Tag Archive | "Business Service Management"

Competitive Benefits Drive Businesses to Open Source – CIO

Tags: Business Service Management, CIO, IT Management Tools, Open Source, SaaS, Transformation

The Hub Commentary_

Open Source is gaining in adoption.  I find this part of the business service management swell and transformation trend to evaluate the automation and driving down of operational costs to focus on the use of technology to drive business growth.  Just look at “Watson” on Jeopardy, powered by SUSE Linux.  It’s the Watson analytics that is relevant, not the cost of an operating system to drive it.

This same transformation will cut across the whole of the IT commodity monitoring and support functions with SaaS service and support tools and open source monitoring tools that have been on the market for quite some time and proven stable.  If you aren’t leveraging it, I guarantee your competition is using it.  It’s time for IT transformation and re-thinking that which is commodity and that which drives and differentiates your business.

Have you stopped paying the Big Boys the taxes to monitor your command center yet?



Vendors of proprietary software are fond of warning potential customers that open source software isn’t ready for business, typically citing subpar features or a higher total cost of ownership (TCO).  (Read Full Article…)

Eight trends to drive future of IT: Accenture – CBR

Tags: Accenture, Business Service Management, CBR, Cloud, Social Media

The Hub Commentary_

Social platforms in IT have actually been there, just as prevalent in the business.  Most of us use a Wiki or some sort of shared collaboration and we update it with information as we come by it and correct information others have posted, etc.  Most of us have been to Wikipedia at least once.  The ability to manage massive amounts of data about devices in the work place becomes challenging as they become mobile, connected and disconnected through multiple forms of connections.  Self service and social platforms are accepted forms of keeping many sources of the data up to date and accurate.

Think about it, most of us do not keep rolodexes any longer.  We expect our friends and colleagues to update their own online cards with the most accurate data and we access it in real-time when we need it or capture it when they phone or email us next, why not with the assets and data in the work place?



Report says social platforms evolving as new source of business intelligence; cloud computing as driver of business growth

The future of information technology (IT) will be dominated by data, with social platforms evolving as a new source of business intelligence, and cloud computing delivering on IT’s role as a driver of business growth, according to a new report from Accenture.  (Read Full Article…)

A Former “Prissy Girl” Takes on Tech – Fortune

Tags: Business Service Management, CIO, Fortune, Intel, IT Management, Support

The Hub Commentary_

The title caught my attention as I can relay a very similar story and entered the job market the same year as well.  Yikes!  However, I didn’t aspire or become CIO as Diane has done.  The one aspect of the article that I would debate is supporting any device in the organization.  The article describes a business service management approach at Intel in understanding the business and knowing how technology supports and drives the business growth, however, then takes a left turn with the roll your own approach.

Let me explain.  The consumer market without a doubt drives IT and how we as technologists should evaluate technology for business application.  Where I scratch my head and even argue with myself is in supporting every one’s personal device.  If for business purposes Intel did not require specific roles to need a smart device or tablet, then why take on the cost and burden to support it.  Intel didn’t take on the capital expenditure, but the human support cost in the end can exceed the cost of the device and defining a standard device may in the end have been cheaper.

I know that this also goes to the work environment/culture and I do not have visibility to their support costs and it also made employees more accessible to work by their own decision, so that is where I debate with myself and it may come out to be a wash in this case.  I’m using it as an example of the things that should be weighed before signing up to support anything just because the employee makes the capital expenditure.  Like Intel evaluated security, there are very real other concerns to weigh.

Outsourcing and the service providers are more appealing with their subscription models because they define a standard for the commodity and do not deviate.  So while the Intel story sounds appealing, I would not suggest it is for everyone.  This is the exception – not the rule.



