In October, Neebula conducted a Business Service Management survey, covering 84 companies that have recently completed BSM projects. For quite some time we've been getting informal comments about the frustration with BSM results and wanted to check whether they were pointing to a pervasive problem. Based on the survey results, it definitely seems so.
The majority of BSM projects took too long to complete, did not succeed to maintain accurate service models, and most of all, failed to meet their objectives.
Here's a summary of our findings, and a few conclusions as a summary:
Survey Sweet Spot: 50-500 business services, 700-5000 servers
The majority of respondents (44%) have 1500-5000 servers in their data center. The next group (25%) manages 700-1500 servers. These data centers enable 50-100 business services (34%) or 100-500 services (31%).
Over 2 years to complete a BSM project
The duration of BSM projects was one of the most surprising findings. Over 50% said projects lasted more than 2 years (2-3 years, 21%; more than 3 years, 32%), and 33% gave up before achieving satisfactory results.
10 days to map a single business service
We drilled down to understand the reasons behind the unending projects and asked how long it took to model a single business service. The answer - 10.5 days. This was split so that 2.1 days were spent on information gathering and 8.4 days on definition and mapping. If you consider an organization with 100 business services, this explains the never-ending projects.
5% of service models remain accurate over time
Being aware of how changes are introduced to IT with virtualization and the cloud, we asked users to rate the accuracy of their service model over time. 42% responded that their model had 'significant deviation' and 40% described their model as 'not accurate.' There were only 5% who could define their service model as accurate.
Up to 100 IT changes on a weekly basis
We wanted to quantify the changes to IT environments, leading to the inability to maintain accurate service models. The majority (48%) reported they had 10-100 changes on a weekly basis.
Fewer than 10% of business services covered
With such long projects, we were curious about coverage. How many business services were covered by the BSM solution? Over half of the respondents (51%) reported that only 5% of their business services were successfully covered. 32% said that the coverage percentage of their total services was between 5 and 10%.
Conclusion – How to achieve better results
It seems that there is a reason behind the frustration with most BSM project implementations - companies invest significant efforts over a long period of time, yet see a limited return on investment.
What can you do to be more successful? Here are our top two pieces of advice:
Building a service map that accurately maps the dependencies between a business service and its IT components is a complex and tedious task, which is always underestimated. If done manually, the recommendation is to drastically limit your project scope. A more practical way is to automate the discovery process using a tool that can accurately map all components, regardless of the environment.
Maintaining a service model that is accurate and up-to-date should be at the top of your list. The rate of changes is simply overwhelming, so that only a model that is automatically updated with changes to configurations will enable a successful BSM project with real time insight and control.
About Yuval Cohen
Yuval Cohen, Neebula CEO, has over 20 years of experience in the high tech industry. Prior to co-founding Neebula, Yuval was Vice President of Marvell Semiconductor and General Manager of Marvell Software Solutions, Israel. In these roles he was responsible for Marvell's successful software strategy, including enterprise and consumer networking software. Cohen joined Marvell in 2003 through the company's acquisition of Radlan Ltd., where he served as Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Engineering.
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