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The BSM Mindset: The Time is Now

Business Service Management: The Beginnings

According to a Forrester report, the core premise of the original Business Service Management (BSM) concept that appeared in 2004 relied on the ability to map business services to infrastructure and applications components. It was not a technology or a product itself but instead a process, an approach, a strategy, a mindset, or all of them combined. This core premise is still very much the mainstay of the current version of BSM but when the concept first appeared it was quickly followed by vendors claiming that their products were the one-stop BSM solution.

Implementing one of these early so-called BSM solutions on its own was bound to fail since the successful implementation of BSM requires a cultural change necessitated by as mindset change plus these early solutions were fragile and disappointing in the functionality that they delivered. The very essence of BSM involves a shift from focusing on technologies to identifying and supporting the needs of the user – both external and internal. The widespread failure and disappointment of BSM 1.0 solutions coupled with the growing complexity of IT environments had many companies running scared from implementing BSM.


But the new generation of robust solutions that provide key functionality for the latest evolution of BSM (BSM 2.0) and the benefits that it brings means that it is worth taking a look at BSM again. These benefits include improvements in the quality and uptime of the services provided to customers, better communication and relationships with internal and external customers, an increase in efficiency, and lower costs. All of these benefits are achieved by focusing on the customers and their goals and that is where Business Service Management comes into it.

Implementing Business Service Management

BSM was first included in the 2007 version of Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and its definition in the 2011 version is “the management of business services delivered to business customers.” Although this definition does not do the concept justice and leaves it very open to interpretation; it does, however, legitimize BSM as an industry-standard concept, approach, and best practice. What the implementation of the BSM concept really means to your company is changing the way your IT personnel think about the impact of their actions on the customer. And the first step in changing the way someone thinks is to show them the impact of their action. This takes us back to the core premise of BSM – the ability to monitor and manage the End User Experience and business transactions by mapping business services to infrastructure and application components.

If you have a solution that can do this mapping, you have the information needed to educate and inform your employees. In this scenario, an application engineer uses the mapping solution to reactively or proactively see the impact on the customer of a change they made or will make. This gives them a new understanding of the impact of their actions and the impact of incidents in general and helps them better prioritize and communicate what they do.

The end result of exposing the application engineer to this new “bigger picture” information is that their mindset is different now. They no longer work in an IT bubble but instead see everything from the top down – starting with the service provided to the customer right down to the underlying application or component. As soon as your IT employees are able to step out of their bubble, your corporate culture will change and you will start to reap the benefits of BSM: better services, happier customers, improved communication, lower costs, and increased efficiency.

Live Maps Unity is part of the new generation of solutions that support BSM 2.0. Sitting on top of the Operations Manager component of Microsoft® System Center (SCOM), it provides you with the functionality to map your business-critical services to their underlying infrastructure components and applications and shows you – and any employee of your company – the status of those services on an at-a-glance dashboard from the perspective of the end user, infrastructure components, and applications (learn more). Troubleshooting service outages or proactively viewing the impact of upcoming changes on a service no longer involve wading through SCOM alerts – a couple of glances and clicks take you to the answer.

Is your company ready for a new customer-focused mindset? Visit our Live Maps Unity page to get started on the beneficial path to BSM implementation.

dennisWritten by Dennis Rietvink, Savision’s co-founder and VP of Product Management

Dennis co-founded Savision in late 2007 with Douwe Van de Voort, and is responsible for product management, professional services and sales support. He has over 12 years of systems management, architecture design, and deployment experience working for Fortune 500 companies at EDS (now Hewlett Packard) and other firms. He is the co-architect of multiple innovative (patented) systems and management products used globally at EDS to centrally manage Microsoft-based infrastructures of their large accounts. 

As an infrastructure architect for multiple projects, Dennis specializes in maintaining communication with customers and translating business requirements into technical architectures. He worked for many global accounts like Dow Chemicals, DSM, Aegon and the Dutch Railways.

Dennis studied Computer Science at the Hogeschool of Etten-Leur, the Netherlands.

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1 Comment

  1. I’d like to see more written about the reverse flow. Once businesses see how their processes map to IT services then we have happier IT folks because they can get more funding and projects properly prioritized. Not all of us in IT live in a “bubble”. The “big picture” is often nothing more than a fuzzy view way up in the clouds that has no link to IT realities and sometimes even Physics. Businesses often demand discrete solutions and ignore or resist SOA. BSM is a two-way street and mindsets need to change on all levels.

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