From Managing Boxes to Managing Business Processes

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1 From Managing Boxes to Managing Business Processes The evolving role of IT Service Management BEST PRACTICES WHITE PAPER

2 Table of Contents ABSTRACT... 1 INTRODUCTION THE EVOLUTION OF IT SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT... 2 Business Service Management... 2 CRITICAL FOUNDATION TECHNOLOGIES... 3 Configuration Management Database... 3 Automatic Discovery... 4 Service Impact Modeling... 4 THE NEXT STEP KEEPING BUSINESS PROCESSES UP AND RUNNING... 4 Advanced Capabilities...5 Compelling Business Benefits...6 CONCLUSION... 6 About the Author Mary Nugent, Vice President, Service Management Solutions Business Unit Mary Nugent is an accomplished software technology executive with expertise and in-depth knowledge in the emerging e-business marketplace. She has served as a change agent in addressing the specific needs of the competitive online industry. Nugent is recognized as a leader for transforming her software division into a superior line of business for BMC Software. Before joining BMC Software, she was the Director of Business Development for a start-up ISV, Logistic Solutions, and worked as an independent consultant for companies deploying mission-critical client/server technologies. In addition to her 15 years of technology experience, she also has 10 years of experience in Public Accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant. During her accounting career, she gained experience in EDP auditing, which proved instrumental in her move to the technology industry. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a BA in accounting and was a member of the Accounting Honor Society.

3 Abstract The business environment is changing at a dizzying pace, driven by globalization, business virtualization, outsourcing, and other factors. To compete, and indeed to survive, enterprises must increase their agility. They must be able to swiftly adapt business processes to accommodate changing business conditions. To drive business agility, they must also have agile information technology (IT) resources, including hardware, software, networks, processes, and people. Supporting changing business processes is not easy. Enterprises are becoming more virtualized as business processes are increasingly distributed across organizations. At the same time, the technology environment is shifting dramatically. The evolution of on-demand computing is accelerating the virtualization of IT resources. To complicate matters even more, the evolving service-oriented software architecture is expanding the distribution of IT services across sources both inside and outside the enterprise. These rapid shifts are making it ever more difficult to manage business processes and the IT resources that drive them. To meet the challenge, IT professionals need to transform their orientation from managing boxes to managing IT resources from a business perspective. They should understand the enterprise s business processes and how the components of the IT infrastructure support these processes. > This insight requires the development of new and innovative solutions that enable IT to view the topology of the business processes and the IT infrastructure components mapped to that topology. > This information is vital to the CIO who needs to ensure that IT-dependent business processes stay up and running, and that processes are adapted quickly as the business environment changes. The rewards make it well worth the effort: increased business agility, rapid business problem resolution, and more effective business activity monitoring. Meeting the challenge elevates the role of IT professionals from technologists reacting to the business needs of the organization to business value creators who help determine strategic direction. Through this transformation, IT becomes a key contributor of business value and a participant in advancing business goals. > This paper describes the evolution of IT systems management and the key technologies supporting this evolution. > It identifies the next major step the development of solutions that enable IT to link infrastructure directly to the individual business processes it supports so that IT can help manage the execution of the business. > Finally, the paper presents an example of a next-generation solution currently in development. This solution will arm IT professionals with the tools they need to succeed. PA G E > 1

