details of all the BSM sessions at the HP Software Universe Track Session Catalog.


I hope to see you there, but if you can’t make it we will be doing follow-up posts. You can also follow on Twitter, the hashtag is #HPSU09. There are already a number of Tweets and the show hasn’t started yet. The Twitter account for the show is HPSU09, if you’d like to follow us. Or visit the HP Software Universe Facebook page.


For the Business Availability Center, Michael Procopio


 

BSM Evolution: The Role of IT in the Business (part 2)

 


By Bryan Dean: BSM Research


 


In part 1 of this post I introduced some research conducted a couple years ago where we explored the IT professional’s perception of the role that their IT played in the business.


 


I think the bottom line is whether you are an IT Executive, Director, vendor, or analyst… do not fall into the “monolithic trap” of prescribing one-size-fits-all BSM evolution roadmaps. Clearly establishing and recognizing IT’s role in the business, AND getting all parties on the same page up front is imperative and will save a ton of time, money, and anguish.


 


You will want to revisit part 1 to get the full discussion, but here is a thumbnail of the core research results, followed by some observations.


 


The Research Revealed Three Major Segments:


 


Segment A: Business Innovation Partner”



  • Business & IT equal partners in business process design, measurement, analysis and optimization

  • High IT investment to revenue ratio

  • Actively transforming IT to interrelate IT services to business processes

  • Utilize real-time, automated IT & business measurement; with dynamic capacity adjustment

  • ~20% of IT Execs put themselves in this bucket; less than 5% of IT Directors

 


Segment B: Business / IT Service Providers”



  • Business leaders drive business process design, analysis and optimization; IT partners with business to measure and advise on optimization

  • Medium to high IT investment to revenue ratio

  • Actively transforming IT service management processes and tools

  • Provide IT dashboards & regular service level / business impact reports; respond relatively quickly to adjust capacity

  • ~50% of IT Execs put themselves in this bucket; ~ 35% of IT Directors

 


Segment C: “Operate IT Supporting Business”



  • Business drives all aspects of business process design, measurement, analysis and optimization; IT’s job is to run IT well, thus supporting the business

  • Low-medium IT investment to revenue ratio

  • Targeted improvements in IT process and toolset

  • Provide IT performance and availability metrics; adjust capacity via periodic projects

  • ~30% IT Execs put themselves in this bucket; ~60% of IT Directors

 


 


Observations on Results


 


Business or IT Perception:


One of the most common responses by our IT Executives and Directors in this research was, “Do you want us to talk about IT’s role in the business from our IT perspective, or from our business leader’s perspective?”


 


In general, IT believed their contribution to business process design, analysis and optimization was much more significant than their business counterparts believed. When I was in IT (about a century ago), we didn’t have to walk in the snow up hill, both directions… but we did have significant issues with business credibility, and being recognized for our contribution. A million blogs have been written on this subject and how to improve IT’s standing, but the research continues to reflect a difficult reality.


 


The Spread:


There is a relatively small percentage of IT that put themselves in the “Business Innovation” category, and a surprisingly high number of IT continue to put themselves into the “Operate IT Supporting the Business” category. The percentage of IT that identifies themselves in each different segment may have changed significantly in the last two years, but I doubt it.


 


The IT Executive - Director Gap:


I wrote a previous BSM blog post on this perception gap, but here is more evidence that IT Executives and the lower level IT operations staff are not on the same page. 60% of the IT Directors put themselves into the “Operate IT Supporting Business” bucket, compared with only 30% of the Executives.


 


Most of the executives in the research freely admitted that one of their biggest challenges was to change the culture in IT, and get IT operations out of their technology comfort zone. One the other hand, many Directors said they would like to focus on the business, but it wasn’t practical with their workload, staffing, and budget… and the limited hours in the day.


