Innovative business models and services such as cloud and big data analytics aren’t possible without a strategic Service Assurance portfolio underpinned by infrastructure management, according to a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of CA Technologies.
According to the Evolve Infrastructure Management Into Service Assurance study, “IT evolution is now forming the next wave of the Industrial Revolution, a movement rooted in standardized processes and automation. The economic impact of this wave is the same as in prior waves: accelerated pace of production and higher quality products. In the IT world, these products are business services. The new expectations for speed and quality cannot be served by old-school IT. Innovative business models and technology use cases such as cloud-based services, collaboration tools, and big data analytics characterize this industrialized IT movement. They all have one thing in common — they need robust monitoring to give them the visibility needed to work. Cloud doesn’t work without solid monitoring; nor do the others.”
To reach this conclusion, Forrester Consulting conducted in-depth surveys with 150 IT decision-makers in North America (US and Canada) and Western Europe (UK, France, Germany and Spain). The firm tested a hypothesis about how the organizational and economic dynamics of infrastructure management are evolving to provide its intended goal of streamlining performance and availability across diverse systems, networks and applications to improve service quality, predictability and efficiency. The results found that those surveyed are far from the ideal state of infrastructure management, but they are making progress, with Europe ahead of the US.
Forrester Consulting’s study yielded the following three key findings that provide prescriptive guidance to IT organizations looking to maximize their investment in infrastructure management software and commit to it as a core competency for enhancing the performance and end-user experience of business services:
• Fragmentation of infrastructure management is destroying value: Isolated tools lack adequate attention and are wasted investments. Tool owners neglect them as secondary priorities, so the full value is missed. Moreover, poor integration of these tools fails to deliver the visibility into the behavior and availability of services. As IT service management becomes more the norm, integration becomes more essential.
• Convergence is happening, but it must accelerate: Some progress is evident. Early consolidation efforts do not yield the integrated capabilities, but at least it’s a start. Consolidating ownership can be a huge political challenge. Organizations that have overcome this resistance at any level have made an important step forward.
• An “anchor vendor” is key to successful consolidation: How tools are purchased has an impact on how easily they can be integrated. Single-vendor portfolios are usually not the panacea one might expect, but neither is a complete polar opposite — total best-of-breed tools. The right balance resembles a shopping mall, with an anchor vendor at the center and specialized boutiques augmenting the portfolio.
Forrester Consulting’s study notes, “As companies pursue cloud computing, big data, a mobile workforce, and other grand initiatives, certain IT programs form the foundations upon which these exciting business capabilities will be constructed. Like any foundation, it must be sturdy or else the structure above it may crumble to the ground. Infrastructure management — an underpinning some may consider passé — is indeed a critical foundation. It must consolidate and evolve into a core competency of IT that offers situational awareness into business services. As it evolves, it becomes the fabric of a company’s service assurance — the ability to ensure that services are delivering value.”
“Senior executives across all functions are expecting IT to contribute to game-changing innovation and business transformation that can get products and services to market faster, spur revenue growth and support the agile creation of entirely new business models,” said Mike Sargent, GM, Service Assurance, CA Technologies. “This study confirms our belief that converged infrastructure management better positions enterprises and service providers to manage the stresses and strains brought on by accelerated adoption of mobile technologies, rich-media content and higher expectations from customers.”
Jason Meserve is Sr. Product Marketing Manager at CA Technologies.