Diane Bryant never intended to go to college, let alone become a top executive at Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker. She joined the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company back in 1985 and has held several positions over the years, including silicon design engineer and general manager of the server platforms group. About three years ago, she became Intel’s (INTC) chief information officer.  (Read Full Article…)

Forrester: SaaS Won’t Succeed with Some Apps – CIO

Tags: Business Service Management, CIO, Forrester, IT Management, SaaS, Service Providers

The Hub Commentary

SaaS as the article describes is followed with a ton of hype in these days of the cloud and transformation to business service management versus the commodity at the lower level.  The short term cost appeal with the subscription model and ease at which you can subscribe generates a lot of the hype.  I believe in the model and again always suggest first going back to basics and identify your services and classify them giving you a sense of what you need to service and support.

Once you understand the value of a service to your business, you can start evaluating whether it is a commodity process or specialized, market differentiators for your business.  Specialized services do not lend themselves well to these types of models.  Well defined and common services/process es are well suited for these models and should be used for that purpose.  In fact, they should be employed to drive standards into your organization and right size your service and support, which is hard to do from the inside once high levels of service have been delivered.

Another factor to consider is not all software was developed to be effectively used in a shared model and may not offer the economies of scale that a true shared service can offer.  As the folks at Forrester indicate, the commodity management, monitoring and lower in the stack items are well suited for this model as they should be standardized and common so your valuable resources can focus on driving business growth with technology over monitoring “box on / box off” lights.



Given all the hype SaaS (software as a service) has garnered, you might be inclined to think every category of software will be delivered predominantly from the cloud at some point. Not so, says a new Forrester Research report.  (Read Full Article…)

Winning the Consolidated Data Center Future – ITBusinessEdge

Tags: Business Service Management, Consolidation, IT Management, ITBusinessEdge, Transformation

The Hub Commentary_

Consolidation can have short term gains and costs with longer term gains when approached as Arthur describes in his post.  Its all about balancing operating and growing the business and business service management practices.

Many approach consolidation much like new technology, virtualization, for the short term cost saving to remove hardware and software licenses from the equation.  However, when done right it with investments and spending upfront, there are greater gains in the longer term.  Arthur mentions SIRVA and how they spent to consolidate and gain and ends with a reduction in staff by a third.

Who really removes people?  It is possible and generally is why IT does not turn inward to automate and drive efficiencies in their own organization as they do when applying technology for automating other parts of the organization.  As was noted in today’s earlier news commentary, the roles in IT start to shift as service managers and analysts applying technology to the business – not “bulb monitors” watching the commodity operate.

These are interesting times and it will be interesting to keep this years Fortune 500 edition and compare it to 2012 and 2013 and see who takes over each industry and is leading with the use of technology.



It isn’t often that the phrase “do more with less” is literally true, but that is exactly what’s happening with the latest round of data center consolidation.   (Read Full Article…)

The Cloud CIO: A Tale of Two IT Futures – CIO

Tags: Business Service Management, CIO, Cloud Computing Journal, IT Management, Roles, Service Providers, Transformation

The Hub Commentary_

I would agree that IT is commoditizing and the role of IT leaders is evolving much like my good friend Siki indicates where commodity services can be done elsewhere and which then frees the evolved IT resources to sit at the table as Diane describes to apply technology to business choices.  This is the practices of business service management in action.

In the featured post, Finding your Services, I describe first classifying your services based upon their contribution and cost to the business.  How you deliver (source) that service then becomes the next choice.  Just because you have technical capability in-house to deliver the service does not mean you keep it in house.  Many services are becoming commodity and should be shipped out of the data center.  On the other extreme, where you are seeking to deliver new and innovative services to the market to drive growth, but you may not have the expertise in-house to deliver it timely enough, you may also choose to seek outside assistance.

Again, it becomes a balancing act between operating and growth and weighing the cost and value of in-house versus external options.  Then the new role of IT becomes that which is described by both Siki and Diane, one of the facilitator of services that both operate and drive the business.  We are in unique times of role evolution and this will become uncomfortable for the traditional IT staff.

Are you driving business with technology or just operating?



