Tag Archive | "Business Service Management"

Waste Management Customers to Gain Data Visibility – ITNews

Tags: Business Service Management, ITNews, Service Value, Transformation

The Hub Commentary_

In my post today, Getting to Service Value, the principles I described regarding Business Service Management are put into action here with this CEO and CIO combination.  The business is/was changing and technology was/is being re-thought and deployed to change the business.

How are you changing your IT practices with the business?



David Steiner, CEO, Waste Management Over the last few years, our customers’ needs have started to change. When you have customers coming to you for help achieving their zero-waste goals and the name of your company is Waste Management, you’d better think differently about your business model and services. We now have an upstream business unit that helps customers reach zero waste.”  (Read Full Article…)

Getting to Service Value with Business Service Management

Tags: Business Service Management, Service Cost, Service Value

What is a simple explanation of what Business Service Management (BSM) is, does – let’s take the BS out of the speak.  I simply describe it as the ability for IT to communicate service performance (value) aligned with business objectives, while maintaining control over the infrastructure.  Many of my friends in the industry start to mix in the ‘how’ they deliver BSM with tools, processes, automations, configurations, etc. but I prefer to take the how out of the speak as this is just what is frustrating our organizations to seek other technology options from the multitude of service providers that are popping up this year.

I looked over some others definitions and top 10 lists of BSM principles and still see far too much IT, product, technology and processes, even in these days of IT commoditization.  So here is my view of guiding BSM principles:

  1. Understand your business objectives
  2. Know your market, competition and differentiators
  3. Communicate service performance
  4. Know your services and their value classification
  5. Know your service costs
  6. Govern in accordance to business objectives and service value
  7. Provide transparency of services – cost and value based discussions
  8. Manage services – operate technology
  9. Operate efficiently
  10. Be a transformer, not an obstacle, apply technology

Now with these glasses on, look at how you monitor, manage, operate, automate your data center, the processes you utilize and deployment strategies.  Service by service based upon the cost and value of the service how will you monitor and measure it?  What is the best option for deployment?  Based upon business value, how much risk can you take?

All services are not created equal, but we manage them the same in most situations because it is easier to just manage it all the same at the highest cost and the business asks and expects it because they are not presented with options.  The challenge is gathering data, turning it into information in a live, integrated view to facilitate these discussions in market time.

What is your view of Business Service Management?


Cloud Computing: IT as Commodity – InfoWorld

Tags: Business Service Management, Cloud, InfoWorld, IT Commoditization, IT Management

The Hub Commentary_

As the writer mentions, a lot of ink has covered cloud computing – I might suggest a lot of that ink has been about the commoditization of IT.  As I posted yesterday with the 2×2 grid of service classification, most of what falls into the Cost quadrant are services that could be considered commodity. Applying business service management practices and taking a top down view as my friend Siki suggests in the article, is the first step in identifying services, where they should run and how they should be managed for that end-to-end view as she also mentions.

The for Cost services are not unique and different from one organization to the next and those resources can be redeployed for applying technology to growth opportunities for the business.  As we have posted many times on The Hub on this topic, management has to be baked into workloads making them not only secure, but also intelligent to feed the proper monitoring information back into your management tools.

How are you taking advantage of the cloud today?



So much digital ink, on InfoWorld and elsewhere, has been spilled analyzing cloud computing — what it is, whether it’s anything new, whether it will change IT as we know it. But a recent conversation has me thinking that cloud computing’s greatest contribution may be in the way it applies the principles of mass production to IT.  (Read Full Article…)

The Intelligent Management of Computing Workloads – Quocirca

Tags: Business Service Management, Cloud, IT Management, IT Management Tools, Quocirca, Virtualization

The Hub Commentary_

Business Service Management practices need to be baked into the workloads as they are configured and deployed just as you would instrument applications and hardware as it is deployed into production environments.  The difference in this situation is that the workloads are a bit more dynamic and potentially paid for with a subscription on outside infrastructure.  Management to decommission workloads is as important as deploying additional resources during peak periods to monitor costs appropriately.

Management practices are often the last applied when moving or changing services into production.  However, in order to be properly instrumented for monitoring and management, the management must be planned and implemented during the planning and configuring stage in order to properly test and move to production.

How intelligent are your workloads?



