Tag Archive | "Service Providers"

2011 BSM Benchmark Survey – BSMReview.com

Tags: Best Practices, BSM, Business Service Management, IT Management, Service Providers, Service Value, Transformation, Trends

The survey, which was conducted in the first half of this year, measures the maturity of BSM initiatives industry-wide. The report provides unique insight into the working relationship between IT and their business counterparts, across departments and roles. It measures the effectiveness of IT service support and identifies the current use and planned adoption of ITIL v2 and v3.  Read More Here . . .


Nice set of statistics from large, small, global organizations both from IT professionals and business executives.  In 2011 15% of technology buying decisions were made by the business, in 2012 it is expected to rise to 25% and by 2015, 50% of buying decisions will be in the business.  The level of frustration that IT sees themselves separate from the business they enable is driving this trend.  

In a recent Gartner Forbes Survey of Board of Directors, it was found that “65% of Board Members hold ‘high to very high’ expectations for IT strategic contribution to the business in 2012”.  Your business is counting on you to deliver value, are you ready to take the lead?

Are you “keeping the lights on” or are you powering your business for competitive advantage?


Where IT Dollars are Headed in 2012 – CIOInsight

Tags: Availability, BSM, Business Service Management, CIO, CIOInsight, Cloud, IT Management, IT Management Tools, Mobile, Performance, Service Providers, Transformation, Trends

Mobility and wireless network infrastructures are the big takers when it comes to IT budget planning for 2012, our latest study reveals. Even so, organizations are moving to the next stage of the IT infrastructure build-out across multiple budget areas, and our 2012 IT Investment Patterns Study shows how the strategy trends of innovation, integration and reversion are having a significant impact on 2012 spending patterns.  Read More Here . . .


In this survey results for spending in IT Operations/Management/Governance are the only area with an increase is Data Center Management. Those that are following the lead of the service providers will see this as the management of the technology to deliver that consistent and stable IT performance for business value from my previous post. Mobile delivery options prevail as a leading technology as the consumerization / BYOD (bring your own device) of IT continues. However, these solutions must perform and be available to drive your organizations competitive advantage in the market.  This is the link to business for 2012 investments requiring the stitching together of data from the many systems and applications that are in place today and turning it into real-time actionable information.

Does your IT just run the business or does it drive the business?


IT Management Slideshow: Innovate or Save Money? The CIO Balancing Act – CIOInsight

Tags: BSM, Business Alignment, Business Service Management, CIOInsight, Cloud, IT Management, Mobile, Service Providers, Service Value, Transformation, Trends

Like many CIOs, you may find yourself struggling to innovate in advance of an anticipated economic recovery, while still striving to keep costs down in a decidedly uncertain business climate. And, even though you’re striving to be seen as a valued, senior member of your management teams, the enterprise perception of how much IT contributes to a competitive edge is decidedly mixed.  Read More Here . . .


As part of its look to the future CIOInsight highlights the Top 3 initiatives keeping CIOs up at night: cutting costs, operational efficiencies and deliver consistent and stable IT performance to the business. These initiatives are neck and neck with the number of organizations that see IT as their competitive edge in the market. Most IT organizations still spend ~85% of their IT budget “just keeping the lights on”, with minimal focus on supporting and delivering upon stable and consistently performing innovative services aligned with business objectives. This percentage of spend is generally ~ 1 – 2 % of revenue spent annually operating rather than driving.

The cost of not evolving is far greater for IT organizations than the cost of transforming and adding value to their business.  Buying decisions are also migrating to the business because they have more options and they are creating change.  Outsourcing is never done for cost savings, it is to create change in the environment that the organization is unable to create on it’s own.

Time for change may have arrived in 2012.  Good set of insights.


ITs Perfect Storm: Time for Change or Be Changed

Tags: BSM, BSMReview.com, Business Service Management, CIOInsight, Cloud, Harvard Business Review, IT Investment, IT Management, Service Level, Service Providers, Service Value, Spending, Transformation, Trends

It’s that time of year when the press is filled with the latest IT predictions for the coming year. A couple of articles and surveys caught my attention as they relate to the unspoken imperative of connecting to the business to drive the business for competitive advantage versus just operate the business. This practice, while not called out, is Business Service Management and is the heart and soul of success for many of these initiatives.

In the Gartner Forbes 2011 Survey of Board of Directors, “65% hold ‘high to very high’ expectations for IT strategic contribution to the business in 2012” and “52% rate ‘maintaining competitive advantage’ of ‘extremely high importance’…”.  It is no longer IT and the business, IT enables and drives the business.  The key question is, “does your IT operate or power your organization?”