This week I saw two articles that captured the two visions of IT that will dominate the future. Both were interviews with senior IT leaders, one a CIO of a major technology company, the other a senior executive with a leading system integrator. One article depicted a vision of IT as a future of standardized, commodity offerings, while the other portrayed IT as a critical part of every company’s business offerings.  (Read Full Article…)

One Size Most Definitely Does Not Fit All – Cloud Computing Journal

Tags: Business Service Management, Cloud, Cloud Computing Journal, End-to-End View, Integration, IT Management

The Hub Commentary_

I read this post by a friend of mine and I couldn’t agree more wholeheartedly.  Cloud computing by the nature of it screams heterogeneous environment versus a single vendor framework homogeneous environment.  I also screams requirements for an integration platform and business service management practice to manage the services consuming the technology.

I suppose my first question to someone would be “why consider the agility of cloud computing if you are seeking a single vendor framework?”  The speed at which the market is exploding with varying as-a-Service offerings, whether it be infrastructure, applications, storage, etc. indicates that you must consider and determine how best you will monitor and manage these threads of technology as a service fabric holistically.  The requirement for an end-to-end view of the service is possible in real-time with the right approach to integrating the metrics from the various sources of monitoring whether they be in your data center or provided by the service provider.

Finally as this pains me to mention again and will have to be the last time this year, there is taking advantage of the technology for business growth and opportunity, as was done this past Sunday for 5 hours in Texas Stadium.  During opportunities of promotional selling, the ability to dial up/down services, reposition capacity to insure the greatest opportunity to reap the benefit of the customer interaction will be the key to agile computing and business growth in the future.



Larry Ellison let it be known at the recent Oracle OpenWorld (an ironic name if I ever heard one) that he saw nothing wrong with companies using just Oracle solutions across the entire enterprise. Of course, he would think that given that he runs Oracle. But these days, more often than not, you are going to find multiple solutions from a variety of vendors, and you need a cloud solution that is going to support them all.  (Read Full Article…)

First in a Series – Finding Your Services, The Golden Key

Tags: Business Service Management, Service Value

Starting any project is daunting and Business Service Management as an initiative is often thought of as big, hard and complicated.  My personal opinion is that stems from the fact that it cuts horizontally across the data center and does not reside in one sphere of influence.  However, as a long time product marketing / product manager I find it can be quite simple.  One service at a time, one service team at a time approach rather than boiling the ocean all at once.  Let’s start at the top, the service, and work our way down and back up again in a series of posts.

Start at the top, the service(s) and take them one at a time.  My usual advice is to pick 2, 1 that is absolutely mission critical to the organization and 1 that is back-office and well known from a configuration and management standpoint.  What, select my most critical?  Yes, this will have the biggest bang for the buck in making strides with the business with a higher quality of service and fast return.  Selecting something you know well insures you know the data is fairly accurate while you learn the process, but likely will not score points with the business.

The first thing to do is identify the services and categorize them – not all services are created equal and thus should not be managed as such.  Here’s what I mean,

Business Service ManagementCreate 4 simple classifications:

  • Growth – Services that drive and support revenue growth.  New and current services that differentiate your company in the market.
  • Quality- Services that drive quality of the customer experience and customer retention in the market.
  • Productivity – Services that are must have and more inward facing automating and driving efficiencies in the organization.
  • Cost – Services that are must have, not differentiated in the market and must just operate as efficiently as possible.

The chart illustrates the typical key drivers for each category of service.  By first identifying your services and making a simple judgment, it will aid in determining how you will manage these services and where the priorities lie.  Simply, above the line are your Business Value, strategic services that touch your external customers and below the line are your Business Cost, operational services that are required to operate efficiently.

This classification will guide the definition of your service levels, priorities, DR and responsiveness strategies.  The approach is a little top down and a little bottom up to meet in the middle.  Identifying and classifying the services top down will define the rules of engagement with the business and the bottom up maps what you have and how the infrastructure components are related.  The connection in the middle is the meeting of the infrastructure with the logical use of the infrastructure.  In this post I’m concentrating on the top first.