The rapid increase in the availability of on-demand IT infrastructure (infrastructure as a service/IaaS) gives IT departments the flexibility to cope with the ever-changing demands of the businesses they serve. In the future, the majority of larger businesses will be running hybrid IT platforms that rely on a mix of privately owned infrastructure plus that of service providers, while some small business will rely exclusively on on-demand IT services.  (Read Full Article…)

Global CIO: The Top 10 CIO Issues For 2011 – InformationWeek

Tags: Business Service Management, CIO, InformationWeek, IT Management, Service Value, Trends

The Hub Commentary_

This article has some extreme points, however, I too believe this is the year for radical change for data centers and IT.  Service value and Business Service Management practices are an imperative.  The catalyst for change is the explosion of service providers and cloud options, frustration with internal IT lethargic behavior and a promise for increased spending in technology that guarantees to grow the business.

In another recent news article and post I mentioned pick up this years upcoming Fortune 500 list of leaders and hold it for next year and compare the shifts in who leads their industry and who applied technology in lock step with their business driving growth through service value and new technologies.  I believe there will be a few industry upsets in next year’s list.

How are you driving service value in 2011?



Like the cranks who frothily peddled the notion that vaccinations trigger autism, too many uninformed tech-strategy charlatans are still pushing the ancient and empty bromide that CIOs need to “request a seat at the table.”  (Read Full Article…)

How to Manage Consumer Devices on Your Network – NetworkWorld

Tags: Business Service Management, IT Management, NetworkWorld, Service Value

The Hub Commentary_

The first question should really be “Do you know the value in managing consumer devices on your network.” Good Business Service Management practices would start with an evaluation of the cost to manage a new device and the value it provides to the business over doing something else that would drive revenue growth.  This goes to a post from last week on the very same topic.

There is no doubt that as data centers and services advance the first devices evaluated will be mobile, however, just because it is there and is someones new gadget doesn’t mean that it is a must to support.  Does it drive revenue?  Will it aid in customer retention? How does it make the environment more productive and efficient?

Practices of good service value evaluations are a must have these days with the exponential growth and proliferation of new devices and technologies.

How do you evaluate Service Value before signing up for support and management?



Smartphones and other devices such as the Apple iPad have clearly reached critical mass. The iPad alone is expected to reach sales of 65 million units this year. While we call them consumer devices, a hefty percentage are owned by people who want to use their phone or tablet computer to access corporate e-mail and other applications. Chances are good that you are already dealing with workers at your organization wanting to connect their devices to your network.  (Read Full Article…)

Social Business Strategy – Forrester Blogs

Tags: Business Service Management, CMDB, Forrester, Social Media, Trends

The Hub Commentary_

Applying a social interface to IT may sound crazy to the technologists, however, if you move past the initial reaction and think about many of the initiatives from IT and the response from the business, it may just be the interface that drives acceptance.  We have all been exposed and most (even I must admit to it) have used, adopted and/or totally embrace the social media explosion.  Business Service Management is  practice and part of that practice is the interactions with our customers and how they want to interact with IT.

I consider myself middle of the road in adoption as I still like the human interaction and speaking with colleagues and customers face-to-face, however, those interactions become planned and raise in relevance given the accepted methods of quick, short interactions that occur all day long with text messages, emails, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, RSS Feeds, you name it.

The earliest form was chat and we all know it has been a long standing request for most service and support software to deploy chat methods to ask for help.  This could be a long post, but let’s keep it simple.  Social Media interfaces for the sake of it will fail, Social Media interfaces applied in the right situations could be wildly successful.  A couple of examples that pop to mind are:

Service Dashboards – Most of us think of these as one-way and very limited information and thus they are useful and provide information during a service impacting event and I would debate how much they are used outside of IT during smooth running hours.  However, Service and Support is a great example of where a social interface may make sense.  The experience is 2 way – giving, taking and sharing information.  A smart interface to accept and present information rather than merely accepting a new ticket.  Tobin’s power outage post is a great example.  Instead of entering a ticket, he clicked his way to the right information.

Configuration/Inventory/Service Information: Wikipedia is a great example of keeping information accurate and relevant through the use of consuming audience.  Now apply that what is typically thought of as the most technical of IT projects, the CMDB or Configuration Management System.  We all use a variety of technical devices and we all have varying levels of comfort and/or time to deal with servicing them, however, up-to-date information is required for service and support.