As part of its look to the future CIOInsight highlights the Top 3 initiatives keeping CIOs up at night: cutting costs, operational efficiencies and deliver consistent and stable IT performance to the business. These initiatives are neck and neck with the number of organizations that see IT as their competitive edge in the market. Most IT organizations still spend ~85% of their IT budget “just keeping the lights on”, with minimal focus on supporting and delivering upon stable and consistently performing innovative services aligned with business objectives. This percentage of spend is generally ~ 1 – 2 % of revenue spent annually operating rather than driving.

There is also an equal amount of press on new technologies and how to convince your CEO of a new technology. Shouldn’t we be driving solutions leveraging the right deployment technology to drive competitive edge into the organization. Technology for the sake of a technology has no real value. While I agree with many of the points in this particular article on 10 Ways to Sell your CEO on Cloud Computing, it is still selling technology versus a business driving solution. We as IT have to change our thinking to that of the service providers that are popping up daily in selling our CEOs solutions leveraging technologies that drive agility and quality performance into the business, just so happens they use things like virtualization and cloud computing.

I’ve been working with many service providers as of late and it is reminiscent of the dot com era. Those that will survive and thrive are not just chasing the latest technology trend for the short term, but are baking in the practice that will sustain them for the long term and what business is asking of its own IT organizations, the ability to answer 3 questions:

(1)    “Am I open for business?”

(2)    ”How are we performing?” ”What is the customer experience?”

(3)    ”What is the risk of an outage?”

all in real time so as to take action, rather than reporting on it after the game is over.  The reason most organizations outsource services is not for cost, but for change that they cannot create from within the organization.  The time for IT to change and become the service provider of choice driving value and competitive advantage into their organizations has come.

In a recent CIOInsight survey results for spending in IT Operations/Management/Governance, I see the only area with an increase is Data Center Management. Those that are following the lead of the service providers will see this as the management of the technology to deliver that consistent and stable IT performance for business value. Mobile delivery options prevail as a leading technology as the consumerization / BYOD (bring your own device) of IT continues. However, these solutions must perform and be available to drive your organizations competitive advantage in the market.  This is the link to business for 2012 investments requiring the stitching together of data from the many systems and applications that are in place today and turning it into real-time actionable information.  Another Survey illustrating many of these and further results is the BSMReview.com 2011 BSM Maturity Benchmark Study.

In 2003 Nicholas Carr wrote a 28 page article for the Harvard Business Review, “IT Doesn’t Matter”.  In the article he discussed the outsourcing of IT and the changing roles within IT.  Now fast forward 9 years and the advent of the cloud, the explosion of service providers and new buying options.  The business is purchasing on its own and creating “The New IT” for those that are not evolving fast enough.  Leading analyst firms predict that by 2015 50% of all IT buying decisions will be made by the business, not IT.

I have had many conversations with organizations that are replacing their commodity monitoring tools from the Big 4 Vendors with lower cost options and turning that savings back into the investment of turning their IT organization into service providers of choice creating business value.  The investment is in the real time Business Service Views that transform the IT organization into proactive Service Delivery Managers versus reactionary red light / green light monitors turning the sea of data into actionable, intelligent information.  The service providers arealso making the very same investments to illustrate operational capability and market differentiation to capture market share fast during this great period of change.

I’ll quote from a long time customer who has leveraged the Operations Center solution for many years now. Their implementation, while it started technically as a single-pane-of-glass, has evolved into the trusted Business Service view and situational awareness of the environment running the business. Because this customer made the transition to trusted adviser and communicator as to the health of the business, he is trusted with purchasing decisions because as he states, “I provide value”. This is the secret sauce – providing business value and relevance for IT.

2012 will be an interesting year without a doubt with new technologies like mobile and cloud computing entering into leading IT organizations, the risk takers seizing the opportunities to drive their organizations.  The leaders will emerge as those risk takers who also bake in their operational management and efficiencies with controlled risk to deliver consistent, stable performance and value to the business.


Rise of BSM 2.0 out of the Fiery Failure of BSM Marketecture

Tags: Business Service Management, IT Management Tools, Service Providers, Service Value, Transformation, Trends

“Data, Data Everywhere — Not a BIT of Intelligence Anywhere”

What is Business Service Management simply and why does it appear to have waned in discussion and answer the question has it failed, is the concept required, what’s new? Yes, the number one complaint in the market is still that IT does not understand the business, the level of frustration is rising and fuels the fire driving cloud computing and hosted services.

Business can buy easily, don’t hear about operational processes, technology and why things don’t work. They hear a service, price and value delivered.  So what is BSM and why did it fail and why is it still the fuel driving the outsourced market.