Some organizations delineate this as 2 functions:  1) IT and technical configurations and 2) Service delivery and logical configurations.  We will speak in terms of one view that turns the technology silos into services, balancing the technical management requirements with business service quality requirements.  Yes, technical and logical definitions are required, but what I’m suggesting is that they will meet in the middle leveraging the same data and information for multiple purposes keeping the business and IT in synch with one another.

I had the opportunity to facilitate a half day workshop not too long ago where this division and 2 projects existed.  The first was an operational, technical CMDB project and the second was a service delivery governance project.  It took a little time, but about half way through the session the light bulb went on.  We were talking about the same CMDB project, but were layering in the availability/performance/management aspect to give it life and finally the rules of engagement from the business regarding priority, etc.  What comes as second nature to me, is sometimes lost in the silos we work in as IT organizations and just takes a little bit of a different approach.

Ok, this is step one…I encourage the service delivery folks to find their configuration counterparts and vice versa.  Next post, the top down modeling……

Funny commercials during Super Bowl

Tags: BSM, Business Alignment, Business Service Management, IT Management, Service Level

There were some funny commercials and some not so funny commercials during the Super Bowl.   The one with Ozzie and Beiber was kind of funny, but I question if the commercial had impact, as in, did it sell something?   If you saw the commercial, which company was the commercial for, what is it that they were selling?

Business Service Management has some of the same challenges.  There are many metrics that IT is watching, but in the end, what is it that they are trying to get out of the metrics, what is it that we are watching in IT?   Does looking at a dashboard with response times mean BSM, does looking at a group of correlated alarms equate to doing BSM, does showing the availability of a database imply BSM… no, but all of it together with even more gets you into the ball park of Business Service Management.

The point is, focusing on the underlying technologies or only specific areas of the enterprise does not allow for IT to have a good understanding of the Services being offered and/or if the Services are up, running and happy.  One of the main objectives of Business Service Management is to have a clear picture of the Services that are being offered to the end customer (internal or external), being able to see the services end to end and understand the overall health and availability.   Don’t allow IT to get distracted by the technology silos, get them focused on the Services being provided to the end users.


The Data Center Powering the Super Bowl – Data Center Knowledge

Tags: Business Service Management, Data Center Knowledge, IT Management, Service Value, Super Bowl

The Hub Commentary_

For the folks that know me best, they are snickering at how this pains me to write and not only post once, but twice about Texas Stadium.  My featured post on Friday was also about Texas Stadium and the Super Bowl and the Business Service Management opportunity facing those companies buying 30 second ads at $3M each.  I believe the might Pug stole the show!

I also included a link to this video about the data center powering Texas Stadium.   Check out this video In hindsight, Texas Stadium was geared for successful Business Service Management practices.  They were not just monitoring all the technology that powered the TV’s and point-of-sale (POS) devices around the stadium.  They were monitoring the inventory levels in the Pro Shops shifting inventory in real-time around the stadium.  They were monitoring the snack bars and offering real-time discounts around the stadium.

This was Business Service Management in action.  100,000 buyers captive for roughly 5 hours using technology to drive the highest revenue possible.  As much as it pains me, my hats off to the IT staff of Texas Stadium AND the gaunlet has been dropped on my beloved Colts and Lucas Oil Stadium for 2012!                        



As 100,000 fans pour into Cowboys Stadium Sunday for Super Bowl XLV, the fans will have little awareness that there’s a data center serving as the technological nerve center of the stadium. But the staff at CDW and HP and the Cowboys’ IT team know how vital the stadium’s IT infrastructure is in creating the “ultimate fan experience.”  (Read Full Article…)

How British Airways Made Money From IT – CIO

Tags: British Airways, Business Service Management, CIO, IT Management, SAP, Service Providers

The Hub Commentary_

This headline caught my eye as I will be the first to debate that IT is not a profit center.  However, this is a prime example of IT realizing and classifying services based upon Service Value and applying Business Service Management practices.  In an effort to first cut support costs from old systems, right sourcing decisions and partnerships were established for industry must haves and I applaud these decisions.