At the very least, we want to know when we will be affected by maintenance or service outages.  What if we could subscribe to communities of users of the various applications we use day-to-day and could find the power users of Excel or Adobe Presenter in our organization to help us with that important presentation?  The classic support challenge has been the questions of how to use a piece of software, the users of the software are the best choice outside of the supplier and finding those who may have figured out a clever function might be helpful.

Just  a couple of applications that come to mind.  I agree with Nigel, the Social Media interfaces are coming, we use them in daily life and should seek to evaluate the best method of interacting with our customers.

How socially accepted is your IT?



Social technology is certainly a hot topic, but for many CIOs the emergence of islands of social technology across the enterprise feels like a touch of déjà vu.

IT has been here before, having to clean up islands of automation that left organizations unable to coordinate information and react rapidly to changing market dynamics.  (Read Full Article…)

Cloud Usage: What If We’re Doing It Wrong? – Cloud Computing Journal

Tags: Business Service Management, Cloud, Cloud Computing Journal, IT Management, Service Level, Service Providers

The Hub Commentary_

I cannot escape the cloud discussion today and must say that I agree with Don and his article this week in contrast to the other I just posted today.  Business Service Management practices, Service Level measuring and management of the service regardless of where it runs is the responsibility of the service provider – IT.

Having a view of the overall service, who’s doing what and how each component is performing is the value of the integrated end-to-end view of services IT delivers to the business.  Take advantage and evaluate the most cost efficient and best use of your resources when evaluating where it should be deployed, however, do not forget you must still instrument it to be managed and measured.

Service levels are a key component when engaging with the service providers.  You want to define your expectations for service availability, performance and responsiveness to an incident, but you need to map your requirements to the value delivered by the service.  Exercising your right to define very stringent service levels only increases the price, balance your real requirements with your service level requirements.

Are you measuring your service provider and cloud services?



(Read Full Article…)

CIOs Vision–Factors into Cloud Computing Movement–Cloud Computing Jrnl

Tags: Business Service Management, CIO, Cloud Computing Journal, IT Management, Service Level, Service Providers, Service Value

The Hub Commentary_

All the news these days seems to be about the cloud.  This is a nice summary of things to consider, however, leaves out the usual after thought that makes or breaks new technology deployment – management of it.  Business Service Management practices and instrumenting for management and measuring performance should be a factor to consider when planning a movement to the cloud.

All services, applications and technologies will be scrutinized in the coming year for suitability to be deployed in the cloud or some mixture of cloud and in-house resources.  One important factor will be the service levels and how you will measure the service in conjunction with in-house services for value to the business as well as monitoring the service provider for performance.  Without the performance monitoring and instrumentation to manage the service, it becomes a he said / she said debate regarding the perception of service quality.

Just because you move services to the cloud, you do not alleviate the requirements to manage and measure the services for service value.

How are you measuring your cloud providers?



Everyone is talking about cloud and they want to implement the same in their companies. CIOs are the first people who will get the work on this new initiative or change. This article will give them the quick overviews on what all are the factors needs to be considered during cloud movement.  (Read Full Article…)

Changing Face IT to “Business”

Tags: Business Service Management, Cost Reduction, Service Value

The Hub Commentary_

In another article earlier this week regarding Business Service Management practices and turning the tables on the discussion from cost of IT services to value provided to the business, there was a similar discussion.  Not all services are created equal and costs can be moved from one service to another based upon the value provided to the business.  However, first we must be able to cost the services to drive to the value discussion.

Again, as long as services illustrate no cost, we consume at a 24×7, on whatever device we choose and from where ever we are, but introduce cost to the business and the value becomes quickly apparent and the facet turned off many things in all likelihood for the real value add services.

Tim provides some nice examples in his Value Based Model discussion.



In today’s highly volatile economic environment and rapidly changing landscape of IT best practices, most IT leaders are struggling with balancing competing priorities with ever-shrinking budgets. For many, it’s an ongoing debate with business executives on how to address the costs and risks associated with delivering IT services. Innovation within IT is being achieved by some; however the majority of IT organizations do not know where to begin.  (Read Full Article…)

Snow storm knocked out power

Tags: Best Practices, Business Service Management, IT Management, Service Providers

We had a snow storm the other day, during the night we lost power and by morning, the house was cold.   I was able to get on the internet with my laptop which has a cellular wireless connection as well as my cell phone.   I checked some emails for work purposes and then went to the electric companies website to see if there were any details on the power outage in my area.   I found a link on the home page which lead me to an up to date map on outages and details on the outages.   From this map I was able to find my location on the map, click on the red circle and get estimates on when the service (electricity) would be restored.

