The market for business service management: administrator regulates traffic

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Photo: Computer week

"Over the past three years, we've reduced our IT operations budget by 25 percent, without sacrificing service levels, through consistent standardization and automation, " quotes Forrester Research, the IT manager of a European industrial operation. Many companies are likely to dream of such success, but sooner or later they will not be spared this path.

This brings new momentum to the IT management software market, as Forrester calls it, or to IT operations management products, according to the Gartner label. Companies are still under pressure to reduce their operational IT costs, while the administration expects a high level of service quality. But by traditional means, these goals can no longer be achieved. For this reason, users promised themselves a lot from the IT-Change and Business Service Management (BSM) disciplines, which have been highly regarded for several years, and whose process orientation and automation potential should meet the increasing demands placed on IT operations.

The numbers represent the Forrester calculations for license and maintenance sales. The significant increase in HP is due to the Mercury acquisition.

Manufacturer

Sales 2006

(in millions of dollars)

Market share in 2006

(in percent)

Sales 2007

(in millions of dollars)

Market share in 2007

(in percent)

CA

2011

14

2140

14

BMC software

1489

11

1615

10

IBM Tivoli

1409

10

1533

10

HP software

899

6

1402

9

Quest Software

535

4

600

4

Symantec

520

4

569

4

EMC

435

3

516

3

Microsoft

443

3

511

3

ASG

181

1

236

2

Compuware

191

1

201

1

Other

5920

42

6358

41

Disillusionment in practice

However, the projects also brought disillusionment, says Ralf Horstmann from the Aachen-based consultancy ComConsult. The IT help management often relies on ticket-based systems whose data structures are not suitable for IT automation tools. Business service management, which is being promoted some time later, is used to visualize and monitor IT assets in the context of business processes, ultimately leading to the criticality of a component in order to better calculate risk and manage investment. But as long as a service documented in the BSM tool can not be maintained automatically because the change information is missing the necessary formats, little has been achieved.

Dieser Ausschnitt aus Gartners Hypecycle for IT-Operations lässt erkennen, dass es noch einige Jahre dauern wird, bis Business-Service-Management und IT-Automatisierung produktiv eingesetzt werden.
This excerpt from Gartner's Hypecycle for IT Operations shows that it will take a few more years to make productive use of business service management and IT automation.
Photo: Gartner

So far, not much has changed in this situation. Gartner's recently published "Hype Cycle for IT Operations Management, 2008" positions business service management tools still in the "high-expectations summit" range, while IT change management products are already on the curve in the "Valley." disillusionment ". For both genera, the analysts put a period of five to ten years until they belong to the common practice of IT operations.

The catalyst for this development is the IT Infrastructure Library (Itil), whose specifications cover core processes such as configuration and change management. Itil calls for a Configuration Management Database (CMDB) as a central repository, which records all IT components, their comprehensive descriptions, relationships or dependencies based on uniform data models. The importance of a CMDB for the BSM introduction underlines Forrester analyst Peter O'Neill in its prognosis: Thus the repository causes that the organization of IT services, which was still predominantly "chaotic" in 2005, gradually until 2010 goes through the states "reactive", "stable", "proactive" and finally "predictive".