I’ve seen this consortium model a couple of times in my career and it can be successful when set-up like this with the outsourcer as the intermediary managing the infrastructure and service with the ability to market, sell and replicate the solution across the industry.  The service is an industry standard and not specific to the business and thus no competitive advantage across the industry.  However, what usually keeps it from being successful is the size of the market that it can be sold to and how easily the others in the industry can just plug into the service.

The tipping point to concentrate on growth investments for IT and decrease the IT spend for cost saving measures may be enough to push to consortium like success for these types of services in the coming 12-24 months.



Give a man a fish, the proverb goes, you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime. Turns out there’s a quasi-corollary for corporate IT: Give your company a more efficient system, and you cut costs; give your industry a better way to operate, and you increase revenue.  (Read Full Article…)

Back to the Future – Monitoring 1999 Style

Tags: Business Service Management, IT Management Tools, Monitoring, Service Level

Tonight we’re gonna manage like it’s 1999.  I was introduced to a prospect today that made me feel like I was in a timewarp.  I was given of of those old school 400 question RFPs  which called for in-depth answers about Event Management – and I mean everything about it, correlation, rules, weighting, etc.  I had two reactions: isn’t this a “done” topic? Hasn’t Netcool been doing this so long that IBM bought them years ago to replace that dreadful T/EC? Couldn’t you have used the time and resources to put together this treatise to just download open source Zenoss and give it a try?

I know I shouldn’t be snarky about customers, but imagine you are a car dealer and someone comes in and wants to know every minute detail about the workings of a seatbelt. Wouldn’t you say “it’s a seatbelt, you click it and it holds you in”?  My next reaction was, “what does this have to do with Business Service Management (BSM)?” and the answer I got was “well, we want the events to be on a dashboard, that’s the BSM part”.  So now BSM = webpage front end?

We asked about managing from a business perspective, for example, if they are an insurance company perhaps managing the availability of claims processing, as opposed to servers and network segments and then spoke of setting service levels based on the business process as opposed to a server being up 99.xxx% of the time?  Actually, my point is that many of us that live and breathe BSM take if for granted that IT shops are up-to-date simply because we strive to stay ahead of the curve with BSM.

Here’s a quick definition, courtesy of Wikipedia.  “Business service management (BSM) is a methodology for monitoring and measuring information technology (IT) services from a business perspective; in other words, BSM is a set of management software tools, processes and methods to manage a data center via a business-centered approach.” Oh, and here’s a link to download open source Zenoss for monitoring, it might save you from having to write a 400 question monitoring rfp:  http://community.zenoss.org/community/download

I find more and more customers taking advantage of the open source technologies and consolidating at the monitoring level to remove costs in order to invest in the business service view.  The dynamic and distributed nature of the environment makes it nearly impossible to understand the monitoring events in terms of business impact without technology to map and present it as a single-pane-of-glass view.

I hope you enjoy my little humor for the week.


For Enterprise IT – Hybrid Cloud Management A Priority – IDC Blogs

Tags: Business Service Management, Cloud, IDC Blogs, IT Management, Service Level, Service Providers

The Hub Commentary_

Hooray!  Great post by Mary on the management and service level management requirements for the cloud.



IDC is forecasting that the total cloud systems management software market will total $2.5 billion by 2015. This market will encompass virtualization management, automated provisioning, self serve provisioning portals, dynamic consumption based metering and capacity analysis, service catalogs, end-to-end real time performance monitoring and related management software tools deployed into public and private cloud environments.  (Read Full Article…)

Super Bowl, Victoria’s Secret and Business Service Management

Tags: Availability, Business Service Management, Cloud, CNN Money, IT Management, Service Value, USA Today

I can already hear you asking and scratching your heads, “Michele, what do those 3 things have in common – cmon, get real”.  Yes, I’m a long term IT nerd and tremendous football fan that remembers everything.  Heck, I fessed up to crashing a data center for 7 hours in an earlier post.  My motto:  go large or stay home or as we say in the south: ” if you can’t run with the big dawgs, stay off the porch”!