 


ITSM/BSM Tool & Process Maturity


There was a strong correlation between IT’s identified role in the business, and the progress they had achieved in their ITSM/BSM journey. The “Business Innovation Partners” were consistently early adopters for advanced IT management software tools, very strong at dynamically managing and monitoring end-to-end business/IT services real time, and were interrelating IT performance to business impact. They were also advanced on IT process maturity, but not as noticeably as with their technology.


 


The Business / IT Service Providers” were very IT process savvy, and had invested significant budget to in their words, “Get our IT house in order”, so that they could build business trust and operate in a very consistent, cost effective manner. IT software management tools also received significant investment, but aimed more at automating IT processes than interrelating to real time business performance. Although clearly demonstrating Service Levels and IT’s value to business was strong.


 


The Operate IT Supporting Business” consistently struggled to prove the business ROI for process and tool investments, so they targeted new spending very carefully, and their progress reflects this investment profile.


 


The Monolithic Trap


One recommendation, don’t fall into it! Start by assuming everyone is not on the same page, and that everyone does not have the same assumptions about IT’s role in the business... and then you will be ready to make progress on that BSM evolution roadmap.

BSM Evolution: The CIO/Ops Perception Gap

 


There are many potential culprits for why IT organizations struggle to make substantive progress in evolving their ITSM/BSM effectiveness. A customer research project we did a few years ago offered an interesting insight into one particular issue that I rarely see the industry address. The research showed that most CIO’s simply had a different perception – when compared to their IT operations managers- of their IT organization’s fundamental service delivery maturity and capability. This seemingly benign situation often proved to be a powerful success inhibitor.


 


The Gap:


A substantial sample size of international, Global 2000 enterprise IT executives participated in the study. When asked to prioritize investment priorities on a broad range of IT capabilities, we saw a definite gap. IT Operations managers consistently ranked, “Investing to improve general IT service support and production IT operations” in their top 1 or 2 priorities, where CIO’s ranked this same capability much lower as a priority 6 or 7.


 


The Perception:


When pressed further, CIOs believed that the IT service management basics of process and technology were already successfully completed, and the CIO’s had mentally moved on to other priorities such as rolling out new applications, IT financial management, or project and portfolio management.


 


Most of the CIOs in the study could clearly recall spending thousands of dollars sending IT personnel to ITIL education, and thousands more purchasing helpdesk, network, and system management software. Apparently, these CIO’s thought of their investment in service operations as a onetime project, rather than an ongoing journey that requires multiple years of investment, evolution, reevaluation, and continuous improvement.


 


IT operations managers on the other hand- clearly had a different view of the world. They were generally pleased with the initial progress from the service operations investments, but realized they were far from the desired end state. The Ops managers could plainly see the need to get proactive, to execute advanced IT processes and more sophisticated management tools, but could not drain the proverbial swamp while fighting off the alligators.


 


The Trap:


We probed deeper in the research, diligently questioning the IT operations managers on why they didn’t dispel the CIO’s inaccurate perception. In order to secure the substantial budget, these Ops managers had fallen into the trap of over-promising the initial service management project’s end-state, ROI and time to value. (I wouldn’t be surprised if they had been helped along by the process consultants and software management vendors!)


 


These Ops managers saw it as “a personal failure” to re-approach the CIO and ask for additional budget to continue improving the IT fundamentals. Worse yet, they had to continually reinforce the benefits from the original investment so the CIO didn’t think they had wasted the money. So, the IT operations staff enjoyed the result of reactively working nights and weekends to meet business’ expectations, and make sure everyone kept their jobs. Meanwhile, the CIO’s slept well at night thinking, “Hey, we are doing a pretty darn good job”, but faced the next day asking, “Why are my people burnt out?” A vicious cycle.


 


Recommendation through Observation:


Im not wild about making recommendations since I merely research this stuff… not actually perform hands-on implementation. Instead, I will offer some observations of best practices from companies who appear to be breaking through on BSM, lowering costs, raising efficiency and improving IT quality of service.


