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Technology Product Management: The Missing Lifecycle

PUBLISHED: Mon, 19 Nov 2012 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

IT services and assets have well understood lifecycles. However, the technology products that underpin both services and assets are often poorly understood. IT product retirements and accompanying upgrade cycles are often unexpected and disruptive, affecting areas as diverse as architecture, human resources, security, engineering, and operations. Ultimately, the technology product lifecycle profoundly influences IT service delivery, yet this influence is indirect and requires careful management. 

Clean master data is a must; too often, vendor products are known by different names across functional areas. IT vendor management, IT human resources, IT architecture, and IT security may know a given product by four different names, weakening the organization's ability to effectively manage its suppliers and its IT estate. 

BDNA provides a solution to these challenges, offering both a high value master data catalog and the ability to translate and align your data with this catalog. BDNA's master data catalog, Technopedia, provides a clean data set representing hundreds of thousands of IT products, functional categorizations, release and retirement dates, and much more. This vendor and product master data is difficult for even the largest IT organizations to develop and maintain. With such a trusted source, the overall IT product lifecycle can be managed as an integrated, end-to-end process.



From IT Financial Management to Technology Business Management

PUBLISHED: Thu, 20 Sep 2012 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

Information technology is under transformative pressure like never before. Tight budgets and economic uncertainty, coupled with trends like Cloud and consumerization, are resulting in increasingly urgent needs for improved IT management at a business level.

While mature IT organizations can manage the supply of technology, true IT business management also includes the ability to understand and manage demand in a way that is relevant for the line of business. And the entire process of meeting demand with supply must be translated to objective performance measures, such as cost, process effectiveness, quality of service delivery, or vendor management.

Apptio has emerged as the leading provider in the emerging TBM market. Doubling its major enterprise IT customer base between 2010 and 2011, it now has over $101 billion in IT spend under management. Apptio has a number of notable strengths, both in terms of its platform and the applications it has built upon that foundation. 



EMA Radar for Next Generation IT Management Solutions: Q4 2012

PUBLISHED: Mon, 17 Sep 2012 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

Information technology management in large enterprises typically has two centers of gravity: project management and operations management. In IT, project management is primarily concerned with systems development and integration (construction), while operations management focuses on the day to day running of systems. 

However, project versus service management are no longer comfortably segregated niches. In the past year, EMA has briefed with multiple project portfolio management and IT service management vendors, and has heard consistently that:

* Project vendors are being challenged to add service-desk like ticketing functionality
* Service desk vendors are being challenged to add project management capabilities. 

In response, a number of IT vendors are bridging both sides of the divide. All the major IT management vendors are at least increasing the integration between the different components of their suites. Of interest for this EMA Radar Report, however, are systems which support both project and service management upon one common architectural platform, with integrated resource management. A number of vendors, including some from the Professional Services Automation space, meet this requirement. 



Report Summary: EMA Radar for Next Generation IT Management Solutions: Q4 2012

PUBLISHED: Mon, 17 Sep 2012 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst


Information technology management in large enterprises typically has two centers of gravity: project management and operations management. In IT, project management is primarily concerned with systems development and integration (construction), while operations management focuses on the day to day running of systems. 

However, project versus service management are no longer comfortably segregated niches. In the past year, EMA has briefed with multiple project portfolio management and IT service management vendors, and has heard consistently that:

* Project vendors are being challenged to add service-desk like ticketing functionality
* Service desk vendors are being challenged to add project management capabilities. 

In response, a number of IT vendors are bridging both sides of the divide. All the major IT management vendors are at least increasing the integration between the different components of their suites. Of interest for this EMA Radar Report, however, are systems which support both project and service management upon one common architectural platform, with integrated resource management. A number of vendors, including some from the Professional Services Automation space, meet this requirement. 



IT as a "Business Within a Business": Vision, Financial Processes, and Systems

PUBLISHED: Wed, 22 Aug 2012 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

IT can and should be run as a business within a business. This approach solves problems such as demand management, business alignment, cost control, funding for innovation, and transparency. However, running IT as a business requires both fundamental shifts in how IT is managed within the corporate operating model, as well as attention to certain very specific planning and forecasting processes. N. Dean Meyer Associates Inc. (NDMA) has been researching the most challenging aspects of running IT as a business for many years, and in particular the changes required in IT financial practices. They offer the FullCost method and tool for business and budget planning.  Imbedded in FullCost is an advanced service cost model. 