Back in 1999 Victoria’s Secret ran their first ever Super Bowl ad, $2.7M for 30 seconds.  Early days of online retail, wind back the clock and clear the cobwebs, yes, these were the early days of Amazon and the revolution to online sales and web hosting.  Then the unthinkable happened, 1M website visitors in an hour, was IT ready for this traffic?  Heck no!  Did IT and Marketing prepare and communicate this impending event, likely not.  Headlines:  CNNMoney 2/1/1999 “Victoria’s ‘Net Secret is Out” .  So can I fault them in these early adopter days, nah, I applaud them as market innovators.  However, they brought the data center to its knees.  Marketing created interest that the data center could not fulfill upon in an effort to generate Valentines sales with both men and women in an audience estimated at 100M so ~3 cent spend per customer and generated millions in orders.  Not a bad return.

Now roll the clock forward.  It was almost 10 years before Vickies (as I call them) purchased another Super Bowl ad in 2008 – USA Today 2/1/2008 “Victoria’s Secret back to Fiirt with Super Bowl”. No outage headlines this time, but this is a prime example of Business Service Management practices and IT understanding and operating with the business objectives in mind.

The moral of the story is IT and the business must link up in order to support major bursts in spend, marketing,  Super Bowl ads and traffic on the infrastructure to reap the biggest return on the investment.  This year’s ads are $3M for a 30 second slot.  Who’s “going to the cloud”?  Who leveraged the cloud for the additional one time capacity – now that is a story I’d love to read about linking Business Service Management and Cloud strategies.

Who’s going to make IT headlines after this year’s Super Bowl or will it be 2012 for the Cloud Bowl headlines?  How cool would it be to make headlines because you leveraged the Cloud for additional capacity to reap the greatest reward of a marketing spend at the Super Bowl? Business Service Management in Action!

As much as it hurts me to tell you this on so many levels, Texas Stadium is IT ready, Check out this video.

What I do find fascinating about this is that Texas is experiencing an unusual cold snap and they are experiencing power outages.  However, the news says the power outages will not impact Texas Statium, no guarantees to all the Texas TV watchers, but the event is supposed to be impact free. 100M viewers will determine that on Sunday!

P.S. – In case you  are wondering – I’m a serious Colts Fan, but this year the color of the helmet in the feature picture is no accident – Green Bay all the Way!

Cloud Computing brings Chance of Showers – SCMagazine

Tags: Business Service Management, Cloud, IT Management, SCMagazine, Service Providers, Service Value, Virtualization

The Hub Commentary_

The author points out great security points in making the leap to the cloud and part of those warts not mentioned is the management of those VMs in the cloud from an end-to-end business service management perspective to manage against the risk he points to.  How risky is it to have that VM in the cloud?  How secure should you make the data and management of the VM?  What business services are at risk?

It is the end-to-end service view that needs to also be considered up front when architecting your plans for cloud deployment and that should be based upon the service value and risk of the overall service.  Mapping those services, understanding cost, risk and value will aid in making these decisions, architecting the VMs and putting the proper monitoring, management and measurement of the VMs and services in total.

Check out my Feature Post on classifying services.



Over the past few years, we have seen a gradual transition from traditional computer center with dedicated resources to virtual machines and cloud computing.  During this time, people have realized some of the value of virtualization in termsof savings and resource optimization.  Unfortunately, there are still a number of warts in the virtualization that have followed the migration to the cloud.  (Read Full Article…)

Cloud Computing (still) Needs a Bill of Rights – ZDNet

Tags: Business Service Management, Cloud, IT Management, Service Level, Service Providers, ZDNet

The Hub Commentary_

This article inspired me to write a full blown feature on the subject of vendor management, service level measurement/management/communication and basic business service management practices.  The net of it, IT you own it – no shifting blame to others and no government intervention to set up terms and conditions.  This is outsourcing, plain and simple – manage your provider.

