BSM Defined: What It Is and Should Never Be

Technology management is focused on technology and is generally represented with fragmented management views due to its disconnected and technologist nature. This produces an emphasis on resolving IT technical issues. It can also result in redundant investments. The value of investments made in information technology at this technology management stage is generally minimally visible to the business and mostly visible to the IT organization.

Application Management – Application management is the natural evolution of the IT organization from a technology-centric to an application-centric point of view. Application management subsumes technology management and gives it direction and focus.

From this perspective, the maturing IT provider begins to consider that it provides applications to its business customers and users. These applications, in turn, provide value to the enterprise. Application silos begin to replace technology silos. Generally, these application silos span several technology silos and even some IT organizational boundaries. Management design focuses on the requirements of the application. This produces a limited integration of management views, and the IT emphasis is on resolving application issues. The primary value of IT investments at this phase is visible to the business customers and users of the applications.

IT Service Management – ITSM is the term used to describe managing the work flow and activities within an IT organization. ITSM considers not only the application, but also the entire organization and work flow required to deliver applications and other services to the business. ITSM expands beyond applications to encompass all manner of support required of the IT organization by a business.

ITIL is the de facto best practice framework describing ITSM. ITSM presents an evolving and integrated approach to managing IT services. The concept of managing by service is relatively simple: in order for the IT service provider to add value to its enterprise and consumers, the IT provider must focus on end-to-end service delivery. This requires the provider to understand the marketplace, within which the consumers of its services operate.

From a normal corporate or enterprise perspective, this means the IT department must understand not only its business customers and users, but also the marketplace where the enterprise offers its products. IT value arises at the boundaries between the enterprise and its marketplace. IT services provide an indirect value—the IT service facilitates the interaction of business customers and users with enterprise end-customers and end-users.

Business Service Management – BSM is the term used to describe the strategic direction required for ITSM to be successful. BSM, simply stated, aims to manage IT investments in ways that matter most to the success of the enterprise and its marketplace. BSM also means making decisions in IT based on what is best for the enterprise. It spans all technologies and all organizational boundaries. BSM, focusing on process integration and automation, leads ITSM and design. The primary emphasis of the IT organization is on addressing service issues faced by the business. The value of IT investments at this point becomes clear to the marketplace and is seen by the enterprise as competitive advantage.