PUBLISHED: Tue, 26 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

Métier, a SaaS provider of project portfolio management (PPM) software and services, is pioneering analytical approaches to project management including innovative applications of natural language processing. 

Big Data is becoming a common term both in the broader world of business, and in IT management specifically. Analytics and specifically Natural language processing are becoming an increasingly prevalent technique in response. Métier has been developing statistical and semantic approaches to project management since 1998, and holds multiple patents in this area. They see themselves first and foremost as "a data company" and are aggressively maximizing the value of the data aggregated within their SaaS architecture. They have developed semantic approaches to identify potential problems in scheduling, drive effective resource assignments, and detect redundancy or conflicts in portfolios of work. Ultimately, Métier desires that these analytic services become a Siri-like "personal project assistant" to their customers -- a compelling, forward-looking, yet achievable vision.



BDNA Unleashes Technopedia Community Edition

PUBLISHED: Thu, 21 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

BDNA's Technopedia is an extensive, curated data set consisting of hardware and software vendors, their products, release versions, a categorization taxonomy, and availability/end of life/obsolete indicators. In June 2012, BDNA announced the release of the Community Edition of Technopedia. This releases a well curated master data set of hundreds of thousands of vendor product and market data records to the general public, subject to certain restrictions. 



Cloud Management: The Service Catalog Imperative

PUBLISHED: Wed, 20 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

Enterprise IT is in the middle of an historic transition, from a largely on-premise model to a mixed model with increasing dependence on Cloud services, both on and off premise. Corresponding changes in IT management approaches and capabilities are needed in turn. 
The service catalog is a critical first step for IT organizations to become more business and customer focused and service driven. A service catalog enables all areas of the business to have a consistent, precise view of all IT services and the business services they support. It is the single entry point for defining available services (IT and non-IT), publishing those services in a service catalog and automating all forms of IT service requests.

Combining service catalog and request fulfillment automation capabilities is critical for efficient IT management. It is especially important in Cloud environments, as the promise of Cloud requires agile yet rigorously accounted for provisioning and configuration. Consumerization further increases the pressure, "raising the bar" of user expectations for frictionless and highly usable platforms. 



ASG's Service Catalog: A Cloud Enabler

PUBLISHED: Mon, 18 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

ASG Service Catalog has been evolving and combines now cloud orchestration and automation capabilities based on its proven and robust CloudFactory solution (recently bolstered with the acquisition of visionapp). Initially designed with multiple audiences in mind and based on successful deployments of service catalogs in large enterprises, ASG provides now internal and external customers with a one-stop shop of all cloud assets & services, allow service provides to design approvals and fulfillment, and empower business owners to track service consumption, all from an intuitive interface. 



Integrating Software Asset Management Tools into the IT Management Architecture

PUBLISHED: Fri, 15 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

Software asset management (SAM) interacts with and depends on a variety of other IT management areas. An effective SAM capability must operate as a subsystem of a larger IT management system. Understanding the capability architecture of SAM is helpful to the practitioner:
 
 * Different vendors sell tools supporting various combinations of SAM capabilities, and a reference model is helpful for developing an acquisition and sourcing strategy for SAM and related tools.
 * Data required for SAM is also required for other IT management areas. Without an architecture defining systems integration, effort may be wasted in maintaining and reconciling duplicate data. 
 * Understanding where various capabilities are weak and strong for a given enterprise is an essential input into investment strategy. 
 * Integrations can represent key opportunity points for improving governance and control.

Consider carefully whether your SAM implementation is duplicating services available elsewhere in your environment, and also whether new SAM infrastructure might provide services useful to other areas. 



Service Center Control Desk: IBM Consolidates and Advances Its IT Service Management Offerings

PUBLISHED: Fri, 08 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

In the spring of 2012, IBM launched a comprehensive re-thinking and refresh of its IT Service Management offerings. The IT management products formerly known as Tivoli Service Request Manager, IT Asset Management and Change Configuration Management Database have now been combined into a single product, IBM SmartCloud Control Desk 7.5. The products span advanced support for IT and intelligent asset management, change and configuration management, service request management and service catalog, along with Cloud delivery options and built-in support for automation beyond traditional service desk workflow. 



