"Tango/04 hears the voice of the customer."
Business Service Management (BSM)
Systems, Applications and Process Management aligned to Business Goals
Business Service Management (BSM) is a new discipline that makes explicit the relationship of IT elements (hardware, communication lines, databases) and the business services that they support (Sales, Billing, CRM, SCM, etc.), enhancing the ability to effectively manage the infrastructure within a business context.
Tango/04 Computing Group is currently in the process of adapting its core technology and competences to better support BSM requirements.
Our Visual Message Center suite of software solutions offers real-time infrastructure information (such as real-time status views of several business services) and is an extremely powerful foundation for BSM.
Tango/04 is also currently performing BSM projects for several customers, and enhancing its technology portfolio to better support the unique requirements of BSM.
- Download our brochure now and learn what BSM can do for your business.
- Visit the VISUAL Message Center homepage to take a close look at the BSM functionality of our suite of solutions for the automated management of systems, applications and business services.
Companies interested in maximizing the usage of their IT infrastructure face several difficulties. These can be summarized as complexity, visibility, prioritization and cost.
As their infrastructure grows in complexity with the integration of multiple servers, applications, databases and devices, it becomes more difficult for the IT department to understand business priorities and visualize how a small failure in a single infrastructure component can have a severe impact on the whole business service, or even a number of them.
Similarly, it is just as difficult to spot events that result from a failure, but have little or no impact at all on business services (for instance, when that particular component is replicated, a workaround exists, or the problem happens outside the critical interval of availability).
The difficulty to visualize business processes, and to classify and process events, makes it impossible to adequately prioritize the problems that affect the IT infrastructure and, ultimately, the attainment of the company's business goals.
Isolated monitoring tools produce an overwhelming number of events and data , but little useful or actionable information. Some studies reveal that 60% to 80% of IT budgets at companies are assigned to systems management, but paradoxically, most companies do not have any tools to understand how their business services are supported by their IT infrastructure.
At the same time, IT is under growing pressure to deliver better service levels, commit to demanding Service Level Agreements (SLAs), and increase efficiency.
Definition of BSM
Business Service Management (BSM) is an IT approach that provides top-down visibility of the state of business processes, rather than a collection of inter-related technology components.
For instance, instead of focusing on the status of servers, printers, the network, or other technical components, the focus is on the health of online order processing, production lines, or the payroll application.
Industry experts agree that by concentrating on the service impact instead of on isolated technical issues, IT personnel can be more effective, service levels are improved, wiser investment decisions can be made, and operational costs can be reduced.
While IT infrastructure management focuses on areas such as systems, applications, security and performance, business activity monitoring concentrates on monitoring operations data and Key Performance Indicators. The BSM approach enables the centralized management of IT infrastructure and the establishment of correlations with business activity.
Benefits of BSM
- BSM reduces downtime by helping the IT department to focus on solving problems that imply a high risk of affecting the organization's ability to do business successfully.
- BSM systems improve communications in the enterprise. Through different modeling tools, a BSM solution makes the relationship clear between profit-generating services and the technology infrastructure that supports them, for senior management to understand and appreciate the work of the department.
- BSM helps IT operators prioritize their tasks by assisting them in assessing the business impact of a failure.
- Identification of dependencies between business processes and IT elements helps reveal the real business impact of an outage or a slowdown, which helps IT prioritize tasks according to business needs.
- Predictability is also improved (how technology impacts the business, and how new services may impact the IT infrastructure). Decreased time-to-market for new services is another important derived benefit.
- Improved end-user satisfaction. This leads to higher corporate efficiency, but also to higher customer attraction and retention rates, augmenting the BSM return on investment.
- IT gains credibility. IT can demonstrate results in business terms.
- BSM allows for the creation of premium or differentiated services that can have a different internal "pricing" (or chargeback) based on service levels. For enterprises positioning the IT department as a profit center (or outsourcing companies) this is extremely relevant to justify the price differences and increase business opportunities.
- Finally, a BSM approach helps to obtain a greater return on past investments in system and application management solutions, since it can leverage them and generate unified views. In turn, the cultural change of evolving into a service-oriented enterprise implies several added benefits, making the overall company more flexible and responsive to changing economic environments.
In other words, BSM is a giant step in making the company more competitive and apt to survive.
Key Decision-Making Factors
BSM stresses the real-time aptitude of a product, since it is intended to help IT and LOB personnel to sense changes immediately so they can react before business is affected.
As the number of events that could potentially affect a business service is so high, any BSM technology has to be robust enough to support that kind of workload.
High availability features are also a must, since the company will depend on the monitors, alerts, reports, and dashboards that reflect the service status.
Adequate support for custom calendars is also a must, since there will be different SLAs based on time of the day, day of the week, whether that day is a bank holiday or not, and so on.
Good graphical capabilities are also essential, since easy-to-understand charts will share the insight much more rapidly than a text-based tool.
A BSM solution must be able to establish custom service level objectives, both for operations and business services.
Openness - the ability of the tool to integrate with other applications such as help desk, corporate portals, troubleshooting tools, etc., and to accept events and data input from other monitoring tools if required - is also a very important matter to avoid vendor lock-in and frustration later on.