Can You Buy Business Service Management? - Page 2

Jan 28, 2008

Dennis Drogseth

For IT to be focused along these lines, and hence for BSM to succeed, the collaborative, cross-domain processes recommended by best practices such as the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) need to be implemented, or BSM will remain a pie-in-the-sky dream. As a model, BSM is first and foremost not about technology, but about a cultural shift in how IT professionals collectively (and individually) think and work, both among themselves, and in support of their customers’ businesses.

We would like to share a few quotes to reinforce this; quotes taken from CMDB adoptions, but which could just as well apply to true BSM initiatives. Because, in the end, even CMDB systems are little more than foundational enablers for more effective BSM.

  • “Organizational fragmentation is our biggest obstacle in moving forward.”

  • “I think the issue is political. We have people who are wedded to systems and toolsets they’ve had for years.”
  • “I see the biggest obstacle as being the POLITICS – the religions that are built into the enterprise as each group and sometimes each professional adopts tools and ways of working in a religious manner.”
  • BSM as a Market

    The BSM market is currently focused on a portion of the broader BSM vision. While BSM will grow over time with toolsets expanding to support that growth, today’s BSM market encompasses 20 plus vendors that offer products that enable IT organizations to connect with business line-needs and manage IT from a business service perspective. These toolsets include:

  • The ability to define business services across technology silos.
  • The capability to display visually the services that are defined and how they interrelate with one another.
  • Dashboard views to demonstrate to IT and business executives the success of service delivery from a business impact perspective.
  • The gathering and presentation of metrics needed to support service quality measurement, especially metrics that enable measurement of business metrics relevant to IT services.
  • The BSM Market is closely aligned with service level management (SLM) and in several cases, the vendors that offer SLM solutions are also offering BSM solutions, including management technology magnates BMC Software, CA, HP and IBM. Other companies that are tackling BSM include ASG, Compuware, Managed Objects, Digital Fuel, Oblicore and Quest Software.

    Over the past 24 months, the biggest news is consolidation in the market with many smaller solution providers being bought, and some moving in alternate, albeit, related directions. To complement this movement, the growth in the market on a vendor-by-vendor basis exceeds 50% with investment in BSM expected to exceed investment in SLM within the next 24-month period.

    BSM is no doubt coming into its own. EMA’s research has shown that BSM has moved from a concept that was very unclear for enterprise IT just two years ago to one that is now not only much clearer but also a distinct priority.

    Dennis Drogseth is vice president of Boulder, Colo.-based Enterprise Management Associates, an industry research firm focused on IT management. Dennis can be reached at

    Lisa Erickson-Harris is a research director with EMA. Lisa can be reached at

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