It is nice to see a service provider that leverages technology, by them having an up to date website with details on the services they are providing to me, I will not be calling into them to speak to a representative for an update.  Granted, for this type of situation the dial in method would probably have some very long generic recording, just not sure I’d be interested in listening to the whole thing before hitting buttons to get directed to a human being.

The moral of the story, having dashboards for customers to log into to check on the services a service provider is providing was at one time a differentiator, it is now an assumed feature of the service being provided.     The same is true for the IT department.  I want to log into a dashboard to check on my active helpdesk tickets and planned maintenance and active outages (with updates on when they will be resolved).

Business Service Management is the methodology for gathering all of the details and populating the dashboard for the customers.

Do You Know How Much Your IT Costs? – NetworkWorld

Tags: BSM, Business Alignment, Business Service Management, Costs, IT Management, NetworkWorld, Service Value

The Hub Commentary_

The lack of clarity and transparency of IT services as consumed by the business is a catalyst for many of the service providers and as-a-Service offerings.  The service providers are in business to grow and drive revenue as should IT organizations.  Business Service Management practices and knowing your services is first step in achieving this transparency in measuring services both for quality and cost.

For many years IT has pushed back against such transparency and as the article ends, it could work in their favor to provide this visibility to costs.  It’s like cell phone minutes, as long as I’m not paying the bill I just use the phone without regard.  As soon as I had to assess my own usage and purchase my own phone, I had an eye opening experience.  You mean when I was in Europe it was like $2.00/minute and then there was roaming too!  Yikes!  Why didn’t someone just tell me and I would have planned accordingly and may not have used the phone as much or as often.

As long as all services are created equal and there is cool mobile and remote technology to use, the business will continue to ask for the highest levels of service and support for 24×7, where ever I am and on whatever device I choose to use.  If the costs were exposed and the tables turned to ask the questions “what is the value”, we might find the value isn’t really there and the business would say turn that off.  Currently, IT doesn’t have the right to ask the business value question until they can answer the cost question.

Do you know what your services cost and what the value is they deliver?



For years, enterprise IT departments could be fuzzy about the costs of individual IT services and applications, but tight budgets and the relative clarity of cloud computing costs have forced CIOs into sharp focus.  (Read Full Article…)

Is Business Service Management ready for the cloud?

Tags: BSM, Business Service Management, Cloud, IT Management Tools, Managing, Measuring, Virtualization

This is not the first article about Business Service Management and cloud computing, and it will certainly not be the last. The one thing I’ve learned about the cloud, both private and public, is that this is new technology, and it is constantly changing. Companies setting up private clouds are adopting different technologies to make their lives easier, while public cloud providers are updating their products and APIs on a regular basis to improve and accelerate the transition. This leads to an exciting, dynamic environment that causes more challenges when implementing a BSM solution…or does it?

How exactly should BSM work with the cloud? Once cloud resources are incorporated into a company’s IT infrastructure, there needs to be a way to tie these virtual/cloud resources into the company’s business service views. Then the health of the business services will reflect all of the IT resources. And voila, problem solved. Now, I have been told I sometimes over simplify things, but when it comes to BSM, I don’t think people should look at “the cloud” as some complex, unknown entity. The cloud should simply provide another data source to be incorporated into a business service view.

BSM is only as powerful as its underlying integrations. How can one look at the availability of a service or the root cause of a service breach unless these metrics are driven by ALL of the underlying IT resources that make up this service? The resources in the cloud should not be treated as different, special data sources. Cloud resources need to be integrated with all of the existing underlying technology that drives the business service. Given how fast cloud computing technology is growing and changing, this will force BSM products to continue to create and enhance their underlying integrations. Of course, this is nothing new for BSM vendors, or any software vendors who integrate to third party software.

The cloud will continue to bring change to BSM, and BSM products will need to grow and evolve along with the cloud technology. But since BSM is based on underlying integrations, BSM is ready to go “to the cloud”.