Unified IT Demand Management

PUBLISHED: Fri, 18 May 2012 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

IT staff juggle multiple priorities: adding new functionality, troubleshooting and restoring service, and participating in the many forms of continuous improvement seen in enterprise IT. These multiple kinds of work frequently have no overall prioritization. Recently, the concepts of "unified demand management," "single queue," "single funnel," "common work management," and related terms have emerged in IT management. This unique survey research questioned 150 randomly selected IT respondents, including a high quotient of IT executives and presents insights on:
 
- The widespread problems IT practitioners face with prioritization across different kinds of demand
- How the role of the PMO is eroding 
- What IT practitioners actually mean when they say "Demand Management"
- What IT practitioners want from a unified demand management solution



Identifying and Tracking Applications: A Detailed Look

PUBLISHED: Mon, 07 May 2012 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

One of the most challenging aspects of IT management is defining IT services. Unlike a computer, a rack, a chair, or even a well defined vendor software package, IT services often have blurry boundaries, and yet there is substantial value in identifying them. Without a list or catalog of what IT provides to its business partners, it is difficult to justify IT budgets and align IT activities with business drivers and value. In this paper, EMA discusses how to define applications, how to manage their identifiers, how to maintain application data, and how to reconcile disparate application portfolios. 



The Trusted CMDB: Data Quality and Governance

PUBLISHED: Tue, 01 May 2012 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

The Configuration Management Database is a central capability for large scale IT management. It integrates the most critical IT data for operations and planning purposes, and provides context for understanding the broader landscape of IT management information. However, like any data-intensive production system, it suffers greatly if its data is perceived to be inaccurate. 

In turn, shortcomings in this information can translate to higher costs and risk for the enterprise. EMA has covered the concept and evolution of CMDB since 2003. This research has shown that CMDB/CMS investments have brought significant benefits across a wide range of use cases including IT financial and asset management, change management, incident and problem management, operations management, and even IT portfolio management. However, while very real benefits have been achieved, the CMDB is a complex, integrated system presenting various challenges and there are a number of ways it can fail, including poor data quality. Blazent offers a unique quality assurance capability for the CMDB to increase trust in and value of this critical IT system. 



Slides: Turbocharging Your CMDB

PUBLISHED: Wed, 25 Apr 2012 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

Bad data can kill a Configuration Management Database (CMDB). The mistrust that results from inaccurate information is very hard to overcome. Yet CMDBs are complex and bring together many diverse sources. How can such a mix of data be scrubbed and managed for quality over time? Find out when you view these Webinar slides.



Serena's Orchestrated IT Release Includes New Demand Management Solution

PUBLISHED: Mon, 02 Apr 2012 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

On March 13, 2012, Serena Software announced three new products: Orchestrated IT Dashboard, Serena Demand Manager, and Serena Requirements Manager, and a number of enhancements for its IT management tools. 

Best known as a vendor of software to support the software development lifecycle, Serena last fall made an aggressive move into the IT Service Management market with Serena Service Manager. Serena is one of a number of vendors EMA is tracking in terms of their commitment to fully integrated IT management platforms suitable for organizations embracing trends like DevOps and Lean IT.



Cloud Architecture and Strategy: Critical Success Factors

PUBLISHED: Mon, 26 Mar 2012 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

Cloud computing may be a logical culmination of IT trends decades in the making. However, it is here today at a scale and with business implications requiring new kinds and levels of skills on the part of IT organizations. Enterprise Architects are trained in whole systems thinking and are well suited to lead the complex, cross-functional analysis required for an enterprise to get maximum value from the Cloud.  



BMC Broadens and Deepens Remedyforce

PUBLISHED: Wed, 21 Mar 2012 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

On February 27, 2012, BMC Software announced significant enhancements to Remedyforce, its IT Service Management SaaS offering. New or substantially improved modules include Service Request Management and Knowledge Management.



SAP-on-Demand: An Innovative, Efficient and Secure Cloud ERP Solution

PUBLISHED: Mon, 19 Dec 2011 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions constitute the most important and strategic IT systems run by modern enterprises. Cloud platforms offer many benefits for ERP solutions including usage-based billing, best-in-class management, high availability, and ease of platform upgrades. HCL is entering this market bringing substantial expertise as a SAP solutions consultant with SAP-on-Demand (SAPoD) -- an HCL offering that should be considered by any enterprise turning to Cloud options for their core ERP needs. 



