Given the swathe of acronyms and branded technology terms we constantly find ourselves enveloped by, it’s sometimes tough to see through the mists of marketing that may cloud our focus. With this in mind, you might be forgiven for interpreting the term Business Service Management (BSM) as another layer of veneer over an already heavily managed set of applications in a typical installation.
BSM vendors on the other hand would have us accept that these processes are essential if businesses are to effectively monitor and manage their applications and the services they deliver. Instead of monitoring individual components like applications, servers and routers, BSM sets out to dynamically link these components to the services delivered to the business.
Large vendors such as IBM have themed their user conferences (for Rational) for the last few years around the constantly re-stated message that IT must align with business objectives if it is to contribute to the bottom line. This is where BSM tools sit; they are supposed to give IT management the tools to deal with downtime more efficiently.
If you’re thinking around the subject of application management at this point you might be about to liken this to ‘event’ management. But BSM specialists such as Managed Objects (along with larger players that have BSM offerings within their arsenal such as HP and CA) will venture to distinguish this technology and say that BSM translates event data - that is, data about the status of an individual component - into impact.
“IT operations staff managing sophisticated technology environments often find themselves swimming in event alerts. Since event data about individual components - a sea of red - lacks a business context, it’s no wonder that many IT operations struggle to prioritise issues,” said Sean Larner, EMEA president of Managed Objects.
IT management new to BSM principles may find that projects are best brought online by starting with a few critical services – in this way, it’s a little less like “boiling the ocean” and taking on too much at once. If the IT team is successful with its BSM project, the business function will surely buy into an extended programme more quickly.
Perhaps the reason we don’t hear more about BSM’s popularity is that it is at too granular a level to make big news in the application development press. But given the fact that many companies will have bought in multiple tools from a wide variety of sources, a vendor-agnostic event alert solution – certainly on paper – seems to make sense. Putting it to good use is another matter of course.