Consider Olympic track stars. They each have different backgrounds, styles and countries of origin, but only one thing really matters in the end: the person who runs the fastest is the one who wins the gold medal.
To get that competitive advantage, the athlete needs more than muscular legs and a good pair of running shoes. Everything – from heart to lungs to muscles to mental focus – must function at its peak, from the moment the starter’s gun is fired to the instant the runner crosses the finish line.
So, instead of simply logging time on the treadmill, the Olympian trains at an athletic center where clinicians monitor heart rate, blood pressure and lung capacity; nutritionists guide food selection, trainers help build strength, endurance and prevent injury. If time trials results start slowing down, or performance lags, the conditioning team works quickly to identify and remedy the cause.
Now, think about your company.
To stay competitive, you have to keep the business running at top capacity – responding to customers quickly, getting products to their destinations on time, paying vendors, invoicing clients, and other critical functions. But, what happens when performance falls behind? The biggest challenge for most companies is figuring out why. Is it a technical issue such as a network outage or an application down? Is it a process problem such as a broken cash register; traffic overload, or just plain human error?
It could take hours or days to figure that out – longer if you multi-source. In the meantime, your business performance limps along, impacting your revenue, your productivity and your reputation.
The problem is the traditional approach to IT service management is disparate, at best, siloed by vendor or function, and typically focused on the infrastructure itself. Functionality is rarely mapped back to business performance; and even if it is, there is no single, cohesive view of all of the elements that impact that performance.
That’s why companies are turning to Business Outcome Service Management (BOSM), a holistic, end-to-end approach that’s like total body conditioning for the corporate enterprise.
Business Outcome Service Management: Keeping Your Operation in Top Condition
On the most basic level, BOSM links individual key performance indicators (KPIs) to specific activities within the IT stack; then applies real-time metrics to measure physical and process-based performance. It provides a single, coherent dashboard view of what’s going on in your organization – all tied back to business outcomes.
In many ways, BOSM is a natural evolution of service management – in response to changes in the way companies look at the value provided by IT. Today, the perception of IT is shifting from bits, bytes and boxes to how it supports the core business. Companies don’t really care if server X or application Y isn’t performing at its peak – they care about whether or not their delivery trucks are leaving on time, or their customers are moving through the drive-through window efficiently.
Historically, service management involved monitoring each system or application as a separate unit. However, in most instances, business processes are enabled by a combination of multiple applications, hardware and downstream processes that enable businesses to produce a product or deliver a service. As multi-sourcing becomes the norm, these applications or systems could be spread across multiple vendor environments – both physical and virtual. Managing service delivery in pieces and parts just doesn’t make sense anymore.
BOSM provides an integrated approach to service management and a single, coherent dashboard view of every element required to support critical business processes. It ties into automated tools and predictive analytics so breakdowns can be anticipated and repaired. If performance lags, real-time alerts notify designated personnel, identifying not only what the problem is but the cause.
It’s important to note that although predicting and proactively resolving hardware issues are important components, BOSM goes beyond infrastructure availability. It includes Application Performance Management (APM), which monitors application availability based on KPIs. Just as important, BOSM examines the processes and the people aspect associated with each business driver to quickly identify why and where things are breaking down.
All of this information is aggregated into a dashboard that shows users, in an instant and real-time, what’s working and where the potential bottlenecks lie. In a glance, you know what KPIs are at risk and whether it’s the infrastructure, the applications or business process issues causing the slowdown. You can take action (if automated tools haven’t already solved the problem for you) and keep performance optimal.
But, BOSM doesn’t only enable you to maintain the status quo. It helps your operation get better.
In addition to monitoring physical and process-based performance for potential problems, BOSM also provides metrics on which cost-driving and business success levers need adjustment to improve outcomes. So, you continually improve efficiency, speed time-to-market and streamline processes.
The net-net? Your organization operates like an Olympian. Your “gold” is the competitive advantage.
Taking the First Step
Because every HP BOSM solution is tailored to the individual client’s business processes, everything begins with an assessment to identify both KPIs and the company’s lifecycle management maturity. In some cases, clients want to start small, focusing on a few KPIs, then expand from there. For those that are more mature, we deploy a comprehensive, end-to-end outcome model.
From here, full deployment involves:
- Rolling out HP BOSM toolsets
- Activating technical monitoring
- Identifying critical business processes and associated metrics
- Establishing business outcome thresholds and alerts
- Integrating automated monitoring/repair tools
- Enabling the monitoring dashboard
All of the information around performance is continually aggregated and used to more quickly identify and prevent issues, and create an environment of continual improvement.
Pumping Up Business Performance
To succeed in today’s global marketplace, it’s all about driving business value, reducing costs and accelerating time-to-market. With HP’s Business Outcome Service Management, companies gain the tools and insight they need to ensure every piece of hardware, every application and every process is effectively supporting the needs of the business. As a result, they can move faster, accomplish more and gain a true competitive advantage.