The Impact of Disparate Tools
on the State of IT Service
Management in Mid-tier
An Ogren Group Special Report
IT service management aligns information technology processes, controls, and priorities to
meet business demands while delivering greater cost savings, reducing risks of service
disruptions, and supporting business expansion. The concept of IT being run as a service, as
opposed to functional network, systems and application silos, has gained significant adoption in
many organizations. Leading IT standards such as ITIL, ISO and COBIT all embrace the concept
of IT service management to effectively integrate IT with the business. CIO’s, IT executives, and
data center directors within mid-tier organizations are seeking to take advantage of IT service
management to improve service responsiveness and drive down operational costs.
Unfortunately, real progress towards IT service management and its respective benefits often
eludes mid-tier IT organizations. The company’s infrastructure has grown, but the IT
organization has very limited means for integrated oversight or service-oriented control to
manage the growth in complexity. The common
approach is to develop departmental teams More than 40% of mid-tier businesses
specializing in network, systems, and employ more than 6 tools to manage
applications management, but without their networks.
complete visibility of the business process to
optimize support of the organization. These organizations have solidified the functional silos by
amassing tools to assist in managing the infrastructure from a component rather than a service
perspective resulting in inefficiencies, increased license and operational costs, and business
The Ogren Group obtained feedback from 179 North American data center directors and IT
professionals within the mid-tier market regarding their level of confidence with the tools they
have in place to support IT service management. Only 17% of those surveyed felt very confident
in the tools they use to monitor and optimize network and application availability, performance,
compliance, and security, as shown in Exhibit 1. Mid-tier IT organizations, defined as having
between 250 and 5000 employees, are not confident they have adequate systems and network
management tools to address the reliability requirements, performance improvements and
cost-saving expectations of the business. For many, the situation is worsening as IT budgets
and headcounts are being trimmed while corporate systems, applications, access, security and
network complexity is increasing.
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Very Not very
Do you feel that you or your organization has adequate tools in place to monitor and optimize
network/application availability, performance, compliance, and security?
This presents an underlying crisis as mid-tier organizations are facing challenging service
response expectations with management tools they have little confidence in and with flat or
shrinking budget allocations. While these organizations are adopting cost-saving technologies
such as virtualization in the data center, distributed and mobile access, outsourced services and
cloud-oriented application services, they are constrained by the lack of integrated
infrastructure and service management capacity. Mid-tier businesses require tools that focus
on correlating broad operational data, applying analytics, automating critical IT management
functions, and facilitating service level monitoring. A holistic service management approach
allows IT to move forward with new technologies and business initiatives while reducing
operations expenses, lowering risks and improving service performance.
More integrated management capability requires an optimized means to capture, correlate and
manage operational data, while at the same time consolidate core IT management functions
and streamline service definition. The result would allow IT to more effectively maintain real-
time and historic visibility of infrastructure performance, control over the infrastructure’s
technical elements, and deliver against service levels to better serve the business. A single
operational “pane of glass” solution, specifically architected for the requirements of mid-tier
organizations, permits IT to confidently automate valued functions including:
Diagnose problems and security issues: IT delivers services with predictable response,
availability, security, and user experience. Relying upon multiple system and network
management tools makes it difficult to analyze and correct disruptions in network,
system, application, or security performance in a timely manner. This is especially the
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case when performing root-cause analysis on network, system and storage
Control infrastructure configurations ensure reliability, consistency, and performance:
the greatest causes of instability in the network, application performance, and security
are configuration settings that are outdated, inadvertently changed, not following
industry best practices, or are inconsistent across network devices and systems. A
common configuration validation solution allows IT to more confidently control network
resources and assure optimal business performance. Organizations need to both
validate a change, as well as readily see the affect of a change.
Streamline compliance and governance processes: audit requirements to demonstrate
compliance with standards and regulations such as COBIT, GLBA, HIPAA, and PCI often
require merging controls and consolidating reports from multiple sources - an
expensive and time consuming effort. A broader and more automated approach reduces
audit costs and enables IT resources to focus on more directly beneficial business
Monitor operational service levels: baseline and correlate their infrastructure
components with associated applications in order to establish and monitor an IT service.
Automating this process across both physical and virtual environments dramatically
enables IT to prioritize incident response, reduce downtime business impact, and
measure IT service improvement.
This Ogren Group Special Report, commissioned by AccelOps, illustrates the challenges faced
by mid-tier IT organizations and the problems with employing disparate IT management
solutions. The report also assesses a more integrated approach that expedites mid-tier
organizations’ ability to achieve and improve IT service management.