4 Introduction The Evolution of IT Systems Management IT systems management continues to evolve to meet fast-changing IT and business environments. Early on, IT infrastructures were monolithic, with small numbers of individual components concentrated in a few locations. The approach was to manage individual physical resources computers, data storage devices, and network devices separately, by facility. Later, as hardware architectures became distributed, tools emerged to support the management of distributed systems. The approach evolved to managing the IT infrastructure across the enterprise from a central point. As Figure 1 illustrates, the tools present a consolidated, enterprise view of the physical topology of the IT infrastructure, showing the servers, routers, switches, load balancers, firewalls, desktops and other physical components, their configurations and locations, and their physical interrelationships. As enterprise applications became distributed across multiple physical components, tools began to support the management of the IT infrastructure from a logical perspective. As Figure 2 (page 3) shows, these tools present the logical topology of the IT infrastructure, showing the databases, application servers, Web servers, mail servers, gateways, applications, hosting computers, and other logical components along with their logical relationships. Business Service Management Today, IT resources play a vital role in achieving business success through Business Service Management, or BSM. This concept enables IT to activate the business by managing through the powerful and effective management of technology. For example, downtime or even a slowdown of a critical packaged application that supports customer ordering could have serious business impact. Consequently, enterprises demand that the IT staff deliver services aligned with business needs at agreed-on levels of performance and availability. In response to this demand, systems management tools have evolved to permit IT to visualize and quickly understand the impact of IT component availability and performance on business services. Current solutions allow IT to create service impact models that define the relationships of infrastructure components to the business services they support. (See Figure 3 on page 3.) With these solutions, IT can manage infrastructure from a business service perspective, prioritizing actions according to business impact. Figure 1. Physical topology PA G E > 2

5 Figure 2. Logical topology Critical Foundation Technologies Three key technologies have emerged in the evolution of IT systems management to permit management from a business perspective: > Configuration management database (CMDB) > Automatic discovery > Service impact modeling gathered and maintained by system management solutions. Moreover, it ensures that all systems management solutions interoperating with the CMDB use consistent information. With a centralized and robust CMDB, IT Service Management (ITSM) processes can be driven across system management solutions with the necessary process integration, which is key to implementing IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL ) best practices. Configuration Management Database A configuration management database (CMDB) provides a single source of truth about an enterprise s IT assets. A CMDB acts as a central repository for the wealth of data A CMDB should ensure the accuracy of data by automatically reconciling it across disparate data sources. A CMDB with reconciled data will be a cornerstone of delivery capability. Figure 3. Business service impact PA G E > 3

6 Automatic Discovery Manually gathering and maintaining configuration information to support ITSM best practices are no longer practical because of the extreme complexity and dynamic nature of today s IT infrastructures. Automatic discovery tools that continually gather information to populate and update the CMDB are essential. Automatic discovery solutions should be integrated with a CMDB. Advanced solutions discover physical and logical interrelationships in the IT infrastructure, such as the logical topology of SAP, J2EE, and PeopleSoft enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications. A variety of standards, such as XML and business process execution language (BPEL), will enable the extension of these capabilities. Service Impact Modeling Service impact modeling technology permits modeling of the relationships among IT resources and business services. This technology can increase the automation of model creation. Automation will slash the time and effort required to generate models. It will also permit automatic updates, dynamically changing models to reflect changes in the environments. The result will be faster time-to-it-value creation and a greater ability to adapt to business needs. The Next Step Keeping Business Processes Up and Running Large-scale business processes are disassembled into smaller components. These process components are then distributed across organizations both inside and outside the enterprise. Automobile manufacturers, for example, are disassembling their manufacturing processes and parceling out component processes to suppliers. Enabled primarily by advances in technology, this evolution allows enterprises to focus on the areas in which they can add the most value, and rely on suppliers and partners to deliver the other components of the processes. At the same time, IT systems are developing into virtualized environments, enabled by the convergence of several key technologies: the Internet, wireless networking, ondemand computing architectures, and service-oriented software architectures. Virtualization offers far more efficient use of IT resources for lower cost, higher resource utilization, and greater ability to adapt to changing conditions in the IT environment. however, it complicates the management of IT resources. New business-process-oriented solutions are required to empower IT organizations to ensure that IT-dependent business processes stay up and running. These new solutions must provide a view of the business process topology that is, the interrelationships of the business processes. They must also identify which IT resources support which processes. New solutions will elevate and enhance IT s view of the business. They will permit IT to answer such questions as: What is the business health of the system? Did the database server upgrade result in faster invoice processing? What business processes are affected by the failed server in our Los Angeles data center? These new solutions will allow IT to manage change and capacity by business process. They will also streamline auditing to support compliance with legislation and standards such as Sarbanes-Oxley, Basel II, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), enabling IT professionals to quickly identify the IT infrastructure that supports specific business processes. These solutions require the integration of ITSM tools with important sources of business process information such as process modeling solutions. Integration means embracing BPEL, XML, and other standards, and interoperating with enterprise application-integration technologies. Integration also requires further enhancement of foundation technologies: > CMDB. Add the ability to maintain business-process topology models in the CMDB along with physical topology, logical topology, and business-service-impact models. > Automatic discovery. Automate the discovery of business process information and add this information to the CMDB. Also, automate the discovery of business process model changes and update the CMDB accordingly. > Service impact modeling. Automate the creation of models showing the relationships among business processes and IT resources as well as the real-time business process impact of IT events. Also, add automatic and dynamic update of models as business processes change. The distribution of business processes combined with the virtualization of IT architectures holds the promise of significantly increasing business agility. At the same time, PA G E > 4