 



  1. Focus on Fundamentals: It is boring and basic, but absolutely critical to continually look for ways to improve the foundational service management elements of event, incident, problem, change, and configuration management. Successful IT organizations naturally assume that if they implemented these core processes more than 3 years ago, they likely need to update both technology and process. If FIFA World Cup Football clubs and Major League Baseball teams revisit their fundamental skills each and every year, why wouldn’t IT?

 



  1. Assume a Journey: IT leaders who develop a step-wise, modular path of realistic projects that deliver a defined ROI at each step have the best track record of securing ongoing funding from the business. The danger here is defining modular steps that are so disconnected and silo’d, that IT never progresses toward an integrated BSM/ITSM process and technology architecture. This balance continues to be one of the most difficult to manage.

 



  1. Empowered VP of IT Operations: The advantages of a CIO empowering a VP of IT operations and holding them accountable for end-to-end business service has been discussed in previous posts. The practice of having a strong VP of operations who has executive focus on service operations and continual service improvement, while having end-to-end service performance responsibility does appear to be a growing trend and success factor.

 



  1. Focus on the Applications: In the same research study that showed the perception gap on, “Investing to improve general IT service support and production IT operations”, there was consistent agreement on, “Investing to improve business critical application performance and availability”. The CIO’s, Ops Managers and Business Relationship managers all ranked this capability as a top 1 or 2 priority.

 


Successful BSM implementations focus on the fundamentals of process and infrastructure management, but do so from a business service, or an application perspective. This approach not only enables an advantageous budget discussion with the business, but it also hones the scope and execution of projects.


 


It is difficult to assess the relative impact of this CIO/IT Ops perception gap, considering the wide variety of challenges that IT faces. But hopefully, this post gives you something to consider when assessing your own IT organization’s situation and evolution.


 


Let us know where your organization fits – please take our two question survey (two demographics questions also). We’ll publish the results on the blog.


 



  • Describe the perception of your IT's fundamental service delivery process

  • How often does your IT organization significantly evaluate and invest to update your fundamental IT process

 


Click Here to take survey


 


Bryan Dean – BSM Research

BSM Evolution Paths: Financial Services Example

 


When two Fortune 500 companies merge the IT convergence can feel like two high speed trains on parallel tracks speeding toward a single-track tunnel. Not only is IT tasked with maintaining or increasing quality of service, but the CEO’s are quite impatient to quickly rationalize the IT operating expense equation of “1+1=1.25”. Maybe 1.50 if you have an extremely benevolent Board of Directors.


 


Unlike the Automotive Industry example posted earlier (BSM Evolution Paths: Auto Industry Sample), this Financial Services example has much less tops-down roadmap direction, and much more independent parallel paths. Let’s take a look at three of the key personas and evolutions within these parallel paths.


 


Data Center Operations Manager; Infrastructure Operations path:


 


The new Data Center Operations Manager (DCOM; reporting to VP of IT Ops) commissioned a tools architecture analysis. They inventoried their management tools and counted over 80 major “platforms” in the fault, performance and availability category alone!


 


The DCOM empowered a Global Software Management Architect to drive a “limited vendor” strategy to simplify and standardize the tool environment. Although there were many individual domain experts bent out of shape, this standardized environment limited the vendor touches, enabled renegotiated license/support contracts, concentrated tool expertise and resulted in improved quality of service.


 


The fault, performance and availability architecture was boiled down to three major vendors covering three broad categories (plus device specific element plug-ins):



  • System Infrastructure (Server, OS, Database, storage middleware, LAN feeds, etc.)

  • Network Services (WAN, LAN, advanced protocols, route analytics, etc.)

  • Enterprise Event (consolidated event console, correlation, filtering, root cause)

 


The DCOM could have pushed harder for a single vendor covering all three categories, but it was a matter of time-to-deploy pragmatism. A vendor could only be selected as category solution if the product was successfully deployed previously, and internal deployment expertise existed to lead the global implementation. This “survival of the fittest” approach did not necessarily drive the most elegant architecture, but it did speed deployment and limit risk.


