I do a couple of couple of dozen briefings a year and inevitably I get asked to talk about Business Service Management (BSM), even though I'm not the BSM guy. Why? Because we all know that BSM is important, it's how companies visualize and relate what's happening throughout IT and the business via models. Everybody's talking about it and some are even doing something about it. It's what's getting the hype in magazines and is the darling of the analyst community right after cloud (which is a topic for another day).
The fascinating thing that happens in these briefings is that the bulk of the discussion time isn't spent on constructing the business models or in the lots of cool ways to build dashboards, but rather about where all that data comes from, how to discover all the sources of it, how to identify what's healthy and what's not and how the heck you manage it. This is the heart of the matter, it's fascinating that what gets left out of the discussion by many vendors -- Consolidated Operations. Consolidated Ops is what helps deliver on the promise and potential of BSM. The ability to integrate and contextualize the feeds from thousands or tens of thousands of devices generating a deluge of data is the only way to enable a successful transition from resource-driven reactive management to services-driven proactive management. It's amazing how so many vendors seem to gloss over the importance of the need for broad and deep integrated event management ...
In order to make this miracle happen, we need more information. We don't need more data, nobody wants more data. We're drowning in data, we've got way too much data. What we lack is information. Data only becomes information through context. Context is king.
Context is what enables us to move from being an organization that is "184.108.40.206 ping unreachable" to "The router BFG973, building 42, floor 3, rack 7 slot 3 owned by Jerry W., pager 512-823-8305 has an 83% chance of reaching I/O saturation in the next 48 hours, effecting the customer order entry line of business which has an SLA penalty of $7500/hour. The last change was to Big Buffers max, setting was 150, setting is 20" (and a nice link to click on the link to the last authorized change which says it should have been set to 200 and a link to provisioning to complete the correct change if we want to go really nuts). If you're carrying the pager, which problem do you want to work? In a retail banking operation, if the print servers are down in the branch office and the central mortgage loan application is running 2 minutes slow, which is more important to work first? Does it make a difference if it's a weekend?
The ability to create this context is at the core of event management. Being able to incorporate performance data, config data, change data and fault data into a cohesive view of the enterprise is what enables operations to move from a reactionary force driven by customers reporting outages to a proactive team that is able to manage the resources in terms of the value they provide to the organization, rather than if they are available or not. Now we can understand the value of "Slow is the new broke". Managing to red is dead isn't sufficient.
We want to use this blog as a place to talk about how we're delivering on the promise of IBM Service Management, Dynamic Infrastructure, Business Service Management, Consolidated Operations for OSS and the data center. Operations is one of the toughest gigs in IT. If you're doing a perfect job, you are invisible, but let something break and suddenly your bosses know your kid's soccer game schedule. Raising the capability, visibility and recognition of operations teams is something my colleagues and I are passionate about. We hope this starts a conversation that you get as excited about as we are.
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Heath Newburn 0600001SYA firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  consops consolidated-operations business-service-manageme... service-management netcool bsm 2 Comments 15,480 Visits