7 Figure 4. Business process model Advanced Capabilities This section presents an example of the power of integrating ITSM and business process modeling. Enterprise management leaders are now working to develop the solutions that will make this example a reality. In the example, the business processes of a motion picture theater have been modeled using a business-process modeling environment. The automatic discovery solution has discovered the business-process topology information from the business-process modeling tool and has added this information to the CMDB. (Automatic discovery retrieves and processes the meta data that describe the business process structure.) Furthermore, the discovery solution also detects any changes in the business process models and updates the CMDB accordingly. Figure 4 shows the display of the business process topology. As the figure illustrates, business processes are made up of activities, some of which are made up of subactivities. The user can drill down into any composite business activity to view its subactivities. (The capabilities are being enhanced to permit display of the actual sequences of business process activities.) From there, service impact modeling capabilities can be extended to allow the modeling of the relationships among processes and IT resources. (See Figure 5 on page 6.) Service impact modeling can also be enhanced to permit definition of the relationships of business process activities to their underlying Web services. With these advanced capabilities, the CIO can ensure that IT-dependent business processes run reliably. What s more, the CIO can now allocate IT resources people, processes, and technology according to business process priorities and potential impact. PA G E > 5

8 Figure 5. Relationships of business processes to IT Compelling Business Benefits The business benefits of the integration of business process modeling with ITSM are compelling: > Increased business agility. The enterprise can change business process behavior in near-real time to increase competitive advantage without sacrificing manageability or control of IT resources. > Fast track to Business Service Management (BSM). The enterprise can speed the ability to use technology better to help the business advance and lead to a faster return on IT investments. > Fast business-problem resolution. The enterprise gains a holistic view of business process problems for faster problem resolution. This permits the IT staff to quickly discover the true root cause of problems and determine whether the cause is IT-related or due to organizational or human issues. > More effective business activity monitoring. IT can provide a business process dashboard to the enterprise for faster problem detection, enabling proactive problem resolution to minimize business impact. > Enhanced role of IT. IT becomes a strategic participant in the business and a creator of business value. Conclusion Rapid changes in both the business and IT environments are creating enormous and exciting opportunities for businesses to build strong competitive differentiation. To seize these opportunities, however, IT professionals need to transform their role from that of technologists in a reactive mode to strategic value contributors that drive business agility. The emergence of new IT management solutions that integrate IT Service Management with business process modeling are key to this transformation. In the new reality, enterprises will be able to create an IT environment based on the processes that are critical to the business and ensure the business processes remain up and running. The result is increased business agility, which translates into increased revenue and profit. BMC Software offers solutions that integrate IT Service Management with business process modeling. For more information, please visit PA G E > 6

9 About BMC Software BMC Software helps IT organizations drive greater business value through better management of technology. Our industry-leading Business Service Management solutions ensure that everything IT does is prioritized according to business impact, so IT can proactively address business requirements to lower costs, drive revenue and mitigate risk. BMC solutions share BMC Atrium technologies to enable IT to manage across the complexity of diverse systems and processes from mainframe to distributed, databases to applications, service to security. Founded in 1980, BMC has offices worldwide and fiscal 2004 revenues of more than $1.4 billion. BMC Software. Activate your business with the power of IT. For more information, visit BMC Software, the BMC Software logos and all other BMC Software product or service names are registered trademarks or trademarks of BMC Software, Inc. All other registered trademarks or trademarks belong to their respective companies BMC Software, Inc. All PArights G E reserved. >

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