It is really quite simple, it became an marketecture umbrella for many over a large collection of tools focused on silos of management capabilities, ITIL tools and processes. I recently had the privilege to discuss the topic with my friend Jean-Pierre Garbani of Forrester Research and his recent article:  I&O Execs:  It’s Time to Rediscover BSM JP summed it up well in the opening, “BSM today has morphed into an Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) support solution,;rather than the pure infrastructure and application management vision that appeared seven years ago.”

As I reviewed many RFPs and spoke to many organizations during this era, the executive overview is always about connecting to the business and the need to manage IT in lock step with the business, but the requirements reviewed and projects are always the same:  ITIL incident, problem, change, configuration, asset management and generally service desk technology.

The second most popular technology during this era were the discovery tools that held the promise of mapping logical services out of physical infrastructure. What was quickly discovered is that it was a lot like drinking water from a fire hose. Tons of data that needed to be reconciled and for what purpose: business service logical mapping or technology configurations for the tuning and management of the physical infrastructure. What was difficult and could not be addressed auto magically with a discovery tool is the logical connection to business services.

So once again the concept is spot on, the implementation goes straight back to an operational focus – what IT knows. However the answer stares us in the face, we have tons of “data”, what we need is intelligent information by which to take the appropriate action at the right time. “Data, Data Everywhere –> Not a BIT of Intelligence Anywhere”. Many tools provide a wealth of fantastic data – performance, availability, configuration, process records (changes, incidents, problems), etc. by which to tune the technology, but it is the aggregation of all this data that transforms the data into intelligent information. There is no one magical tool that will deliver Business Service Management, it is a mindset and the transformation of the data when it will begin to speak to you as service information.

In one article, there were some recent survey results the author found shocking. What I find shocking is that after 20 years IT is still making a grade of a D+. We are in the midst of the usual circle that hinders recognizing the “B” of BSM – the Business. A focus on new technology for what is perceived as cost savings by acquiring technology on demand and not managing the hardware and software to operate the service. However, in the long run without strategy and management focusing on business objectives, what appears cheaper will have higher long term costs. Why are cloud based services and service provider offerings so popular? Under the veneer of the agility it brings organizations is the frustration business has with their technology organization. It is the failure of IT being exposed and outsourced.

Survey results continue to illustrate the number one global concern as the lack of understanding business and the priority and impact of technology on the business. The number one reason cited for lack of ITIL adoption/success was lack of management commitment. Those 2 citings alone speak volumes to me. I ask why there should be a focus on ITIL and why the number one focus isn’t driving business growth? This upside down focus is the fiery failure of the marketecture of first generation BSM.

Why aren’t we talking more about new and unique services driving business growth? Business moving to the cloud removes the requirement for operationally focused projects (ITIL) that have not delivered business value. In a recent Harvard Business Review survey, an observation was noted that the role of IT is shifting from “constructing and operating” to that of “acquiring and deploying”. I’m not so sure I agree that it is so much about deploying as it is about “service managing” and management of the suppliers. This will require very different skills and the transformation of roles within IT and will force the focus on the Business value.

The time has come for the Business Service Management imperative and Transforming Data into Intelligent Information focusing on driving business value. This does not require more monitoring tools and IT processes as much as it requires the following:

  • Service Identification, Classification, Business Prioritization (see previous post)
  • Integration and Aggregation of Data Sources
  • Service Mapping based upon Data Sources
  • Service Rules Weighting Data and Thresholding Data
  • Service Visualization
  • Service Trending Over Time
  • Service Intelligence in Real Time

IT organizations already have a wealth of data from their multitude of management tools. While I often hear, “we don’t know what our services are or we cannot map our services”. Generally, the data from several data sources currently in place can get to a 70% + service view with an aggregating, reconciling and visualizing approach and technology transforming the wealth of data into intelligent information. What is the value of this Transforming Visualizer of Intelligent Information or rather what is the cost of not having the Transforming Visualizer:

  • A single service impacting event costs your organization 1-2% of revenue
  • 85% of the time IT is Bulb Monitoring and reacting costing your organization 1-2% of revenue annually, every year
  • >80% of service impacting events are caused by poor process, lack of impact visibility and business correlation

Millions of dollars are spent annually maintaining, bulb monitoring and reacting. What if just 25% of what is currently spent is applied to the Transforming Visualizer? A 75% cost savings and the ability to monitoring revenue growth instead. This is what I still find shocking as I continue to read and speak about the same D+ grade after 20+ years.

