Expert answer

Can your existing tools juggle so many external services?

How do organizations ensure they have the proper IT monitoring tools to juggle so many new externalized services?

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Among all of the tools that you have to manage your endpoints, is there one tool that can bring that service capability and service management together in a single console? Or, if there isn't a single tool, are there standards that can bring some of these various tools together? Or, if you have a service with many different components, are there different IT monitoring tools that cover different aspects of the services? You may end up with too many tools that cover too many different aspects of the service, making it unwieldy to manage. And there could also be critical components to the delivery of that service that are not covered by any existing IT monitoring tools. This is even more prevalent as you start to think about some of the services that are externalized to the organization, such as Software-as-a-Service or Platform-as-a-Service. The existing tools that IT traditionally uses might not have the ability to provide the type of management and monitoring and proactive capability that you need.

So you need to build a roadmap that defines the requirements for the IT monitoring tools that you need to ensure end-to-end service delivery and optimization. This includes proactively managing every component that makes up a service, understanding how that service runs optimally, making sure that service's expectations are being met in terms of being delivered to the business and understanding the cost of delivering that service to the business.

You're not going to have all of the tools you need or the one tool that you need to monitor these services effectively end-to-end, so you need to create a roadmap for how either new tools or existing tools will be brought together to provide that end-to-end service delivery. You also need to understand the processes that are required to ensure that you can deliver on that roadmap. That may include things like proper change control, proper management of your IT assets through a database and having the right security steps to ensure that there is security across all these physical boundaries. And finally, you need a way to provide automation and self-service to your user community, so that services can be requested by users and provisioned without the need for an IT employee to hit a button or create an account.

This was first published in June 2013

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