BSM can help cope with IT consumerization

Business service management can help IT heads better deal with increasing complexity from consumerization, says BMC exec, who notes that full impact yet to hit enterprise environment.

The enterprise environment has yet to feel the full impact of IT consumerization but already it is facing much resistance from IT heads who are reluctant to relax regulations because of added complexity. However, they might be able to tap on business management services to make more informed decisions, said a BMC executive.

According to Chip Salyards, Asia-Pacific vice-president at BMC Software, although the concept of IT consumerization has been discussed for years, the actual impact on companies has been "understated" so far.

That is because while personal devices such as smartphones and tablets--that are not company-approved--are quickly proliferating the workplace and demanding access to company networks and data, IT heads are still slow to let go of control over these traditionally locked-down, tightly-regulated IT environments, he said in an interview Wednesday.

"CIOs know the risks; until something is proven [to work fine], they can't afford to mess up," Salyards noted.

Another headache which IT managers face is how IT consumerization is spurring mobility, with staff accessing and consuming data in real-time via their devices on the go, he pointed out.

Ultimately, the tide of consumerization brings "chaos and costs" to how IT leaders manage the IT resources and operations in the company, Salyards emphasized. For instance, supporting an increased volume of devices and previously non-supported gadgets that are all accessing the company's network brings more complexity to IT management--and may incur higher maintenance costs.

Salyards noted that enterprises are "still just talking about and understanding this complexity". This opens opportunities for market players to build up business service management (BSM) tools which IT managers can tap, especially once the full impact of consumerization hits home within the next few years, he added.

According to Salyards, BSM enables companies to make sense of the underlying management layer that cuts across all the complexity, by correlating the performance of IT infrastructure directly with business processes and outcomes.

Instead of a siloed manner of looking at infrastructure such as servers, databases and applications, the approach of BSM aims to provide visibility of how all of them impacts business processes in real-time. This knowledge yields other benefits such as easier monitoring of regulatory compliance, greater agility or preparedness to resolving potential problems, and making better-informed IT costs decisions, he pointed out. For instance, companies can evaluate if supporting personal devices such as iPads are helping the business become more efficient, and worth investing resources for.

Where IT environments used to be stuck with rigid guidelines, they are now more dynamic as personal devices "infiltrate" company VPNs (virtual private networks) and staff install third party software. Therefore it is critical for IT managers to have clear visibility over how all this impacts on the business, rather than obsessing over regulations.

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