CIOs will Only Get to Innovate if They Force the Pace – CBR

Tags: Business Service Management, CBR, Growth, IT Investment, IT Management, Transformation

The Hub Commentary_

Innovation is an overused term, I agree.  True innovation are products and services that change the way an industry does business, however, business growth through new services and products are now more than ever dependent upon technology.  As you can see from this recent survey business is relying on IT to support business growth.

Growth is dependent upon automation of the routine to free resources to move from “Bulb Monitor” roles to service providers and more agile to deploy and manage new services that will use new technologies to drive business growth.  Operationally, IT must rethink how to take advantage of technology to not only deploy new technologies, but also how to free themselves from the routine tasks too.

I’ve seen and posted many of these articles already this year and look forward to the story of an organization who is putting it into action and moving from “Bulb Monitor” to the fuel for growth.



A new survey from SAP suggests that IT budgets should be focused on innovation – but, as Gary Flood asks, is that enough?

Innovation. It’s both a very trendy but also much abused term at the moment in IT. And maybe we’d have a better idea of what it actually means – and what it could contribute? – if we were given a chance to do some of it.

(Read Full Article…)

Managing Data Center Costs with BSM – BSMDigest

Tags: BSM, BSMDigest, Business Service Management, Cost Reduction, IT Investment, Ptak, ROI

The Hub Commentary_

Calculating ROI and managing costs in the data center for Business Service Management (BSM) projects is difficult.  In fact, I was asked this question so many times that I put my META Group analyst hat on and said, “Michele, what would Herb tell you to do?”  Yes, the very same Herb VanHook who is featured in the BSMDigest this month.  He would say create a model to calculate it and thus I did.  Anything that improves processes and does not remove people, hardware or software from the environment is really cost management.  This is still a good thing and needs to be recognized and justified and can be done quite simply.

What makes virtualization and cloud computing so appealing in the early stages is that it removes hardware and better utilizes hardware and software licenses and thus has a hard dollar impact early.  So let’s turn the tables, I posted a news piece that spoke of the same costs of outages that I have used for years now – $100,000/hr is what it costs for a mission critical system to be down.  10 hours per year =  to $1M, so Michele, cmon scale it, ok the usual metric is 1-2% of revenue to consider the size of your organization.

The insurance policy is your BSM strategy which is reliant upon the integration platform that brings together the bits of data into a meaningful view as services.  I also venture to guess that most solutions start at <10% of that outage and the automation they bring to the table helps to shift the resource utilization pie in favor of using resources to new and growth projects versus monitoring the screen for events more than paying for itself in it’s early adoption.

I’ll post my ROI calculation method very soon to give you a real idea what you are losing by postponing you BSM practice.



Often, IT budget costs appear expensive as a result of being inflated by arbitrary allocation and loading of costs that should be shared or are otherwise improperly assigned. Unfortunately, old habits die-hard and the misallocation of costs continues to the detriment of both the organization and mainframe computing.  (Read Full Article…)

Top Priority for 2011: Data Center Refresh, Consolidation–CIOInsight

Tags: Business Service Management, CIOInsight, Consolidation, Cost Reduction, IT Management, Trends

The Hub Commentary_

Back to basics balanced with growth opportunities.  Doing more with less and getting the most out of the bottom of the data center food chain and layering in the value add for future growth needs to be the theme for 2011.

I’ve spoken to many recently that are looking at consolidation projects as replacement projects too.  Replacing the commodity monitoring with lower cost open source options, ITSM SaaS offerings, adding value in the instrumentation of their next generation infrastructure (cloud, virtualization) and then the topic turns to integration platforms to stitch together the fabric for real-time visibility.

I believe we have all learned waiting for an uber framework that can do it all is just a dream.  Taking the best, most cost effective feeds into an integrated view that can be twisted like a Rubik’s cube depending upon the viewer is the fastest route to injecting run-time monitoring, management and measuring into the infrastructure of the future.