The environment is getting more complex, the roles are being forced to change with the outsourcing of operations to the cloud and the requirement to drive business growth is an imperative today more than ever. The Perfect Storm of technology, service providers and business requirements to drive service value is in full force.

As JP points out in his recent paper, availability of services and the proactive service impact knowledge in controlling change in the environment both require the connection to business priority and objectives and plainly, knowing your services. I had the opportunity to speak with Thomas Mendel, previously of Forrester research on just these two topics in these two podcasts: BSM in the Cloud: Managing and End-to-End View Made Simple and BSM in the Cloud: Configuration Complexity Made Simple.

BSM is an imperative and will transform in focus to the aggregation of data, making the connection to the business to manage with priority in mind both for availability of services and the compliance of change to services in controlling the infrastructure. Transform your data into Intelligent Information with a business focus and a BSM 2.0 approach.

Business Service Management – Imperative or Not?


Do You Need An IT Execution Plan For Social Business Strategy? – Forrester

Tags: Business Alignment, Business Service Management, Service Providers, Social Media, Transformation

The Hub Commentary_

This is a topic I lean a little less toward IT driving than I do marketing as a technology to reach customers and prospects.  Most social media tools are external to an organization and not really something I believe IT should own and more the realm of the marketeers to use to reach out to their customers and prospects.

Now as a rogue marketeer in my own organization, I will say that there are a couple of tools and items that some technical assistance would be nice.  This comes in the forms of blogs and websites you might use in your social media strategy.  It is true, as a rogue, you can set-up your own blog and website hosted by others with a mild amount of technical expertise, however, I’m sure there are others who could have moved me faster.

The other item I’ll mention is that when these rogue efforts happen, who owns the domain, who keeps it going after the employee leaves, etc.?  These are items where the IT organization could come in handy to negotiate contracts, insure domains are with the company, etc.

I believe the social media strategy is a marketing strategy, however, I do believe there is a supporting role where IT should be involved and with Service Managers in place marrying IT and business objectives, this could be well managed.

How does your IT organization work with Marketing on Social Media, customer outreach?



Social technology is coming into every organization whether IT wants it or not. The adoption of social technologies to support business and customer needs has been fastest outside of IT — often with IT playing catch-up and struggling to provide value. CIOs are at a crossroads where they can either choose to lead IT toward social business maturity or sit back and watch as the rest of the organization pushes ahead, leaving IT in social business obscurity. The choice is easy, but the execution is difficult.  (Read Full Article…)

What Should IT Do If Empowered BT Increases In Popularity? – Forrester

Tags: Business Service Management, Roles, Service Providers, Transformation

The Hub Commentary_

This is  a nice post from Marc of Forrester.  He outlines well the things that need to be considered as contracting with service providers and purchasing technology moves around an organization as part of a business transformation (BT) initiative.  Recently on a Cloud Chasers, Sean Larner bantered where this responsibility might lie.

As Marc describes the functions that need attention, I’m not a fan of continuing with IT as a gatekeeper or perceived obstacle to progress of business transformation, however, it points to Service Managers.  A formalized role between the business and IT.  These folks would manage the services, required levels of service and working with the technology specialists to insure proper security, standards and volume purchasing.

There is also a need for vendor management which is a combination of contract management and service management.  There is a happy medium between well managed services and agility to the business.  Self service portals for ordering every day equipment can empower the business and those longer term, less routine services should be managed by Service Managers insuring quality service, managed costs and proper standards, security and support practices are considered.

The Service Manager should be an enabler, not a roadblock or obstacle.

How is your business transforming? Where are your Service Managers?



An empowered BT model includes the idea that end users will take on some functions that are typically performed within an IT organization. These may include selecting and deploying applications, buying mobile devices, and contracting with services firms.  (Read Full Article…)

IT Services Revenue Grew 3.1% in 2010: Gartner – CBR

Tags: Business Service Management, IT Management, Service Providers, Transformation, Trends

The Hub Commentary_

What does this continue to tell IT organizations?  Two things, the cloud is here to stay and business is seeking outside alternatives.  If technology and management spending were up, I’d have an aha moment, IT is getting it and turning that corner of transformation and change to leverage technology to grow the business and is harnessing the power of agile computing.

Right sourcing the environment needs to occur, but as with any new technology trend many are racing with short term cost savings in mind as we have discussed many times here.  To those bleeding edge organizations will go the spoils of going first, if done with the right objectives and plan in place.  Many forget that managing and monitoring the performance of the provider goes hand in hand with the sourcing options.

What do you read into this increase?



