Next-Gen Tools Help IT Run Like a Business

Service value management (including SLM and BSM) – Service value management in Q2, 2009 remains more of an aspiration than a reality. And yet, in parallel with costs, it represents virtually 50% of the equation when it comes to financial planning. You can begin to piece it together through SLM, QoE, service portfolio management chargeback and other investments.

Capacity management and infrastructure optimization – Capacity management, as separate from traditional performance management, is still a largely under-addressed area with a scattered set of categories and markets. These include a handful of vendors with capacity-oriented if/then analytics, facilities planning vendors, and Green IT vendors, among others.

Service catalog and service portfolio management – The service catalog can become an actionable contributor to IT efficiencies by automating request fulfillment and approvals, tracking demand and financial information, as well as other relevant parameters. In more mature IT organizations, service portfolios are becoming central points for collecting service costing and usage information. Platforms, service desks, and some SLM vendors have offerings here.

Enterprise/ project portfolio management – Project and portfolio management solutions can be an important component of forward-looking asset management strategies. Vendors range from platforms, to service-centric and/or financial-centric solution suites.

Financial planning, risk management and advanced analytics – This is one of the most significant areas for potential growth in NGAM, and complementary to more bottoms-up initiatives such as CMS-driven capabilities for assimilating and reconciling service-to-infrastructure interdependencies. With technologies ranging from data mining and OLAP to other advanced analytics, these capabilities are available from a small but growing number of platforms and uniquely focused solution sets, some of which offer SaaS options.

I realize that this is a lot of technology to consider. Many of technologies you may not have thought of in the context of asset management or even financial planning. So, the point here is not to suggest that you go on a huge buying spree to fill in every nook and cranny. Rather, it’s to give you a roadmap for capturing synergies in existing and planned investments to leverage them more effectively and to empower you to become more “financially” proactive.

Dennis Drogseth is vice president of Boulder, Colo.-based Enterprise Management Associates, an industry research firm focused on IT management. Dennis can reached at [email protected].