Published on 29-Jun-2011
"Tivoli Application Dependency Discovery Manager will be key in helping us avoid up to US$1.2 million in labor costs and six months time lost in travel annually." - —John Potok, Executive Architect, Systems and Service Management, IBM
IBM CIO Office
Green/Sustainability, Cloud & Service Management, Networking, Service Management, Smarter Planet
Nearly six years ago, John Potok, an executive architect with IBM’s Office of the CIO, was chosen to head an enterprise systems management initiative that would improve the availability of the company’s critical customer-facing and financially significant business processes and applications
Gaining a single, trusted view of the environment by integrating processes and information.
With its move to an Integrated Service Management model, IBM is gaining new business intelligence that helps IT staff predict supply and demand, forecast costs, and improve time to market for new services.
Improved recovery time of mission-critical business applications by up to 15 percent in the event of a failure; Will help avoid up to US$1.2 million annually in labor and travel costs; Reduced average outage time, due to failure, of mission-critical business processes by up to 50 percent and expected to help prevent outages; Avoided nearly US$6 million in software license costs in 2010 through improved software license management; Supported platform optimization program, which enabled 30 percent reduction in server footprint and 70 percent reduction in energy costs
|Creating a proactive service delivery model that allows IT staff to predict supply and demand, forecast costs, and improve time to market for new services.|
|For the IBM internal team that provides IT services to more than 400,000 IBM employees and contractors, the key in helping IBM succeed in tough economic times is in its move from an enterprise systems management to an Integrated Service Management model. By delivering greater visibility, control and automation across the IT infrastructure, Integrated Service Management initiatives have helped the company avoid millions of dollars in labor costs and software licensing fees. These initiatives are also helping fundamentally change the economics of service delivery, while satisfying end-user needs.|
|Smarter Infrastructure: Integrating processes for predictive management|
|Instrumented||Automated discovery, application mapping and visualization capabilities provide a comprehensive view of attributes and relationships among configuration items and business services.|
|Interconnected||Configuration and asset inventory data across 450,000 desktops and 16,000 distributed and mainframe servers is stored in a common database for use across service management processes.|
|Intelligent||New business intelligence into IT infrastructure will help staff predict supply and demand, forecast costs and improve time to market for services.|
Nearly six years ago, John Potok, an executive architect with IBM’s Office of the CIO, was chosen to head an enterprise systems management initiative that would improve the availability of the company’s critical customer-facing and financially significant business processes and applications. Using IBM® Tivoli® Business Service Manager, IBM Tivoli Monitoring and IBM Tivoli Composite Application Manager software, the team created a Global Delivery Business Management service1 that incorporated service dashboards to measure and monitor business applications from the end-user perspective as well as the underlying infrastructure. This enabled support staff to quickly detect and resolve problems.
At the same time, his colleague Matthew McCarthy, an IBM strategy architect for global asset management, was focused on understanding the company’s diverse hardware and software assets—including 450,000 desktops. IBM Tivoli Asset Management for IT, IBM Tivoli Service Request Manager® and IBM Tivoli Change and Configuration Management Database software proved essential to this work.
While these initiatives delivered significant returns—reducing costs, decreasing outages and improving staff productivity—they were only the first steps in what would become a larger journey.
“When we started, service management was an evolving concept,” says Potok. “To truly enable innovation and change the economics of service delivery, we needed to bring each of those elements together under a unified service management strategy.”
One of the biggest challenges in achieving this goal was in the lack of visibility and control across key business processes end to end. For example, while IT staff could see when a component (e.g., a server) outage occurred, it was often hard to determine which business applications were affected without relying on help desk calls from the users. It was also difficult for staff to confirm the specific configuration of the device, such as how much memory was installed or what problems had been previously reported.
“Before we had to rely on the transient knowledge of the support person to figure out what was on the server or, even worse, they had to physically go out and look at the box,” says Potok.
How did that impact IBM’s operations? “The better question is how didn’t it,” says McCarthy. Case in point: When the team was making its business case to move from a systems management to an Integrated Service Management model, outages on mission-critical applications provided the proof needed to show that change was necessary.
“Having an Integrated Service Management framework for the data center will provide a positive impact on user satisfaction, making sure business services are available to meet their needs,” adds Potok.