Read the feature commentary in this post.  I do predict there will be a very large outage in 2011, it will be a brand name company, there will be hype based headlines and buried deep in the article disguised in hype will be the root cause – poor contractual terms and conditions, poor vendor management and complete lack of service level measurement keeping perception in check with reality!



Back in December, after Amazon summarily pulled the plug on WikiLeaks using its servers for alleged violations of terms and conditions, the CTO of Fujitsu Technology Solutions wrote that the action constituted a serious threat to the business of cloud computing…. (Read Full Article…)

I Didn’t Do It, It’s His Fault – Cloud Responsibility

Tags: Business Service Management, Cloud, IT Management, Service Level, Service Providers, ZDNet

Face it, we all blame our siblings for everything that goes wrong, in my case my baby brother – who towers over me.

Today I’m writing an article instead of just sharing the news having spent a little time consulting and reviewing major sourcing contracts for customers and being trained in the Ross Perot bootcamp of outsourcing early in my career.  What I always find amazing is how much trust a subscriber puts in the provider during the contract negotiation.  On one hand there is trust (I call it naivety) and the provider was successful in creating a relationship, playing on emotion and expertise in the market.  On the other hand it is a recipe for disaster,  a lose – win situation for you the subscriber.  Know your rights.

Cloud computing is still just outsourcing, however, agile and dynamic technology enables a more dynamic purchasing option than in an early adopter phase.  What differentiates the providers at this time is their maturity to manage the services and service level agreements and the flexibility of their services.  When the market matures, we will reach a state of similar services, standard agreements and get down to price based decisions.  Price based decisions currently reflect the “buying” of a customer base and immature operating processes.  Buyer beware in these situations of early adopter buying and low cost options – shame on you the buyer.

Here’s my usual SLA and sourcing advice.  Outsource the commodity, the services that are absolutely the same regardless of industry, stop being unique, special and different and accept the standard and low cost option.  Go back to my Service Value chart.  Remember you still own the services and you can’t blame your sibling.  To that point, you own the service level – availability, performance, response, contract termination, etc.  Just remember the more stringent you are with the terms the greater the risk to the provider and the higher the cost.  Evaluate their standard terms and fill in the gaps, but fill them in appropriately based upon the value of the service.  Do not tell the provider “how” to deliver the service or how to manage the infrastructure, you are outsourcing for a reason.

My prediction for this year is that a major customer will engage with a major provider and there will be a major outage this year and there will be front page headlines creating noise how the cloud fails.  I will point back to front page Wallstreet Journal news of just about 10 years ago.  IBM, Seibel and SAP fail and Hershey misses Halloween – their largest candy selling season.  Pages and pages of an article playing to the hype of the big names and the market and failure.

I remember exactly where I was when I read the paper, waiting on my relentlessly late co-worker in the lobby of a San Francisco hotel.  Net of the story, change management and testing issue and Hershey found we are not loyal to chocolate.  We will go to another drugstore for a brand of toothpaste, but when we want chocolate we will take what is on the shelf.  Moral of the story was Hershey missed Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines and most of Easter to sort out their order to distribution challenges for what they thought was “14 days, we can fix anything in 14 days”.

I predict the same hype will occur here and it will boil down to a mismanaged, lack of defined and monitored SLA’s.  Just because you subscribe to a service does not alleviate you from the responsibility of the service and contract.

Monitoring, management and measuring cannot be an afterthought – how are you monitoring your service provider(s)?

The article that riled me up for this post is the following:

Cloud Computing (still) Needs a Bill of Rights – ZDNet

Back in December, after Amazon summarily pulled the plug on WikiLeaks using its servers for alleged violations of terms and conditions, the CTO of Fujitsu Technology Solutions wrote that the action constituted a serious threat to the business of cloud computing:  (Read Full Article….)

Are Open Systems Inevitable in the Cloud? – ITBusinessEdge

Tags: Business Service Management, IaaS, Integration, IT Management, Open Systems

The Hub Commentary_

Today is the topic of integration in Business Service Management land.  The nature of taking advantage of cloud and dynamic resources will require open connectivity.  The subscriber maintains the responsibility for overall management of services to their customers.  This in and of itself screams of open systems and integration platforms.