 


Independent roadmaps and key integration capabilities were developed for each category to meet 6, 12, 18 and 24 month milestones.


 


CTO; Business Service Oversight path


 


Early on in the merger process, there was a power struggle to own the business service visibility and accountability solution. The VP of IT Operations wanted the tools, process and organizational power, but the Lines of Business insisted on a more independent group that would sit between IT Operations and the business-aligned Application Owners.


 


The Online Banking Group from one of the pre-merger divisions had successfully implemented a business service dashboard and Service Level Agreement reporting solution (based primarily on end-user experience monitoring). Using an “adopt and go” strategy, the CIO empowered the CTO to develop an end-to-end group and expand the solution to all six major business units.


 


This business unit expansion rolled out over 12-18 months and was successful, but limited to monitoring and reporting. Over the next 12 months, Application Owners, Line of Business CIO’s and VP of IT Operations all wanted to extend the business service monitoring to:



  1. Problem isolation, application diagnostics, and incident resolution

  2. In-depth transaction management of composite applications

 


Director Service Management; Enterprise CMDB path


 


The Director of Service Management, reporting to VP IT Ops, drove two major initiatives over the first 12 months of the merger.



  1. Consolidate to a single, global, follow-the-sun service desk

  2. Rationalize and standardize the request and incident management process

 


I could easily spend an entire blog post discussing the IT process convergence and standardization, but I refuse! Instead, I’ll focus on what happened in the 12 months following the service desk consolidation.


 


The Director of Service Management launched a CMDB RFP which was originally grounded in incident, problem and configuration management. The RFP touched off an enterprise-wide nerve, not to mention a flurry of vendor responses. The project quickly expanded, and changed focus to the “hotter” driver of change and (release) risk management, and how to drive all IT process from an enterprise service model.


 


Once the application owners got involved (from a change/release control perspective), and the infrastructure operations got involved (from a change and performance/availability perspective), and the CTO got involved (from a business service reporting and accountability rperspective) all of a sudden incident management took a back seat in the decision process.


 


In the end, a service discovery, dependency mapping and change/release management solution was selected that was a different vendor all together from the incumbent service desk solution.


 


An interesting journey… so far


 


The three paths described above are clearly a small subset of the overall work done for this corporate merger, but hopefully gives a glimpse into the BSM evolution dynamics. By all accounts, this company has been successful in their journey; you may be interested to know that this financial services company is not participating in the government bail-out program.


 


The lack of a tops-down “enterprise IT transformation” roadmap did not hinder their progress… in fact some will argue it enable their progress! You can observe, however, that at the end of each path there is a drive towards further integration and cross-IT dependence. It will be interesting to watch this company, and see how their approach evolves as they continue down the intersecting evolution paths.


 


Bryan Dean, BSM Research

Business Service Visibility & Accountability: Where is it Homed?

Virtually every customer that I have studied has a critical moment in their BSM evolution where they realize the need for viewing, measuring and reporting business service performance in a business-relevant way.  We could discuss the technical complexities of integrating service model discovery, end-user experience, transaction management, performance and event data to develop this business service view, but in this post I’m going to examine the most common key personas, core motivations, and organizational impact.

In the previous post, BSM Evolution Paths: Auto Industry Sample we saw how the core motivation came tops-down from senior IT management.  Let’s compare three different models. 


Line of Business / Application Driven


Key Personas:  Application owner, Business Relationship Manager, Business Unit CIO


 


Core Motivations:  These personas are typically closest to how business utilizes IT to execute a business process or function.  They usually report into the business unit itself, rather than into IT Operations.  They have responsibility for the application, but the business perceives them as owning the end-to-end service performance, even though they often have little control of the underlying IT infrastructure and service delivery processes.


