One method to evaluate Business Service Management solutions

Posted on 24 January 2011

The concept of Business Service Management and why it is good for IT (and the business) is reasonably understood by most people.   The reality is that people tend to buy BSM solutions for the features it provides not just on the definition of BSM.   For some organizations, a BSM product is purchased within some type of internal project like ITIL or a Dashboard project.  When it comes down to it, those projects have requirements and they tie to specific features needed in the end solution such as;

  • Console consolidation
  • Root cause analysis
  • Impact analysis
  • Service Level Management
  • Dashboards
  • End to End visualization of Services

The list tends to go on and on.   When it comes down to it, BSM is something that you do within the solution (Managing to the Service, not the technologies), the features and functionality tend to be part of the BSM solution and where the purchasing focus should be.   One of the core features required for BSM is the ability to integrate to many sources.   There are many upon many tools within a large enterprise and many opportunities to pull in specific silo’s of data in order to provide a more complete view to the end users.  Large enterprises need the luxury of swapping out underlying tools/application in the future due to over priced maintenance renewals, bad support, acquisitions, poor software and numerous other reasons.  If the BSM solution is limited or not highly flexible in the ways in which it integrates to third party products, you may be stuck with some of those underlying technologies.

When evaluating BSM solutions, ensure that the solution has a robust integration feature.   Some BSM solutions are only good with integrating with their own companies products, this is a bit limiting.   Ensure that the are a few different options, ie: more than an SNMP trap or CSV import.

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  • http://mikepaterson.myopenid.com/ Mike Paterson

    A good article.

    One important additional point is that you can build a pretty good business case based on disintermediation – removing some of the mid-level management tools that can be replaced by the BSM tool. I did this with a customer of mine a few years back, They displaced BMC Patrol from all but a handful of their servers and used the maintenance saved to cover the BSM costs.

    To do this though, you will need to choose one of the best of breed vendors rather than the big 4 IMO.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Mike

    Thanks for the note.  We also just a customer who had displaced IBM tools for the BSM tool and went with open source, lower cost monitoring tools to feed into their BSM tool (Operations Center from NetIQ, formerly Managed Objects).

    The technology buying decisions are moving to the business and the leading edge IT organizations are waking up to the change in the conversation from technology availability to cost of the pain and the value of solving and driving business with technology.  The value is in the view of the technology to answer 3 simple questions:  Are we open for business, Are we performing and What is our current risk?

    The time has come for IT to answer these questions and drive value.

    Thanks again! 

    Michele