IBM tops again with 7.1% market share.  Global spending on IT services increased by 3.1% to $793bn in 2010, compared to 2009 revenue of $769bn, according to market research firm Gartner.  (Read Full Article…)

CIOs: At What Stage Is Your Thinking On Cloud Economics? – Forrester

Tags: Business Alignment, Business Service Management, Cloud, Forrester, Monitoring, Performance, Service Providers, Transformation

The Hub Commentary_

I tend to agree with James and have written often on the same subject.  Those leading their industry this year, likely won’t be the ones leading next year.  The question is are you trying to merely drive down costs or fuel growth?  Even with the Amazon blip of a week or so ago, those fueling growth are unwaivered in their approach.

Define and leverage the cloud as a deployment option with the right objective and measure it accordingly.  There will be blips in service from service providers, have an alternative plan for those occurrences based upon the requirements of the service.  Having the proper monitoring and management in place to monitor and measure services will be key.

Just because you push services to external providers does not mean you have alleviated the accountability for the service.  Management of the providers has to be factored into the cost of the service.

I look forward to comparing this years Fortune 500 list to next years and find the movers and shakers of their industry.

Do you run for cost or fuel for growth?



Is your cloud strategy centered on saving money or fueling revenue growth? Where you land on this question could determine a lot about your experience level with cloud services and what guidance you should be giving to your application developers and infrastructure & operations teams. According to our research the majority of CIOs would vote for the savings, seeing cloud computing as an evolution of outsourcing and hosting that can drive down capital and operations expenses. In some cases this is correct but in many the opposite will result.  (Read Full Article…)

Amazon EC2 debacle drags on into Day 2 – NetworkWorld

Tags: Amazon EC2, Business Service Management, Cloud, DR, Service Providers

The Hub Commentary_

The news continued through the weekend on the Amazon outage this past week.  While many who are commenting are using it as an opportunity to point the finger that the cloud has failed.  I do not.  The cloud is here to stay.

The role of the IT organization is changing to that of the service provider managing the services delivered to the business.  Just because a public cloud becomes the deployment option of choice does not let IT off the hook for responsibility of the service.  Think about it as your car and taking it in for service.  Just because Ford, GM, etc. didn’t ship a part doesn’t make you any less happy when the dealer says, “I didn’t get the part from the manufacturer”.  Did you take your car to the dealer or the manufacturer?

Agile and dynamic infrastructures are here to stay.  Those that embrace them and take advantage of them early, will lead their industries.  As one article stated that one of those affected said, “we wouldn’t be as far along without Amazon”.  What this boils down to is what often lags with new technology – management.

I wrote a previous article on defining service value and then define deployment options, service levels, back-up and recovery.  The natural market reaction will be to impose stringent service level requirements on the service providers, I’m here to tell you that you will pay for doing that.  Define the appropriate service level for the criticality of the service.  Then I suggest planning for the contingency of a major outage, don’t pay for the risk of the catastrophic every day for something that may happen once, never, etc.   Have a back-up plan.

What is your back-up plan?



Despite restoring service for many customers, Amazon’s troubles with its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Relational Database Service continue this morning, meaning that debate over the wisdom of relying on such cloud services is certain to grow louder.  (Read Full Article…)

It’s the Agility, Stupid! – Novell

Tags: Business Alignment, Business Service Management, Cloud, Innovation, Novell, Service Providers, Service Value, Transformation

The Hub Commentary_

I’ve commented in this similar vein on many posts this year and the cost calculation and business value is covered in my post and recorded presentation here on The Hub.  My friend Michael sums up this topic well with citations from InformationWeek and Forrester. It is not about the technology, it is about the service value the technology brings to the business, something those in the business service management practice have known for many years.

So what makes it different now and why is it so prevalent in the news?  That’s an easy answer, Competition ala service providers.  Today in fact I discussed just this topic with a global audience and why competition will be the catalyst for change or outsourcing this time.  Service providers are going direct to the business to sell their services.  They speak exactly the language the business wants to hear, make it simple to buy and this will push IT organizations to adopt a business service management practice or get outsourced.

I like the notion of a Chief Acceleration Officer.  I enjoy times and situations like this where there is a challenge to solve for and the requirement for change where I know most IT organizations are change averse.  IT has been in this cycle of 80% + spent on just keeping the lights on for more than 20 years.  This equates to 1-2% of revenue annually just running the operations and thus very little is expended to grow the top line.  This is crazy when technology should be driving business innovation and growth.

I challenge you to pick up this years Fortune 500 magazine and then pick up next years and see who takes over leading their industry and that will tell you who embraced technology to drive growth and create efficiencies within IT to shift that 80/20 pie to something more like 60/40.  I wholeheartedly agree with my friend Michael, it’s about the agility and business value that a technology brings an organization.  Efficiencies are good, but should not be the only focus.