 


At some point, a business critical service melts-down, or endures a never-ending spree of performance degradations where Global IT Operations says, “All the systems and network are green”.   This is the point where many business unit managers take matters into their own hands and fund a significant investment in End-to-End business service visibility tools.


 


Software:  Since they do not control the infrastructure, the application owners often look for tools that require minimal agentry and do not require a lot of feeds from the individual domain management tools.  They gravitate towards sophisticated end-user experience tools, probes, application diagnostics, and the ability to traverse composite application middleware. 


 

Organization:  They use these tools to prove accountability to the business units, but they also use the tools -not always politely- to hold infrastructure operations accountable. The animosity usually wanes, and the separate IT groups work out the process integration… but often not the tool integration. This leaves the end-to-end group outside of IT Operations. We also see this model where the infrastructure operations are outsourced, and the service provider is held accountable to specific Service Level Agreements. 


Infrastructure Operations Hero


Key Personas:  Infrastructure Operations Manager, Data Center Manager, NOC manager


 


Core Motivations:  These personas traditionally have the responsibility for care and feeding of the vast shared-service IT infrastructure environment.  They have likely done a reasonable job of consolidated event management, and domain-level configuration, performance and capacity management.  But, they have a vision of elevating IT to demonstrate the value delivered to the business, and proactively solve issues before end users report them.  This effort can be either in conjunction or parallel to an ITIL-driven service management initiative.


 


Software:  Often very budget constrained, they don’t always have the funding that the application owners do.  They look first toward leveraging investment of their existing tool set, gathering agent-based data from their infrastructure and augmenting with lighter-weight end-user experience tools.  Converting this data to business-relevant information is difficult, as they often don’t have the deep business process or application knowledge, but it is much better than the previous IT element statistic data. 


 

Organizational:  The Hero Operations manager then faces the daunting task of taking the new service oriented visibility and reporting capability to upper management and business unit managers.  Sometimes they yawn. Sometimes the strategy is embraced, and the operations manager is elevated to strategic status. The Operations manager keeps both tools and processes very integrated.  New end-to-end skill sets are developed, but usually not new organizational groups.  

Tops-down Service Management  
Key Personas:  CIO, CTO, VP IT Operations


Core Motivations: These personas have the luxury of controlling the organization, budget and overall priority of IT, yet their job is likely on the line.  Pressure from the business units, a personal drive to elevate IT to a strategic partner and sometimes fear of being outsourced are the powerful drivers.


 


Business service visibility and accountability is usually part of a larger, multi-project, multi-step roadmap that includes a hefty process component.  Since these initiatives tend to be “horizontal” in nature across all IT, many companies fall into the trap of trying to institute end-to-end business service performance tools too broadly.  The successful organizations focus on a discrete business service and satisfy key metrics that are specific to the particular business and application. 


 


Software:   These personas tend to focus on service level management, and the ability to demonstrate the value IT is delivering to business.  Typically requires a substantial investment in tools that can abstract the business services into something meaningful to business, looks hot to business stakeholders, yet also improves service delivery time to diagnose and repair.  This ends up requiring a rationalization of the service discovery model, CMDB, and the enterprise operational tools.   


 


Organization:  I’ve seen some CIO’s form executive business relationship management functions, keeping the team independent from both business and IT Operations.  Other CIO’s formally extend the VP of IT operations charter to include this new end-to-end function that bridges the infrastructure operations teams and the helpdesk/service desk teams.  

Conclusion?
Here’s a news flash…there is a wide variety of organizational models.  But there are some definite patterns, and in my next post, I will offer some evidence that the model will be more predictable in the future.Bryan Dean, BSM Research 

 

BSM Evolution Paths: Auto Industry Sample

In the last post, Bryan Dean, our research expert in the BSM team, outlined the different ways in which customer evolve towards Business Service Management. In the next few posts, Bryan will give an example of each of the different types of evolution. Over to you Bryan ....
_______
About three years ago, the business division managers of a multinational automobile manufacturing company planned a bold transformation of their distribution network to leapfrog the competition.  They enthusiastically laid out a roadmap for business process innovation and aggressive customer/dealer satisfaction initiatives.  

