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Agile BSM

Discussion around Business Service Management (BSM) has been ongoing for years ...and years ...and years. Yet it remains a fairly immature dialogue as vendors scope BSM to capitalize on their respective product offerings; as IT organizations struggle to articulate the desired end state; and as industry analysts deliver unique perspectives for purposes of differentiation.

Fortunately, the purpose of BSM is so fundamental, so basic, and so obvious ...that vendors, IT organizations, business managers, analysts and editors intuitively "get it" ...dwindling the confusion that so frequently accompanies newer technology concepts. This website is dedicated to the BSM dialogue by whoever wishes to participate. There is no fee to join ...no content that requires a subscription ...and no censorship of reasonable ideas and questions.

IT has been, is and will continue to be hammered for being disconnected from the business needs of the customer that IT serves. Sometimes the IT organization is adequately connected to the business entity, with the value simply unrecognized. More often, IT is guilty of diversionary focus on technology silos that business doesn't care about. BSM is the discipline that aligns the deliverables of IT to the enterprise's business goals.

That discipline comes in the forms of activities, technologies, tools, metrics, processes, best practices and people. BSM creates a laser focus on those deliverables generated by IT into something that is meaningful to the business community. If the IT deliverable is of no importance to the business function, then IT should eliminate or repackage it into a service that carries appropriate business value. BSM success is entirely dependent upon the willingness and skill of both IT and business to have an effective two way conversation ...one party without the other is doomed to failure.

Read my complete introduction: The Why & What of Business Service Management

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Bill's posting is long overdue. Well done and understood, BSM can provide a much-needed pathway to coherent and productive communications between the IT technical community and the business management community that needs them to deliver the goods and services that drive and underlie business success.

I believe there are two problems, one is the issue, as Bill clearly states, is a lack of vocabulary which bridges IT's technical and technology driven activities and the vocabulary used to discuss it and its impact - there needs to be an ability to relate that in a business-oriented vocabulary. Today, that business-oriented vocabulary doesn't exist in any coherent and shared way. I would suggest that the need is for a conversation and standardization of ways to discuss BSM and relate it to how the consumer (i.e. the business side) feels and articulates their pain.

Without a shared view and understanding of what is being discussed, each vendor is left and quite rightly defines, interprets and presents BSM in terms of the solutions and products they provide. This puts the focus on the 'tools and technologies' used for solving rather than the impact on resolving a business pain. The idea of an independent group managing a discussion to address that challenge makes good sense.

Thanks for starting the great discussion. I thought I would chime in here with a quote by Jean-Pierre Garbani, VP, Forrester Research

“The two essential components that we saw in BSM for improving the breed of system management tools were quietly forgotten. These two major failures are: 1) real-time dependency discovery — because last month’s application dependencies are as good as yesterday’s newspaper when it comes to root cause analysis or change detection, and 2) the reworking of tools around these dependencies — because it added a level of visibility and intelligence that was sorely lacking in the then current batch of monitoring and management solutions.”

I invite you to check out:


Alex Gutman
Technology Evangelist
Evolven Software, Inc.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Bill Keyworth published on October 16, 2009 3:00 PM.

BSM in the Data Center is the next entry in this blog.

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