We've discussed service management and the transformation that IT is undergoing with the catalysts being the cloud, service providers, SaaS, social media, collaboration, mobility, BYOD, etc. The root catalyst is choice and options in the market and the competition speaks in terms of service value and service performance. I posted a question in LinkedIn regarding how much of your services are in the cloud today and expected to be next year? Join the discussion. The first answer was as I expected, a law firm that isn't in the cloud and isn't going there because of security concerns. I responded as I bet they use services that are internet based, research likely, and thus they are in the cloud. Just like a recent customer discussed having hundreds of apps in the cloud that now need to be reconciled, rationalized and managed for cost. How did they get this point? Easy, credit card subscriptions - cheap and easy to do business with.
If you've ever spoken to me and if you have ever said, "we outsource or use the cloud because it is cheaper", you have also heard me cry hogwash on you. It's never cheaper unless you are a hideously inefficient IT organization and I have met only one of those and they could laugh at their inefficiency as I made this statement. Outsourcing is done to create change that is impossible to do from within. This is actually something that IT should be embracing rather than fearing. What!?!? I know....let me explain. In all fairness to IT organizations, you have not been afforded the same opportunity regarding standardized service delivery that the service providers are offering, however, you have done yourself a disservice in not communicating service value, service performance and focusing on driving revenue rather than costs.
Sourcing services happens to create change and take advantage of outside experience to drive revenue in market time where cost is not the primary driver (see previous post Categorize Your Services). Later when cost comes into the objectives, services are rationalized and right sourced again. Sourcing services drives the organization to standards that IT could not accomplish and ends the "all services are created equal" notion enabling differentiation of how resources are applied to services. There is change on both sides of the fence that needs to occur and now is the time to begin acting like a Service Broker and start communicating service value and service performance as the service providers do when selling services to the business just like IT should be doing on a daily basis. My friend Val Sribar of Gartner discusses the economics of fueling the top line, revenue, by saving at the bottom line.
Performance Management is growing as a differentiator with the service providers and should be watched and mimiced inside the organization. In a previous post, "IT Departments Need to Run Like IT Vendors", I talked about knowing your competition and the market requirements, this is what I mean by mimicing your competition - the services providers selling to your business leaders. Bill Martorelli of Forrester just published, "Automate Your Performance Management Activities", where I'm pleased to note that NetIQ's solution, Operations Center, has been mentioned well. To quote Bill, "Performance management is one of the most essential aspects of services governance, yet also one of the most challenging."
Performance management of services is not what traditional IT Operations folks are thinking regarding performance of servers, networks, applications, etc. How is the service performing? This is in terms of health, availability, responsiveness in terms of incidents and risk, as well as are we processing the business we expect at this time. Risk is both security risk and risk to the service caused by configuration standards and adherence of change processes. No doubt this sounds daunting and complex. Gartner noted that for every 25% of functionality, complexity is increased by 100%. So as you see, it is a complete service performance picture taking into account technology health, risk and business performance. Earlier this week I posted a little tongue in cheek about going back to the future with DOS (Development, Operations, Security) convergence, "Overhauling Service Management - Developing, Operating and Securing".
Time for change is now. Management is no longer about the endpoint or device, but the service performance and securing the access, governance and data. This requires that applications be developed for the mobile world regardless of device and OS and thus means building in instrumentation to service enable the service for operations to manage and secure. How a service is managed regardless of in-house, private cloud, public cloud and/or a mixture of these environments is on the Service Brokers to define and deploy the right management, measurement and communication vehicle to automate these complex services with the help of the development and security folks.
Bill does a nice job delineating tools that focus on service desk responsiveness, the ordering and provisioning of services and those that govern the service end-to-end. We on the Operations Center team have understood this well for more than a dozen years in working with our service provider customers who provide this differentiation and visibility of service performance to their customers (your businesses). This is instrumentation, measurement and communication you should seek from your service providers, but just because it's in place, do not gain a false sense of security that the service provider is operationally mature. I discuss more about evaluating service providers in a previous post, "Six Tips for Cloud Service Contracts".
We are pleased to be a piece of this research and as Bill discusses, the market and technologies of Service Level Management have changed and customers cannot instrument just for today's deployment options. Automation is required, while being tool and architecture agnostic. This is the premise for Operations Center. Collect the data, model it, apply rules to manage, visualize and communicate service performance regardless of today's tools and architecture. We've seen client server, SOA, virtualization, external service providers, cloud architectures come and create highly complex infrastructures, while continuing to communicate service performance in real-time as Bill describes.
Are you instrumenting your workloads for communicating service performance, while securing the access and data?
Jun 28 2012, 08:30 PM
Filed under: dashboards, best practice, thresholds, performance, Systems Management, integration, correlation, end-to-end, SLA, service level agreements, Management, data, NetIQ, IT application management, IT management, Cloud computing, Availability, secure computing, cloud, communication, security, Forrester, Gartner, Spending, Operations, IT Process Automation, adoption of cloud, CIO, BSM, Business Service Management, Forrester Research, Service Providers, End-to-End Management, Business Objectives, Live Dashboards, Intelligent Information, Data Center, Application Performance, Data Sources, Strategy, Operations Center, Applications, WorkloadIQ, Cloud Providers, Systems Monitoring, Cloud Management, Public Cloud, IT, Key Performance Indicators, Systems, Business Services, Managed Service Provider, Manager of Managers, End User Experience, High Availability, NOC, IT Transformation, Michele Hudnall, Data Center Solutions