07 June 2016 blogs Matthew Carr 5min read
Managing hybrid environments comes with many challenges, and one of those challenges is the realization that organizations need to modernize their IT operations to improve service delivery in order to keep up with the hybrid world and the digital transformation. With surmountable pressure to deliver business value and get IT infrastructure to operate more efficiently, organizations need more resources to keep up with the pace of the business. Unfortunately, most of their budget is lost trying firefighting and keeping the lights on.
To be more efficient they need to mature their IT service delivery process and vice versa; the key points here being that they must align with the business, be more pro-active and start working as a team. However, research shows that the average organization has at least five IT monitoring tools that perform specific yet different tasks, and produce their own silo’ed data.
With organizations often forced to purchase multiple, overlapping tools to fill in feature gaps, it means that they end up having over a dozen tools to monitor, each collecting a piece of the ‘truth’ across their already disparate infrastructure. This results in equally silo’ed IT service delivery, where every silo uses its own tools to monitor and manage the set of components they are responsible for increased business downtime and outage costs, with companies spending 72% of their budget just being reactive to arising problems and “keeping the lights on” instead of focusing on innovation to increase the value of their business.
The fallout is that the organization doesn’t have a holistic view of this dispersed data in a context that the business understands. The services that are consumed by the business are usually made of components across these silos; organizations have a dozen or more sources of important data about these components such as datacenter, application and end-user monitoring systems, as well as IT service management systems. The key challenge becomes how to effectively use IT performance monitoring tools, and decrease the time that teams spend on correlating data from different sources.
It doesn’t help that the interdependencies between the infrastructure and applications are also becoming complex, making it difficult to identify and visualize these interdependencies and the root-cause of performance issues. With the huge gap between the domain specific monitoring tools and the ITSM/helpdesk solutions, different teams have different views of the IT landscape, and everyone speaks a different language.
The Emergence of Business Service Intelligence as a solution
The image above depicts all the major segments and the related sub-segments in the IT Operations Management market.
As companies are becoming ever more reliant on IT, it is becoming more of a competitive advantage in its own right to have the most up-to-date responsive technologies. The growth of IT Operations Analytics (ITOA), for instance, is demonstrating that pure machine data can lead to opportunities in terms of cost-cutting redundant capacity, as well as spot revenue opportunities by maximizing website speed on the e-commerce purchasing process, for example. Players in the Business Intelligence (BI) segment are starting to see this shift and are investing heavily into this space, which is leading to a convergence of ITOA and BI vendor landscapes.
Business Service Management (BSM) is a sub-segment which has been around for many years and aims to bring together IT Service Management (ITSM) and IT Monitoring. BSM was first included in the 2007 version of Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). Its core premise is the ability to monitor and manage the End User Experience and business transactions by mapping business services to infrastructure and application components. Business Value Dashboards (BVD) is a relatively new market that focuses on visualizing IT operations data with Business Intelligence inputs.
Creating a much needed new category in the IT Operations Management (ITOM) market, the conjunction of these three markets: ITSM, IT Monitoring and Business Intelligence, is what is termed as Business Service Intelligence (BSI). BSI fosters the strategic partnership between IT and the business. Instead of being caught up reacting to outages and firefighting, and buying a wide array of software solutions dedicated only to fix problems, an organization that is at the frontline will seek instead strategic, cutting-edge purchases that will drive innovation and deliver greater competitive advantage.
BSI enables organizations to reach the next level of IT maturity by unifying different silos and IT operation systems. With the right BSI solution, organizations can ensure a smooth integration between their existing monitoring systems and ITSM solutions into a unified service model that will provide them the much needed holistic view and allow them to visualize and track the health of business services.
It consolidates the data from ITSM & monitoring systems: information such as open helpdesk tickets, business cost of downtime and some key business performance indicators (like number of queued orders) and gives a complete insight of the status of business services. Once all of these important dots are connected, teams can become more pro-active and start predicting service outages, SLA breaches and upcoming capacity issues. At the end, everyone can see the picture as a whole instead of trying to piece together the puzzle, and IT goes from being a cost center to becoming a true business partner.
About Matthew Carr
Savision’s Business Intelligence Manager
Matthew is a Business Intelligence Manager at Savision. After having spent over 6 years at Cisco as an Accountant & Revenue Specialist, and 3 years at Clever Communications & Belkin as a Finance Manager, Matthew entered the software community in January 2011 when he joined Savision. Here, he is responsible for growing the Savision reach through tech and commercial partnerships. Matthew is a graduate from the University of Manchester and is also a chartered accountant.