Building on BSM with an IT Performance System
June 22, 2011

Michael Procopio

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For a VP of operations, the cloud, virtualization and mobile communications are making BSM harder than ever. Unfortunately your business customers don’t care. They just want your services to work when, where and how they want them. And they don’t want them to cost too much either.

But here’s the issue: while effective, the tried and true approach to BSM—focusing on monitoring and measuring end-user experience—doesn’t provide the type of insight that a VP of operations needs. Today’s IT environment is just too complex. You need higher-level insights that are possible with an IT performance system.

The Solution: Make BSM the Foundation of an IT Performance System

IT performance systems help tame IT complexity and allow you to stay true to your BSM objectives. They can offer comprehensive, real-time visibility into everything underpinning your business services. You can monitor not only the end-user experience (BSM), but the entire IT environment impacting and surrounding that service. That includes your network, infrastructure, applications and all network-edge devices—computers, smart phones, tablets, etc.

Building on your BSM capabilities with an IT performance system allows you to gain broader and deeper insights into your organization’s performance. For example, do you know which service has the most emergency RFCs? Or, which service costs you the most in the number of IT staff to support? These insights can help you work on IT as opposed to just in IT, proving your value to the business. An IT performance system gives IT leaders a method for systematically managing IT, while also providing the means to demonstrate IT’s value and contribution to the business. To be more specific, imagine an automated, dashboard-driven system that monitors your entire IT environment and provides real-time performance reports in the form of key performance indicators (KPIs).

You Can’t Manage What You Can’t Measure

Accurate, timely and meaningful KPIs are critical to making a performance system work. Without them there’s no way to measure how your organization is performing. From an IT leader’s perspective, this means understanding the overall health of an IT organization, revealed through KPIs like:

- cost reduction
- operations versus innovation investment
- business strategy alignment
- customer satisfaction
- percent of SLAs not met
- percent of “healthy” versus “unhealthy” projects
- average cost of IT service per customer

Key Capabilities in an IT Performance System

In order for an IT performance system to complement your current BSM efforts, it’s important that it have the right mix of core capabilities.

Comprehensive—an IT performance system needs to monitor and measure your entire IT environment, from the data center and network to your applications and mobile devices. And that includes all service-delivery models—on-premise, cloud and hybrid.

Digital and automated—to use performance information (KPIs) effectively, you need the ability to access and understand that information quickly. You can’t do that with manually-created reports in spreadsheets. Your system needs to be automated and digital.

Real time— to maintain business service quality and reliability, you must be able to prevent problems before they occur. So Like BSM, an IT performance system needs to be real-time. You need to know how your systems are performing at any given moment.

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