Only one real problem; the CIO knew that building, rolling-out, and operating the underlying IT for this future business vision exceeded their current capabilities.  The CIO eventually had to raise the red flag and explain to the executive committee why IT was the bottleneck.  Ouch, not a good day.

 

In the previous post BSM Evolution Paths:  Samples and Observations, we talked about five common evolution paths, the organizational and persona dynamics of an Automated BSM/ITSM journey.  In this post we will overview a specific example.


 


To be fair, the CIO spent years driving significant investment in process, tools and the organization.  Let’s look at a subset of key personas and BSM/ITSM foundation: 

 

Director of Infrastructure (reporting to the VP Global IT Ops):



  • Enterprise-class central event/performance platform and console

  • WAN/LAN network management platform

  • Basic, component level performance and availability reporting

  • Dozens of vendor-specific configuration and admin tools

Director of Service Management (reporting to the VP Global IT Ops):



  • Global, consolidated helpdesk/service desk

  • Well defined and automated incident process; basic level problem, configuration, and a manual change process

Director of Applications (development, test & level 3 support.  Reports to business divisions):



  • Suite of pre-production stress-test quality and performance tools

  • End-user  and application performance/diagnostic tools (test environment)

The Key Evolution Steps


Step 1:  CIO empowers and holds the VP of Global IT Operations (VPITops) accountable for end-to-end business service responsibility.  Imagine the panic on his face!  VPITops launches key lieutenants on quick gap analysis.

 

Step 2:  The VPITops needed a quick win.  He believed that visually demonstrating and reporting performance and availability from a business service perspective -versus an infrastructure perspective- would be a catalyst for driving “aligned” IT behavior.  The current network and infrastructure products didn’t have this capability, so VPITops leveraged the tools already proven by the application test and level 3 support team.


VPITops established a new team within Operations (parallel to infrastructure event management) to own and run the end-to-end business service visibility/accountability solution.  Integration was established between the two teams and tools.

 

Step 3a:  VPITops took his new business service visibility/accountability tool (in dashboard/report form) to key business division managers, and established a business relationship management function.  This converted the conversation from anecdotal complaints, to measurable service levels.  The CIO had tangible proof of progress.

 

Step 3b:  While engineering step 2, the Tools and Process Architect realized they needed a better means of discovering and maintaining the IT/Business service models.  Their infrastructure environment was shared, complex and dynamic enough that static service models were not effective, so they brought in an application dependency mapping technology.  This success spawned a serendipitous benefit to another team in step 4a.

 

Step 4a:  The application quality/test and release team realized the service model could be utilized in the service transition process.  They previously had several very painful episodes of moving complex applications from test into production.  With an accurate, up to date service model of the production environment they could better identify dependency issues before roll-out.  Speed and accuracy...  Happy CIO.

 

Step 4b:  The Director of Service Management and the architect evaluated how to federate the data between the application dependency mapping service model and the CI configuration data in the helpdesk.   The software vendor provided a federation / reconciliation adaptor, so the helpdesk was able to leverage the CI relationships and operate off a “single version of the truth” (sounds eerily like an ITIL V3 CMS!). 

 

Near Term Roadmap


·         Automate change/configuration workflow and provisioning


·         Upgrade/replace enterprise event and performance console to leverage service model for root cause analysis and business impact assessment


·         Apply business service relationship management to additional business divisions


·         End-to-end visibility of composite MQ application business transactions   

 

The Verdict of the Journey so far


The CIO still has a job, and has a funded roadmap.  One might ask why they didn’t start with step 4b, and establish the CMDB and service model first?  Well, the CIO was on the hot seat, and they were concerned about getting bogged down in an enterprise-wide CMDB architecture project. 

