Tag Archive | "SLA"

Where BTM Meets BSM

Tags: BSM, BTM, Business Service Management, Enterprise IT, SLA

Business Service Management Commentary on IT Service Management, Service Level Management & Performance ManagementFor businesses, it’s always hard to get all the possible value out of the different systems that help keep a company operating. One way you can begin to see that value is at the intersection of BTM and BSM. B what? I hear you saying.

Let’s back up and explain the terms. BTM stands for Business Transaction Management. As Sean Larner wrote on the L’abre Solutions blog, “Business transactions are the simple and complex entities that produce business outcomes.” Therefore, Business Transaction Management is the act of managing those transactions. This is not to be confused with Business Process Management (BPM), which lets you set up complex business work flows to automate the act of moving work through the enterprise to completion.

Where this gets interesting is when BTM crosses paths with BSM, which of course stands for Business Service Management, the very subject of this blog. One thing we cover in great detail on this blog is how to deal with service level agreements (SLAs). In his post Reaching SLA Nirvana, Lee Frazier offers 8 ways to reach that elusive goal of controlling your SLAs.

Finding a coherent set of tools is a big part of that, and as Larner points out in his post “utilising BTM it is now possible to define and measure, success/failure (state) and time based business SLAs…” Larner goes on to define a set of vertical tasks that could be measured in this manner including investment banking trade lifecycles and  retail transaction flows.

The beauty of this type of measurement is that you can link it to your BSM strategy and find real business value that can help you better understand your business. BTM might not be something that you’re acutely aware of, but by having it in place, it can work with your BSM system and provide you with a deeper understanding of your business at an extremely detailed level.

Photo by Joshua Rappeneker on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons License.

Is SLA Nirvana Achievable?

Tags: Business Service Management, Cloud Computing, info360, IT, Service Level, SLA

Business Service Management Commentary on IT Service Management, Service Level Management & Performance ManagementIn recent post, fellow BSM Blogger, Lee Frazier, gave The Top Reasons We Have Not Reached SLA Nirvana – Yet. Lee gave a lot of good reasons why we’ve failed to reach that perfect state just yet when it comes to service level agreements (SLAs).

At a session recently at the AIIM/info360 conference, analyst Jarrod Gingras from the Real Story Group gave a presentation on what he considered to be cloud myths. Gingras wasn’t there to sing the cloud’s praises that’s for sure. In fact, using content management as the example, he put a decidedly negative spin on things. That’s not because he wanted to be contrary just for the sake of it. He wanted us as individuals to think through the pros and especially the cons of this approach.

And one of those myths was that you could protect yourself legally via the SLA. Hold on a second! I was always under the impression the SLA was the final abriter and the saving grace of cloud computing. Not so says Gingras and not for any of the 7 reasons Lee Frazier outlined in his post — but because of technical limitations.

He gave the example of a Canadian company that wanted to go with a Cloud solution, but because it was dealing with public records that had to remain inside Canada, and there were no guarantees the files would not be stored on a server in the U.S., they simply couldn’t go with the solution they liked, and no SLA language could have protected them in that instance.

He went to discuss instances where a company needs to ensure that files are deleted completely, a process he referred to as “digital shredding.” Gingras said that to his knowledge there wasn’t a provider that would put such a guarantee in an SLA because it was too hard to ensure. As he put it, “If you think the SLA will protect you [in this instance], think again.”

So perhaps we should an eighth item to Lee’s list.

8. Legal System hasn’t caught up with technology.

As Lee indicated, none of these are necessarily show stoppers for every company, nor are they insurmountable. Some are cultural, some are technical and some are legal. Sooner or later we may actually reach SLA nirvana, but for now we have people like Frazier and Gingras making sure we understand there is no such thing as an iron clad agreement just yet.

Photo by Cletch on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons License.