Fifty-one percent of data center managers and decision makers at large organizations see technology refreshes as the top data center priority for 2011, according to a survey from IT infrastructure specialist SANpulse. This finding highlights the fact that mean time to migrate (MTTM) is critical for rapid adoption of new technologies and fast execution of these operations.  (Read Full Article…)

Survey of CIOs Reveals Key Drivers of IT Efficiency – eWeek

Tags: BSM, Business Service Management, eWeek, Integration, IT Management

The Hub Commentary_

The theme of integration still rings true.  The key to efficiency remains in the ability to get the most out of what you have and pull it all together for that end-to-end view to avoid impact, proactively manage change and take full advantage of agile technologies.  A key to Business Service Management is fundamentally just this integration capability and the end-to-end live view and if you don’t have it, you are no doubt behind the 8 ball.

2011 is the year of Business Service Management and communicating service performance in terms of service and not technology and that will require integration of all the data points you already have in your data center.



Improvements and simplification of data center management software, standardization and virtualization of IT hardware and software assets, and improved integration of new technology into existing systems are all proving to contribute mightily to a company’s bottom-line profit.   (Read Full Article…)

Global CIO-FedEx CIO Explains The Real Power Of Cloud–InformationWeek

Tags: BSM, Business Service Management, Cloud, InformationWeek, IT Management

The Hub Commentary___

Great read of an inspirational CIO taking advantage of agile technology.  What is missing is how does he manage and measure the workloads in the cloud?  How does he instrument them or does he to make them intelligent to proactively monitor, manage and measure back to the business on the cost and value.

What I find intriguing with many of these articles on the those being successful with the cloud is that only half the story is told, sure they took advantage of the agile technology, but what about the operational side of it too?

I’m all for the adoption and deployment of agile technologies as I am in the long term future for that technology with the operational management that makes it cost effective and valuable in the end.  Another article I posted yesterday indicates the all too common reality of downtime and how it costs on average $100,000/hour of downtime and this has been my experience in working with customers and prospects on Business Service Management projects that proactively monitor, manage and measure services versus technology avoiding downtime.

Real power of the cloud can be short sided if not managed and measured.  How do you measure your cloud?



Leave it to Rob Carter, the CIO of FedEx, to clarify what’s really powerful about cloud computing. Carter, the company’s CIO since 2000 and an InformationWeek advisory board member for almost as long, has a knack for discussing technology in a way that cuts to the business payoff, but without leaning on buzzwords that whitewash the complexity involved.  (Read Full Article…)

End user of Business Service Management

Tags: Availability, Best Practices, Business Service Management, Integration, IT Management Tools

As an end user within an organization, I require a dashboard that I can log into from time to time to see the Services that are offered to me and the health of the services that I currently am using.   There are pieces of this that fall into the Service Catalog arena, but in the end, these services need managed.

The Service Management console needs to be able to slice and dice the infrastructure into the components of the individual services being provided to the end customers.  It should provide a view based on the role the person plays within the organization.  As an end user, I should see the services I can sign up for and the services I am already signed up for.  As a manager, I should be able to see the services that my team is using and the availability of those services.

End Users do not and should not be required to know the servers, routers, NAS, etc supporting a particular service.  To them, it is EMail, CRM, Timesheet and a slew of other Service offerings.  The IT group needs to manage the services in the same way.   When users open tickets, it’s on the service, not the technologies supporting the service.  Business Service Management makes the focus of the management on the Service and the technologies supported them.


What CFOs Want From IT – CIO

Tags: BSM, Business Service Management, CIO, IT Investment, IT Management, ROI

The Hub Commentary_

IT by the numbers and with Business Service Management.  In lean times, we need to get the most out of what we have, look at lower cost alternatives for the commodity and make the investment in the things that will drive value to the business.  Delivering real ROI has been something IT has been notoriously poor at executing because they manage by technology and not by the business service and lack the understanding of the cost / value to the business.

We are entering a time of growth and expansion of technology and the time will come to reimagine IT as business services and manage them as such.  Investing in new, agile technologies also require the right management baked in.  Last week the press was all over the Gartner report dissing Amazon for not providing enough monitoring.  Whose responsibility is it to manage your workloads in the cloud?  Service enabling those workloads and instrumenting them to manage as end-to-end services will be key in taking full advantage of agile technologies and opex subscription services.

Time has come to think in terms of Business Service Management of the infrastructure.



You can’t run a company without technology, but you can’t invest in technology without the blessings of the finance department. And thanks to the stagnant economy, the pendulum of power between Finance and IT is swinging decidedly toward the chief financial officer’s door these days.  (Read Full Article…)