 

This exemplifies the unpredictable and unique nature of evolution paths.  More can be said about the delicate balance between tops-down guidance, and fostering organic innovation from within the ranks of IT.  In future posts, I will discuss and analyze this further, as well as introduce other examples.

BSM customer evolution paths: Samples and observations

When developing and marketing products, we often have questions  which can only be answered by going out there and seeing what people are doing. We have a guy on the BSM team who does this for us. His name is Bryan Dean. I've worked with Bryan for many years and I've always been impressed by his objectivity and the insight he brings to his analysis (i.e. he doesn't just present a set of figures - he gets behind the figures).


 


At the end of last year, we asked Bryan to analyze the top 20-odd BSM deals of 2008. He formed a number of conclusions from this research. One set of conclusions concerned how people "get to BSM" - how they evolve towards an integrated BSM solution. I asked Bryan to help me with a series of posts to share what he learnt about evolutions towards BSM because I think that knowing what our other BSM customers are doing may help you.


 


________


 


Mike: Bryan, can you give a summary of what you learnt?


Bryan: There is no one evolution path. It's fascinating to me that a hundred different IT organizations can have virtually the same high-level goals, fundamentally agree on the key factors for success, and yet end up with a hundred unique execution paths.


 


Before I answer your question, can I create a definition? The term "BSM" is very poorly defined within the IT industry - different vendors have different versions, and so do the industry analysts (in fact, some other research I did last year concluded that very few people had a clear idea of what BSM means).  So, I'd like to introduce the term "Automated Business/IT Service Management"  or AB/ITSM.


 


Back to your question, I think I can group all the different evolution paths into five key types:  




  1. ITSM incident, problem change & configuration:  this evolution is driven out of the need for process-driven IT service management with the service desk as a key component


  2. Consolidated infrastructure event, performance and availability: this is driven by a recognition that having a whole ton of event management and performance monitoring systems is not an efficient way to run IT, and so there is a drive to consolidate them into one console.


  3. Business service visibility & accountability:  this is more of a top-down approach - start with monitoring the customer's quality of experience and then figure out what needs to happen underneath. This is popular in industries where the "web customer experience" is everything - if it's not good, you lose your business


  4. Service discovery & model: this is where evolution towards integration is driven from the need for a central model (the CMDB). Often, the main driver for such a central model is the need to control change


  5. Business transaction management: today, this is the rarest starting point. It's driven by a need to monitor and diagnose complex composite transactions. We see this need most strongly in the financial services sector

Mike: How about the politics of such AB/ITSM projects?  (I don't see the AB/ITSM term taking hold, by the way :-) )


Bryan: Politics (or, most specifically, the motivational side) is important. I think many heavy thinkers in our industry have the mistaken assumption that that there is a single evolution path, controlled from the top on down by the CIO following a master plan. Trying to manage such a serialized, mega project is a huge challenge and too slow, not to mention that 99% of CIO’s are not in the habit of forcing tactical execution edicts on their lieutenants (I know I’ll get some argument on that one :-) ).


 


What I see from my research is that the most successful IT organizations are those who have figured out how to balance between discrete doable projects, and an overall AB/ITSM end-goal context and roadmap.  Typically, the CIO lays down a high-level vision that ties to specific business results, and then allows key lieutenants to assess and drive a prioritized set of federated, manageable projects that independently drive incremental ROI. Some IT organizations may have a well-defined integrated roadmap, but the majority of IT run federated projects in a fairly disjointed fashion.


 


These parallel paths are owned by many independent personas within IT, each trying to solve the specific set of issues at hand. For them, being bogged down in how their federated project aligns and integrates with all the other AB/ITSM projects is daunting… if not fatal.


 


And on reflection this makes sense to me - the human side of things plays a large role in such endeavors.


 


Mike: What do you mean?


Bryan: IT organizations of all shapes and sizes have goals to reduce costs, increase efficiency, improve business/IT service quality, and mitigate risk all while applying technology in an agile way to boost business performance.   What I find interesting is how specific, funded initiatives are created by specific personas to achieve the goals.