How are you driving service value and agility to be the change in your organization?



With the promise of cloud computing splashed across every headline today, it’s easy to lose track of where its greatest opportunities lie. Yes, saving money is important. It can help nudge the dreaded 80/20 maintenance-to-innovation ratio in the right direction. But when you’re thinking about the cloud, don’t stop there. It’s agility that can drive business growth and innovation, turning IT leaders into heroes.  (Read Full Article…)

Transparency In The Cloud, Part III: 2 More Questions to Ask Every SaaS Provider – SaaSBlogs

Tags: Business Service Management, SaaS, Service Providers

The Hub Commentary_

Flexible pricing and flexible services (or features), both great questions to explore as Matt describes.  However, the reason some software and services are more suitable in an as-a-Service model is because it is standard.  The pricing is cheaper due to economies of scale created by sharing the same service with many.

The more one off it needs to become, the less suitable it is for an as-a-Service model.  Highly custom engagements are really more in line with standard outsourcing services.  I highly encourage organizations to embrace the SaaS model and adopt the standard services as lower cost options and put the cost saving toward their value add services to grow their businesses as I wrote in a previous post defining services for value.

I do not disagree with the author, the questions are worthy to explore to understand what is configurable in terms of the service and pricing, however, realize there is a difference between configuring and customizing.  Customizing comes at a high cost, just as it does in software to service and support it as a non-standard.

Do you configure or customize your cloud services?



Continuing on the theme of Parts I and II, this article provides two more questions that all consumers of B2B SaaS should ask their providers.  While the questions in Part II were centered around providers’ ability to maintain speedy and reliable service, the remaining questions focus on their ability to be flexible in pricing and customization of their offering.  (Read Full Article…)

The Cloud Outscales, But Does It Outperform? – ITBusinessEdge

Tags: Business Service Management, Cloud, DR, Performance, Service Level, Service Providers, Storage

The Hub Commentary_

I would agree network performance is an aspect to consider when setting up and considering deployment options for mass storage.  Another aspect to consider is something I covered in another post on Categorizing your Serivces and which services, inclusive of data, should be put out in the cloud.

In all sourcing situations you need to consider:  security, performance, responsiveness to recovery, and management of the vendor.  A good rule of thumb estimate in managing the provider is 3-7% of the value of the contract.  This is an often overlooked cost in these short sided decisions to reduce costs short term by removing hardware, management and staff potentially.

Storage is well suited for cloud services, however, the service it supports and the criticality to the business is a high consideration.  Commodity data and services are easily the first to be considered for external service providers.  However the more mission critical and data sensitive it becomes to the organization, the more cost prohibitive it becomes to source the service.

Yes, performance is a key to consider, however, I still surmise that the service criticality to the business must also be in the decision process.

How do you decide how to right source your IT services?



We all know that the cloud can provide cheaper storage than in-house infrastructure, but is it better?

Of course, there are numerous ways to quantify “better,” but from an operations standpoint, it wouldn’t hurt to know exactly what you’re getting and what you’re giving up when you sign on the dotted line. (Read Full Article…)

Cloud Chasers Podcast – Cloud, IT and Business Alignment

Tags: Business Alignment, Business Service Management, IT Management, Service Providers, Service Value, Transformation

Sean Larner CEO of both l’arbre solutions and Broolz, chats with Michele Hudnall of Novell on how the cloud and new cloud-based vendors are impacting the business services landscape. They also explore the ways these new offerings are competing with internal IT to provide the business with the services.

I had the great opportunity to speak with a good friend on Cloud Chasers a little over a week ago now on April Fools day. A very good day to catch up with friends and chat about the competition cloud based services are presenting to today’s IT organizations. I started my career as an IT outsourcing service provider with virtualized mainframes, I find that what’s old is new again in an even more flexible model than previous used.

We’ve spoken about the shift that IT must make in delivering and communicating service performance, rather than technology performance for many years. The catalyst for change is competition and it is heating up in the market. The service providers know their costs and the value of their services and are bypassing the IT organizations and selling directly to the business. This presents an interesting dynamic – does the business really know how to manage the service provider well? and should the IT organization serve as the gatekeeper?

These are the opposing forces. As new services come to the data center or old ones are updated, the delivery mechanism should be evaluated. Adopting cloud isn’t really the objective, but driving business growth is the objective and can a cloud based service deliver a business service for higher business growth, is the question.

