Innovation is the engine of economic growth. Organizations that innovate successfully (even to the point of rendering their own products obsolete) thrive, while those that do not lose relevancy.
During the past few years, I have witnessed unprecedented innovation in information technology that has had a profound societal impact well beyond the boundaries of IT. Cloud computing combined with mobility has changed the way people consume information and interact with computing devices. Can you even imagine life without a smart phone?
One key IT challenge leaders face is how to allocate scarce resources across innovation and “keeping the lights on” activities. An often cited analyst statistic is that most enterprises spend 70% of their IT budgets running in place, and only 30% moving forward. Not only is innovation necessary for business to thrive, but let’s face it, innovation projects are just more fun than routine maintenance. The good news is that this appears to be changing. A recent column in Network World magazine suggested that the balance is now closer to 50-50, based on a survey of 376 IT professionals.
Customers say that innovations, such as Business Service Management solutions, have contributed to shifting this balance. In various advisory board meetings and through other discussions, IT leaders tell me if they were product managers for a day that they would align most of their development effort and R&D funding on simplification and integration. More factory integration means less work (and cost) for the customer, especially when integrating heterogeneous monitoring solutions and business applications.
While BSM solutions don’t get the same industry buzz as cloud solutions, they offer some of the same benefits, such as greater flexibility and cost savings for the data center. Because BSM software helps with simplifying, standardizing and automating, IT management staff are freed up from more mundane tasks to pursue more strategic projects.
Some of the recent innovations within Business Service Management include enhancements that help customers to convert monitoring data into actionable intelligence and collaboration tools to improve efficiencies in identifying and resolving IT problems. Some vendor solutions have evolved to enable managing cloud platforms and mobile applications along with the traditional combination of top-down and bottom-up monitoring. For example, with the right BSM solution you can monitor the performance and availability of infrastructure and applications deployed in an Amazon EC2 environment. By using BSM to manage your cloud services, you have the ability to monitor from the end user experience, establish and track service levels, monitor AWS resources and integrate metrics into AWS CloudWatch for enhanced auto-scaling policies.
BSM innovation will continue with the goals of finding more and better ways to help you manage application performance to address issues before they impact customers. And BSM innovation will continue to develop additional efficiencies in connecting dynamic cloud and virtualized services to underlying infrastructure. By doing that, BSM helps you to prioritize by business impact, fix issues cost-effectively, improve quality, and provide better visibility into onsite and cloud services. The end goal: keep evolving with new BSM enhancements designed to reduce the cost of IT monitoring, tipping the balance in favor of more innovation activities.
Aruna Ravichandran is Vice President, Product and Solution Marketing, Application Performance Management and DevOps, CA Technologies.