 


In future posts, I will share some specific examples of how customers evolved through these paths, the key driver personas, the core motivations and how these paths come together.

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About the Author(s)
  • Doug is a subject matter expert for network and system performance management. With an engineering career spanning 25 years at HP, Doug has worked in R&D, support, and technical marketing positions, and is an ambassador for quality and the customer interest.
  • Dan is a subject matter expert for BSM now working in a Technical Product Marketing role. Dan began his career in R&D as a devloper, and team manger. He most recently came from the team that created and delivered engaging technical training to HP pre-sales and Partners on BSM products/solutions. Dan is the co-inventor of 6 patents.
  • This account is for guest bloggers. The blog post will identify the blogger.
  • Over 11 years of experience in design and development of NMS/EMS products and presently with the Device content support covering broad based features of multitude device vendors in NNMi.
  • Manoj Mohanan is a Software Engineer working in the HP OMi Management Packs team. Apart being a developer he also dons the role of an enabler, working with HP Software pre-sales and support teams providing technical assistance with OMi Management Packs. He has experience of more than 8 years in this product line.
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  • Nimish Shelat is currently focused on Datacenter Automation and IT Process Automation solutions. Shelat strives to help customers, traditional IT and Cloud based IT, transform to Service Centric model. The scope of these solutions spans across server, database and middleware infrastructure. The solutions are optimized for tasks like provisioning, patching, compliance, remediation and processes like Self-healing Incidence Remediation and Rapid Service Fulfilment, Change Management and Disaster Recovery. Shelat has 21 years of experience in IT, 18 of these have been at HP spanning across networking, printing , storage and enterprise software businesses. Prior to his current role as a World-Wide Product Marketing Manager, Shelat has held positions as Software Sales Specialist, Product Manager, Business Strategist, Project Manager and Programmer Analyst. Shelat has a B.S in Computer Science. He has earned his MBA from University of California, Davis with a focus on Marketing and Finance.
  • Architect and User Experience expert with more than 10 years of experience in designing complex applications for all platforms. Currently in Operations Analytics - Big data and Analytics for IT organisations. Follow me on twitter @nuritps
  • 36-year HP employee that writes technical information for HP Software Customers.
  • Pranesh Ramachandran is a Software Engineer working in HP Software’s System Management & Virtualization Monitoring products’ team. He has experience of more than 7 years in this product line.
  • Ramkumar Devanathan (twitter: @rdevanathan) works in the IOM-Customer Assist Team (CAT) providing technical assistance to HP Software pre-sales and support teams with Operations Management products including vPV, SHO, VISPI. He has experience of more than 12 years in this product line, working in various roles ranging from developer to product architect.
  • Ron Koren is a subject matter expert for BSM / APM, currently in the Demo Solutions Group acting as a Senior Architect. Ron has over fourteen years of technology experience, and a proven track record in providing exceptional customer service. Ron began his career in R&D as a software engineer, and later as a team manager. Ron joined HP software in 2007 as an engineer in the Customer-Oriented R&D team. Prior to joining HP, Ron held a leadership development role at Israel’s largest bank. Ron holds a B.S. in Computer Science from The Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya Israel.
  • Stefan Bergstein is chief architect for HP’s Operations Management & Systems Monitoring products, which are part HP’s business service management solution. His special research interests include virtualization, cloud and software as a service.
  • With 11 plus years of very broad experience as a deployment expert for all the NMC products, my deliverables includes helping the Sales and Pre-Sales team in sizing and architecting the solution and hardware, assisting the implementers in product deployment and helping the customers directly when the products are deployed in production setup. As part of Customer Assist Team, I participate in a lot of customer facing activities from R&D side and provides best practices of using HP SW NMC products for efficient network management and leverage my rich experience in Network Node Manager and related iSPIs products.
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