Come listen to my friend from across the small pond discuss his thoughts on the topic as a CEO of a cloud based collaboration service for the enterprise on Cloud Chasers.



To Unlock the Power of the Cloud, Rethink IT Management – Forbes

Tags: Business Service Management, Cloud, Integration, IT Management, Service Providers, Service Value, Transformation, Virtualization

The Hub Commentary_

This is a nice synopsis of the challenges of moving to the cloud and virtualization into production.  I enjoy the start of the article regarding when we lost our switchboard operators and the shift we’ve made with the telephone.  Just a year ago, the east coast was hammered with 3 – 3 foot snow storms leaving me to telecommute from my home, built 30 years prior.  I learned far more about the telephone than I wanted and my favorite acronym was POTS (plain old telephone system).  Yes, it is true. Long story short, I went through a full upgrade to fiber, digital phone service and a full duplex digital phone to better enable my communication capabilities from the home office.  There were multiple components to consider and upgrade to gain the full performance I was expecting.

What this article subtly uncovers is the usual cycle of management following new technology adoption.  The short term bang for the buck with new technology is generally the removal of short term hardware and software costs with physical components and licenses.  This time the challenge is further aggravated within the organization through competition with the service providers that are going directly to the business and bypassing IT knowing they can make IT as the bad guy and obstacle.

The article uncovers the flexibility cloud and virtualization bring to an environment, but also the requirement for an integration platform to make sense of the configurations and the monitoring alerts at the component level into business services as they are consumed.  This is the driving force behind the business service management imperative this year that the author also notes.

Operations is holding the business back from the promise of cloud computing because operations is struggling to manage the infrastructure and have no visibility across the infrastructure to insure availability and use the cloud for the agility of improved availability.  Business is demanding the intelligence and communication of service performance, not components, and are seeking to leverage the cloud strategically in their organization as a growth enabler and it is imperative that IT seek to support and make the initiative successful.

If IT continues as the obstacle, the competition is knocking on the business door to take that business.  It is not a single management technology that will solve this challenge, it is the integration platform that provides the end-to-end view and enables building in intelligence to set thresholds to monitor service performance aligned to objectives.  I like to call  it, “the glue and a view” that will make sense of the environment that is the imperative to successful IT operations management in this coming year.

What’s your strategy for Glue and a View?



It’s been nearly 50 years since the telephone switchboard, staffed by an “operator,” was phased out as automated phone-switching technologies were introduced. In automating the process of making a call, phone companies removed a burdensome manual hindrance from what was soon to become a much more convenient and ubiquitous part of modern life.  (Read Full Article…)

Analyst: ‘Enormous’ Regulatory Risk For AT&T/T-Mobile Deal – Forbes

Tags: Business Service Management, Competition, Forbes, Service Providers, Telecomm, Transformation

The Hub Commentary_

The ebbs and flows of break-up and re-marry are alive and well in the Telecomm sector.  While this is interesting in the telco industry, I hear you asking, “Michele, what does this has to do with Business Service Management?”  It’s one sentence buried right in the middle of the article, lack of competition brings , fewer choices, higher prices and less innovation.

IT is in exactly the opposite situation these days with virtualization going mainstream and cloud providers popping up daily.  Due to the high cost of IT, lack of ability for the business to influence new services, flexibility and the delivery of services in market time, competition and new options have become available to meet those requirements.

Organizations have the opportunity to dig out of the hole of stagnation and illustrate a nimble approach in delivering new and higher quality services to the market while leveraging new technology.  The IT organizations that do this effectively and manage service value in lock step with business objectives will be next year’s leaders in their industry.

How are you driving innovation?



It’s clear that AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA would reshape the U.S. wireless market by combining the country’s No. 2 and No. 4 operators. What’s not clear is whether the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, will actually go through.  (Read Full Article…)

Is it Time for ITSM?

Tags: Business Service Management, Service Providers, Service Quality, Service Value

The Hub Commentary_

In many of my business service management posts I’ve spoken about right sizing your service responses and not all services are created equal.  After reading Ken’s post on the BSM Review and the Monday I have had, I think that my comments might not be interpreted as I intended them.

Right sizing services, meaning, the appropriate response based upon the criticality to the business and the impact that the incident may be incurring.  This by no means meant  to deliver lower quality service and I agree with Ken, service does seem to be degrading.

Today I was reminded of high quality service from my favorite automobile service department.  Yes, I have only had 1 car service department at a car dealership since moving back to Northern Virginia >10 years ago.