|The inside story: Getting there|
|Gaining approval and funding for a new IT strategy that can affect more than 400,000 employees across 170 countries can be challenging. “We needed consensus from dozens of different business unit and geography representatives before we could begin,” says McCarthy. “The key was getting the executives and the business unit stakeholders to see the business value.”|
|In meeting with stakeholders, the team presented a vision and architecture that was grounded in immediate business requirements. “We had business process availability and software reuse objectives and that’s where we started,” says Potok. “There are different entry points for service management and, for us, the ones that made sense were systems management, monitoring and asset management.”|
|As part of its presentations, the team emphasized that the goals could only be achieved through a modular approach that would deliver business value at each phase. “This is a journey,” says McCarthy. “We’re able to implement the components, integrate them, and then build on that integration to provide that end-to-end view.”|
|Skilled resources ease implementation|
|The CIO team enlisted the support of IBM Global Technology Services and IBM Tivoli Software staff to support the implementation. “We wanted to ensure that we had people with prior knowledge of the software,” says McCarthy. “They [IBM and Tivoli Services] provided deep expertise in how the products were installed and configured and were integral in helping us translate our business requirements and architecture into a deployable solution based on best practices.”|
Gaining a single, trusted view of the environment
The team’s first step was to integrate processes and information to:
• Gain greater visibility and control of key business processes including business applications and the underlying IT infrastructure, which includes more than 16,000 servers distributed worldwide
• Automate service execution processes to shorten cycle time and improve efficiency throughout the service life cycle
• Automate supply-side delivery of IT services and resources through comprehensive service catalogs
Integral to this effort is the creation of a trusted source for reliable and current configuration and inventory information using IBM Tivoli Application Dependency Discovery Manager and IBM Tivoli Change and Configuration Management Database software. Automated discovery and visualization capabilities, along with the ability to integrate data across IT processes, such as availability, problem and change management, provides operations staff with unprecedented insight into and control of business applications and the supporting infrastructure.
“We are improving the currency and integrity of inventory and configuration information,” explains Potok. “And when we have that we can make better decisions about our environment.”
For example, Tivoli Application Dependency Discovery Manager has helped the organization automatically discover and inventory production servers for supporting change management and identifying aged software. The inventory will also be used to identify old unused servers in its data centers worldwide and target them for decommission, reducing costs and enabling staff to reclaim valuable floor space. Previously, 10 staff members had to visit each data center worldwide annually to locate servers that were no longer in use and simply taking up space. The process took about six months and cost the company nearly $1.2 million in labor and travel costs.
“We hadn’t been diligent about removing old servers from our raised floor space, and over time, it began to eat up a lot of valuable floor space,” says Potok. “Tivoli Application Dependency Discovery Manager will be key in helping us avoid up to US$1.2 million in labor costs and six months time lost in travel annually.”
This new insight also supports platform optimization efforts. For example, it has helped IT staff effectively diagram the existing environment, including floor space and megawatts consumed, and identify older, inefficient systems that could be consolidated. With this knowledge, the organization moved workloads onto more efficient, virtualized systems, shrinking the server footprint by 30 percent and energy spend by 70 percent.
Additional work is underway to use Tivoli Application Dependency Discovery Manager to gain what Potok refers to as a “vertical“ view of each application. “In many cases, an application, like a tax calculation program that’s used in many key business processes, can run on 12, 15 or 20 different servers across the environment,” explains Potok. “Having both a horizontal view of the server infrastructure and a vertical view of the business applications mapped to business processes will help us streamline migration efforts, improve stability of the environment, and reduce the risk of change.”
“We will have the right information at the right time in front of the right person to reduce the time and cost of responding to service and change requests,” says Potok, who estimates that the organization currently supports about 80,000 change tickets and 90,000 problem tickets worldwide each year.
Enabling predictive management
One of the most significant benefits of moving to an Integrated Service Management model will be a new level of business insight that helps operations and support staff anticipate and proactively respond to infrastructure problems, and stay ahead of business requirements. “Before data was fragmented,” says McCarthy. “This solution is helping us bring the data together so that we have usable business intelligence and can begin to predict supply and demand issues, forecast costs and improve time to delivery.”
For example, data from problem and change tickets can be used to help operations staff identify server availability and software stability trends, such as if a particular software version is error prone, and initiate a “fix” to avoid potential problems. Likewise, the team can review availability trends for critical business applications and provide feedback to the application owners. With this information, application owners can take action, such as upgrading a system, to avoid future degradation in service availability. Visibility into trends regarding software support life cycles enable staff to better plan for and forecast software upgrades and avoid service premiums levied on out-of-support products.
Already, with its work to date, the organization has improved the recovery time of mission-critical business applications by up to 15 percent in the event of a failure and reduced average outage time by up to 50 percent. It also avoided nearly US$6 million in software license costs in 2010 through improved management of software license inventory, request, return, entitlement and reuse of third-party desktop software licenses. Further reductions in operating expenses and faster provisioning of new services are expected as additional work is completed to promote integrated operations, shared services and end-to-end process transformation.
|Improved recovery time of mission-critical business applications by up to 15 percent in the event of a failure|
|Will help avoid up to US$1.2 million annually in labor and travel costs|
|Reduced average outage time, due to failure, of mission-critical business processes by up to 50 percent and expected to help prevent outages|
|Avoided nearly US$6 million in software license costs in 2010 through improved software license management|
|Supported platform optimization program, which enabled 30 percent reduction in server footprint and 70 percent reduction in energy costs|
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Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
Tivoli Enterprise Console, Tivoli Application Dependency Discovery Manager, Tivoli Business Service Manager, Tivoli Asset Management for IT, Tivoli Change and Configuration Management Database, Tivoli Composite Application Manager for Transactions, Tivoli Composite Application Manager for Applications, Tivoli Service Request Manager
GTS Integrated Technology Services, Software Services for Tivoli
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