IT dollars and management hours are lost to inappropriate prioritization, based on who demands the most and who makes the most noise; and it ends up reducing the overall value that IT provides to business. With businesses facing rapidly changing market paradigms, and IT under pressure to reduce costs, it becomes important to spend the money in the right places, rather than allowing “forceful” organizational units to use up the budget.
A survey by Organization and Technology Research (OTR) reveals that determining the precise value delivered by IT systems is “very difficult or impossible”. Thus, the CIO is in a catch 22 situation - appropriate budget allocation yet inability to clearly articulate value delivered. No wonder that the average tenure of a CIO is rapidly reducing!
On the support side, however, help is at hand.
Calibration of IT services based on business value and criticality can alleviate the problem to a large extent. Service Calibration, here, means the limiting of the service options available to applications, each according to its relevance to business. Applications prioritized at lower criticality will not be provided services and “severity levels” which are available for more critical applications.
To do this in an effective manner, an integrated managed services platform is a must. Infrastructure and applications are linked to the business processes they help execute. The crucial link between a business process and the components of the underlying portfolio cannot be established without an integrated platform that monitors the infrastructure and applications.
The platform should include a Service Management Tool that can be configured such that it reflects application criticality and centrality to business value adding processes. Service Management Tools can be complemented with a good analytics tool that provides insights into the distribution patterns of support costs. Work volumes of these applications (in terms of tickets and service and change requests) can be tracked and mapped back to the business process, facilitating further calibration and fine tuning.
Thus, an integrated platform needs to have the following features:
- Ability to capture events and incidents at source through monitoring tools
- Ability to read all the events, distinguish the “right” events to reduce false positives, and correlate effectively and triage to the right groups
- Use a configuration hierarchy, derived from a Configuration Management Database (CMDB), to effectively link events, incidents and requests to a business process
- Analyze work patterns and highlight anomalies that require investigation
The figure illustrates the ideal integrated managed services platform -