In times when an IT organization’s success will be measured by the value it provides for the business, IT executives face the challenge to prove this value with concrete facts and figures. Business Service Management (BSM) enables exactly this proof and in addition guarantees maximum IT/business alignment.
For this reason, BSM provides a link between the availability and performance levels of IT infrastructure components and the business-oriented IT services that provide the foundation for the business processes from two different points of view.
Another important aspect of Business Service Management are costs. More and more companies today focus on higher cost transparency. This leads to an increasing demand for techniques to better monitor the IT costs. IT executives therefore need tools to assist them in this task. To enable an accurate cost analysis it is important to model the single cost units based on a pre-defined cost model. This plays an important role especially when a vendor will be changed or for the decision if there will be any virtualization or cloud computing initiatives in the future.
On the one hand, Business Service Management settles the contract terms for service delivery agreed between IT and business as well as their charging/settlement. Normally these terms have been defined in Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
On the other hand, BSM continuously captures data on the service status from IT Infrastructure Management, IT Operations Analytics or End User Experience management systems and evaluates them with regards to the business service’s availability and performance.
The following chart illustrates the different business service management views – from a contract perspective (SLAs, cost calculation) and from a service status view (actual status, incident/change management).
Thus, from a contract perspective Business Service Management is doing everything based on trends and forecasts to avoid impeding service level agreement violations and the penalties involved.
From a service status perspective BSM enables the timely detection of negative service impacts – if possible before these impacts affect the end user’s work – based on information from End User Experience Management or IT Operations Analytics systems.
IT cost management is based on the assumption that IT services in fact are the “products“ of the IT department. For this reason, the full IT capital expenditures and all IT operating costs need to be linked to a corresponding service. As a consequence, these services then have to be evaluated based on their value to the business processes and business models supported by the IT organization. This means that the understanding of their business process impacts, indirect and direct revenues, resource productivity, relevance as well as demand for a specific service ideally should be linked with the costs that are caused by the development, delivery, management and shut-down of a service.
IT cost management focuses on the following areas:
As a result, vendor management is playing an increasingly important role, as business services no longer have to be delivered by the IT department only, but also may be received in part or completely by external service providers (outsourcing, cloud computing, etc.). In the course of a progressing IT industrialisation more and more companies are discovering that it makes sense to substitute a fully-fetched on premises IT infrastructure with over-capacities, proprietary operating systems and data centre with a so called Retained Service Organisation (RSO) including a clear management and accountability order for the service management.
Customer relationship management (CRM) has become a mission-critical business application in most enterprises. From a Business Service Management (BSM) perspective the focus is not on operating the CRM system, but on guaranteeing all services necessary for the “customer relationship management” process.
For customer relationship management amasol is using “aKuma”, a CRM system especially tailored for the company’s requirements. The integration of “aKuma” into amasol’s business service management required several steps. In a first step all business-relevant features and process steps of the CRM system had to be defined.
Then the business-relevant performance indicators (KPIs) were defined in a top-down approach. Examples for important KPIs for the business were the evaluation of customer retention and the customer satisfaction index, but also the ratio of new customers vs. lost customers. From an end user’s perspective the KPI definition was based on business-relevant process steps such as the time required for setting up a new customer record or a new marketing campaign or the time required for finding specific customer information. Finally, the monitoring points and methods that were used for capturing the data needed for the KPI rating had to be described.
In the next step, a cost model was defined by identifying the cost drivers and distribution schemes. Afterwards the charging model could be defined based on major business-relevant KPIs (and/or PBAs).
In contrast to this top-down approach from a contract view the technical modelling of the dependences of process steps and components was done following a bottom-up approach as service tree of all technical and process relevant components.
By implementing a business service management system enterprises will leverage on the following advantages:
In addition, a BSM system provides the opportunity to find the best combination of “make or buy”. The progressive trend to a Retained Service Organisation (RSO) already was mentioned before. BSM enables organizations to use what-if scenarios to compare different make/buy combinations und finally decide for the most suitable combination to meet the company’s requirements.
For many years, amasol has been successfully cooperating in BSM projects with leading vendor partners who enable amasol to rely on a market-proven solution and product portfolio.
IT cost management
|Service status perspective|
|Products||VMware IT Business Management Suite||Dynatrace Business Service Manager, CA Service Operations Insight|
In addition to the comprehensive solution and product portfolio, amasol’s customers benefit from the company’s many years of experience:
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