Workload Automation: The Heart of Enterprise Operations

PUBLISHED: Mon, 19 Dec 2011 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

Workload automation, or enterprise scheduling, is an essential capability for large IT organizations. Many IT workloads make operational and economic sense when run periodically. Designing, executing, and monitoring such workloads requires an appropriate software solution. Modern workload automation products extend traditional "job scheduling" capabilities with event-driven approaches and additional value-adding capabilities such as integrated file transfer and application-level integration. 

Skybot Software is backed by Help/Systems, LLC, an industry leader in automated operations and job scheduling since 1982 with its products for the IBM i (System i, iSeries, AS/400) systems. This depth of experience is clearly visible in Skybot Scheduler, an enterprise-capable and highly cost-competitive offering for distributed systems scheduling.



BMC Offers IT Business Management On Demand

PUBLISHED: Wed, 26 Oct 2011 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

BMC Software has announced the availability of BMC IT Business Management OnDemand, a Software as a Service (SaaS) option for their IT Business Management suite. The SaaS delivery option opens new possibilities in benchmarking and will make it easier in today's difficult economic environment for enterprises to quickly automate these critical IT management functions and then transition to on-premise management if desired. 



Business Intelligence for the Business of IT

PUBLISHED: Fri, 07 Oct 2011 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

As continuous improvement techniques supported by data warehousing and analytics become dominant influences in today's business landscape, the idea of applying them to IT is gaining traction. While data warehousing is an IT service, typically applied to domains such as sales, supply chain, and customer relationship management, it also can be applied to the "business of IT" itself. 

IT is a significant center of sustained, integrated operational and economic activity in many businesses, and is an entirely suitable subject for data warehousing. It is surprising that data warehousing, a capability typically run by a central IT organization, has been so long in coming to the service of the CIO. 

This paper considers the application of data warehousing to enterprise IT management, including data warehousing basics, the IT data warehouse vs. the CMDB, continuous improvement for IT, IT metrics, IT management dimensions, ETL, and future trends.

HP has brought forth a strong offering in this space, and stands alone among its competitors in fully embracing the potential of business intelligence and applied analytics in improving IT management. IT organizations seeking to create strategic business alignment, establish a performance driven culture, and drive continuous improvement of IT management should evaluate this product as a unique enabler. 



IT Financial Management in the Cloud Era

PUBLISHED: Sun, 02 Oct 2011 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

IT Financial Management is a long standing discipline in enterprise IT management, yet remains challenging. The complexity of translating  raw cost and usage data into business meaningful terms has been difficult in distributed environments. Virtualization and cloud computing only increase the challenge. IT financial management ultimately requires sophisticated integration of IT management platforms to provide the required transparency.
 
ASG has established new capabilities here with its recent acquisition of PS'Soft, including IT contract and asset management, service request management, supply chain management, and more. Available via both traditional on-premise as well as SaaS delivery, ASG's offerings should be considered for their breadth, integration, and low TCO.  



BMC Offers IT Business Management On Demand

PUBLISHED: Sat, 01 Oct 2011 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

BMC Software has announced the availability of BMC IT Business Management OnDemand, a Software as a Service (SaaS) option for their IT Business Management suite. The SaaS delivery option opens new possibilities in benchmarking and will make it easier in today's difficult economic environment for enterprises to quickly automate these critical IT management functions and then transition to on-premise management if desired. 



HP Improves "Business of IT" Analytics and Scorecarding with IT Performance Suite

PUBLISHED: Thu, 01 Sep 2011 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

On Wednesday, June 1, 2011, HP announced the latest version of its IT Performance Suite, a scorecarding and analytics application for IT management, with broad coverage of the IT value chain. IT management is simply a form of management, and can benefit itself from scorecards, dashboards, and analytics. Products addressing this need have been part of the IT management software ecosystem for some time. Notable offerings include BMC's IT Business Management solutions, SAS Institute's IT Resource and Charge Management solutions and (in part) IBM's Tivoli Data Warehouse. HP has had a "business of IT" analysis suite for some time, essentially a data mart for IT management. The lineage of this offering dates back to the Kintana project portfolio management product, later acquired by Mercury and finally incorporated into the HP Business Technology Optimization suite, or BTO. (BTO as an HP brand is now being sunset.) In conjunction with the HP Discover industry conference, a new version of this dashboarding and decision support product -- IT Performance Suite -- has been released to considerable industry attention. 