While I do not like going to the dealership or servicing the car and yes, it might be a tiny bit more expensive, the service is the best I’ve ever received.  Today, I woke up to a flat tire on my truck, which means I have to change it in order to get it somewhere to be repaired or replaced.  Girl, truck, precarious looking jack set-up, tight lug nuts, stuck tire and 3 calls to the dealership and it was changed.  Never did Dustin complain about my calls and when I was ready to give up and just pay to have it towed or someone to come over and change it he kindly just said “you are almost there, try this…..and the tire will come off, don’t be afraid”.  He was right, tire changed and tomorrow I go up to finalize the service without the cost of a tow truck and more wait time.

Now, he didn’t have to help me over the phone, I have changed tires before, this one was just a little sticky, but it didn’t cost him anything to offer a few kind words to progress step-by-step even when I was ready to throw in the towel just pay to make the problem go away.

As IT, we do need to be mindful of attending to the right things at the right time, but there are ways to right size and take care of the little things with care without leaving our customers feeling like IT didn’t listen, doesn’t care or left it in their self service hands.  High quality service doesn’t mean responding fast to all things at all times, but responding appropriately with sincerity, care and high quality.

There is competition and service providers help to provide change in defining standards that we sometimes cannot do easily from within, however, if we communicate service quality appropriately and deliver high quality appropriately, we will remain in demand.

How do you balance high quality, communicate quality and maintain your customers?



Improving the Business Value of SaaS Apps – Cloud Computing Journal

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

The Hub Commentary

SaaS has the ability to move the cost of supporting infrastructure and applications from the in-house staff to a service provider, but these are the commodity services.  We have discussed in previous business service management posts that it is important to categorize services as value-add, differentiators or commodity, manage for cost.

While I agree with the author on his points of flexibility, configuration and customization, I caution that if it is a service that requires customization than: either 1) you need to reconcile if it is a commodity service and the standard can be accepted or 2) that it is a differentiating service and should stay in-house.

Services that are easy to defined, contained and non-differentiating are well suited for outsourcing.  Accept and embrace the standard, not all services are created equal and take the opportunity to impose standards for the commodity to drive down costs.

Do you have a service map for commodity versus value?



Of all the three models of cloud computing: IaaS, PaaS and SaaS…SaaS (Software as a Service) is the one that has the most appeal and potential to evoke interest from enterprise CIOs.  The popularity of SaaS is expected to grow several times in the near future.  Read full article

Where Does the Cloud Go from Here? – ITBusiness Edge

Tags: Business Service Management, Cloud, IaaS, SaaS, Service Providers, Service Value

The Hub Commentary_

Wow!  We haven’t adopted or widely deployed the Cloud and are already asking where it goes.  As I’ve said many times before as part of a business service management practice, it is a delivery vehicle and as part of defining services we must evaluate the best delivery vehicle for the service based upon cost and value to the organization.

As a game changing technology, it is not the killer app.  It provides flexibility in capacity as an IaaS, it provides a low cost option as SaaS for commodity services and enables your in-house staff to concentrate on the value add to the business.  The Cloud will not grow your revenue as a technology, but as an enabler and a delivery vehicle in the right situations.

In the end, it takes a sound business service management practice and strategy to drive growth and be a game changer in revenue to your organization.

How do you define game changer in your data center?



Even as many enterprises continue to struggle to determine what, exactly, the cloud is, there is perhaps an even more important question to ponder: “Where, exactly, is the cloud going?”  (Read Full Article…)

Switching to SaaS? Consider Cost & Convenience-Data Center Knowledge

Tags: Business Service Management, Data Center Knowledge, SaaS, Service Level, Service Providers

The Hub Commentary_

The other consideration is value to the business and uniqueness to the business.  Those services that are similar across industries and even within your industry, lend themselves to outsourcing.  Cost saving is not the only reason and in the long run, outsourcing is often not cheaper than in-house.  However, decisions need to be made how to best use your in-house resources and right source the commodity.

Outsourcing occurs to drive change.  Some of the change is adherence to standards driving down the cost of services as well as support for services where not all services are created equal.  Both of these changes are difficult to drive from within a business unless there are good business service management practices in place driving cost and value discussions.

It is relevant to consider the right sourcing option for all services and right source the environment to drive change and allow for flexibility.  As part of the sourcing engagement will how you will measure and monitor the service provider.  This is critical to insure perception and reality are in synch.  Managing the relationship of the service provider becomes the new role of IT as part of the end-to-end service provided by the business.

How are you right sourcing IT?



There is a misconception that switching to SaaS or a cloud-based IT infrastructure is solely a cost-savings measure. The reality is, most companies today are looking to switch to SaaS for its convenience and simplicity – not cost savings alone.   (Read Full Article…)