The role of the data center is changing and will continue to rapidly evolve as the service provider, stitching together the best services to drive the growth of it’s business and operate the business efficiently.  This will require integration of subscribed to software services and the sharing of corporate data, integration of management technologies and feeds from the infrastructure running the workloads the subscriber pushes off premise.  The workloads themselves will need to be intelligent and service enabled providing a view of risk of failure as an early warning system just as organizations have today.

In my opinion, this is the reason IaaS is so popular as a first stab at the cloud.  Providing hardware is a bit less complex, but still requires feeds of data for management and monitoring.

Are you considering your integration strategy as you go ‘To The Cloud’?



Few people would argue against the efficacy of open, interoperable systems. And yet market forces being what they are, a fully open IT universe has forever been hopelessly out of reach.  (Read Full Article…)

More On Cloud Middleware – SaaSBlogs

Tags: Business Service Management, Integration, IT Management, SaaS, SaaSBlogs, Service Providers

The Hub Commentary_

I feel like changing things up here in Business Service Management land today.  This blog caught my attention as it describes the leap of going from an independent software vendor (ISV) to a SaaS offering.  It has challenges in how the software is architected so that it can then later be hosted and ultimately used by many customers in a single, multi-tenant environment to take full advantage of the economies of scale.  The fact is most are run in dedicated environments to short cut this challenge.

The piece I find curious and would debate is why should an ISV turn into the service provider?  I would be highly speculative of these situations as most lack the experience to make that leap to manage a data center.  Best to partner with a hosting provider with th expertise in managing and running software and stick to what you know best – the application.

Now relating this back to the topic of Business Service Management, the application needs to be instrumented or as I call it, service enabled.  Data needs to be sent to the monitoring and management technology to provide basic health and availability and thus the need for that middleware testing the performance of the hosting provider as well as application performance data.  The cloud and service provider models bring great agility, but all point to the requirement for an integration platform to provide that end-to-end service view.

How are you measuring your service providers?



Sinclair’s recent post Cloud Middleware: The Language Shared by Network Engineers and Developers posits that the cloud space has seemingly maintained a bias towards infrastructure offerings (IaaS) and is now at an “inflection point” where a common layer – the cloud middleware layer – will be required by developers and network managers alike to, as Jeff Kaplan puts it: Bridge the Great Divide in Cloud Computing.  I’d like to expand on this theme.   (Read Full Article…)

Verizon Buys Terremark – Gartner Blogs

Tags: Business Service Management, Cloud, Gartner, IaaS, Service Providers

The Hub Commentary_

This week there has been significant buzz around this acquisition and I’ve held off posting and referring to any of the articles.  Lydia of Gartner sums it up well with her blog of yesterday.  One in debt without a sales team and the other in need of data center footprints and a sales force in need of a ticket to the CIO.

Infrastructure and the management of it has no doubt become the commodity in IT.  The acceleration to the cloud and subscription or back to the old days of timeshare on the IBM computers is here.  Now the trick is architecting your services, managing them and the service provider, while balancing costs and value.  This new model has much to offer and is the future, but has many pitfalls that can be a cost drain.

I expect before year end we will hear about how the model fails and what you will find in the middle of what will be a very lengthy article will be a lack of proper vendor and service management.  Renting the infrastructure does not alleviate the instrumentation responsibility to make the workloads intelligent and service enabled back to your management platform or the integration across providers and platforms to manage the end-to-end service.  Then there is that pesky relationship with the vendor.

How are you architecting your workloads of the future?



A couple of days ago, Verizon bid to acquire Terremark, for a total equity value of $1.4 billion. My colleague Ted Chamberlin and I are issuing a First Take on the event to Gartner clients; if you’re looking for advice and the official Gartner position, you’ll want to read that. This blog post is just some personal musings on the reasons for the acquisition.  (Read Full Article…)