Flexera's FlexNet Manager for IBM: Controlling Big Blue

PUBLISHED: Wed, 31 Aug 2011 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

Flexera has announced FlexNet Manager for IBM, integrating IBM license management into its overall offerings. IBM has been a notably challenging vendor from software asset management perspective, however, and its ILMT solution is still required for customers seeking to manage IBM software entitlements. The new offering supports IBM license modeling and integration with IBM's license management tools to enable optimal licensing for IBM products installed in physical and virtual environments. 



Express Metrix Spins off Apptria, Software Market Data Provider

PUBLISHED: Tue, 16 Aug 2011 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

On June 15, 2011, Express Metrix announced the launch of Apptria Technologies, a spin-off focused on marketing the "Apptria Software Catalog." This offering is marketed as "the industry's most extensive database of commercial applications, enabling accurate identification of software installed and used across corporate networks." Apptria is marketing this intellectual property both to end user organizations as well as vendors of software discovery and asset management tools. Apptria Technologies has been created with the "singular purpose of delivering world-class software recognition to technology providers so they can meet their own customers' demands for reliable asset management capabilities and reporting." The catalog, previously called the Express Software Identification Database [ESID], represents fifteen years of gradual accumulation of fingerprints, in part "crowd-sourced" by a community comprised of our partners' end-users and software publishers.



ServiceNow Extends Functionality with June 2011 Release

PUBLISHED: Fri, 01 Jul 2011 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

ServiceNow, the provider of a comprehensive Software as a Service (SaaS) offering for IT Service Management (ITSM), has solidified and extended its product with new functionality deployed on June 3. This is billed primarily as a ìconsolidationî release, yet includes two new applications and platform enhancements. This included: 

* A Change Risk survey assessment framework, with user configurable criteria and risk weighting.
* A Data Certification application 
* A new integrated Governance, Risk, and Compliance module. 
* A Document Management module, with basic authoring and tracking capabilities. 
* Enhancements to the social media features.



Social Media Moves Into Mainstream IT Service Management

PUBLISHED: Fri, 01 Jul 2011 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

Service desks are seen by some as a mature and uninteresting technology. However, the use of social media tools and collaboration is an innovation currently making its way into service desk markets as well as other technology segments. Social media offers an enabling technology needed for collaboration and communication -- both inbound and outbound -- critical in supporting of comprehensive service desk operations. A small number of service desk vendors have caught on to the value of this and are going to market with strategies for changing the culture of service desk interactions. The result is an improved ability to address the primary goals of increasing user satisfaction and reducing downtime, along with more effective engagement with the new generation of social media-savvy workers. 



BMC Bridges Project and ITSM Worlds with Latest ITBM Release

PUBLISHED: Fri, 01 Jul 2011 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

BMC acquired ITM Software in 2008, a vendor of an integrated "business of IT" suite, and has renamed it to IT Business Management. Over the past two years, BMC has worked to integrate this acquisition with its Remedy Action Request System based platform towards the objectives of better cost and risk transparency, demand and portfolio management, vendor management, and IT governance. BMC Software released a significant enhancement to the IT Business Management solutions as of 3/31/2011. Among other improvements, the release integrates BMC's project portfolio capabilities (in the Demand and Resource Management module) with its Change Management solution. The need for better "business management" of large scale information technology investments and operations is an ongoing industry theme. In general, EMA believes enterprise IT is under-managed relative to peer enterprise functions such as manufacturing operations, supply chain management, and commercial product development. The phrase "barefoot cobbler's child" is a commonplace in the IT industry, signifying the fact that while IT automates the rest of the enterprise, its own value chain is poorly understood and fragmented.



IT Business Management Comes of Age

PUBLISHED: Fri, 01 Jul 2011 00:00:00 +0000
AUTHOR: Charlie Betz, Former EMA Analyst

Enterprise IT tends to be one of the least automated capabilities in the modern corporation, in terms of having comprehensive systems to meet needs such as IT financial management, IT human resource management, and IT governance. There are a number of overlapping concerns often encountered in "business of IT" management: IT financial management, IT demand and resource management, Supplier management, IT portfolio management, and IT governance.BMC acquired ITM Software in 2008, a vendor of an integrated "business of IT" suite, and has renamed it to IT Business Management. Over the past two years, BMC has worked to integrate this acquisition with its Remedy Action Request System based platform towards the objectives of better cost and risk transparency, demand and portfolio management, vendor management, and IT governance. 


     

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