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The problems with current IT management tool portfolios
Mid-tier companies are investing in managing components of the technical infrastructure – the
network, systems, applications, users, as well as access, changes and trends. Unfortunately,
the tools employed do not provide the situational awareness, baseline or oversight needed to
enhance service reliability, performance and security for the business.
Approximately 82 percent of respondents to the AccelOps survey issued by the Ogren Group,
reported that they are not very confident that they have adequate tools in place to monitor and
optimize network and application availability,
performance, compliance, and security. This 82% of those surveyed are not very
is a critical shortcoming in IT’s arsenal to confident that they have adequate tools
deliver timely and cost-effective services to in place for IT service management.
the business. Mid-tier companies do not have
extensive budgets and resources, yet the expectations for delivering IT services to the company
are perhaps more important to the success of the business than ever before.
According to Ogren Group research, none of the network and systems management functions
fared well in the surveys. A score of 3.0 is considered average on a scale from 1 to 5, and every
IT service rated only about average. Not a single IT service scored close to a high degree of
satisfaction, as shown in Exhibit 2. In fact, respondents consistently rated network monitoring,
security information management, and application performance/diagnostics as the least
satisfactory among the most critical services provided by IT. These traditionally functional areas
within IT are still managed with relatively independent tools, inhibiting the converged visibility
and control necessary for IT service management.
Directory services monitoring 3.5
Compliance monitoring 3.6
IT service desk 3.5
Network asset management 3.4
Application performance 3.2
Network monitoring 3.4
Security information management 3.3
1 2 3 4 5
What is the degree of satisfaction with the current category of tools your organization employs to monitor
and maintain availability, performance, compliance and/or security?
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According to Ogren Group research, over forty percent of mid-tier survey respondents reported
that they are using more than 5 tools to manage the technical infrastructure, as shown in
Exhibit 3. This reflects the binding between management tools and the definition of IT functional
silos. An IT service management approach breaks these bindings while converging visibility and
control of the functional silos to focus on service to the business. IT teams in mid-tier
organizations are not satisfied that they presently have adequate network, system, application,
security and compliance management tools to efficiently satisfy business requirements.
11-20 tools, Too many tools,
6-10 tools, 1-5 tools,
Approximately how many tools does your company utilize to monitor, report and maintain availability,
performance, compliance and/or security?
The use of many functional management tools across the IT organization presents situations
where operational blind-spots and waste permeate, IT services cannot be efficiently sustained,
and hidden costs and business risk can grow. Key operational responsibilities for IT service
management that business constituents expect include:
Monitor network and application performance: the organization relies on the predictable
performance of networked applications where disruptions in application performance
are instantly noticed by end-users. IT needs to have the tools to discover bottlenecks,
anomalies and resource irregularities before end-users are affected.
Maintain and improve service levels: identify and monitor components that support
critical business services. IT should manage to service levels for operational response,
infrastructure performance, cost controls, and enabling new business opportunities.
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Assure appropriate infrastructure configurations: prevent drift in approved configuration
settings, maintain a consistent enterprise-wide configuration management policy, and
validate changes that are all essential in preventing performance degradation and
Provide visibility into the IT infrastructure: reduce service downtime, degradation in
system performance, security incidents, and service desk call volume by operating with
increased visibility of the entire infrastructure. Heightened visibility into the IT
infrastructure also allows IT to effectively demonstrate process improvements in
reports to executives, lines of business, and team members.
Enhance operational security: improve the means to identify, analyze, and resolve
security incidents that adversely affect business performance. IT needs to efficiently
filter operational noise, escalate pertinent security events, monitor compensating
controls, and coordinate active responses.
Enable user activity control: acceptable use policies are especially important in
monitoring the activity of privileged users, administrators, outsourced consultants and
service accounts. IT controls for enforcing acceptable use policies reduce the risk of
abusive, inappropriate, unauthorized or accidental use of corporate resources.
Report on governance and compliance processes: organizations of all sizes need to
establish and monitor controls that align to standards and regulations, especially as
defined by ITIL, ISO, and COBIT. Reporting against compliance posture for auditors and
customers should be a comprehensive automated process to lower costs.
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AccelOps All-in-One steps up IT service management
AccelOps All-in-One is a data center and IT service management solution for mid-tier
organizations that reduces the burden of juggling multiple management tools, while at the
same time breaks conventional IT management silos that hinder IT service reliability and
efficiency. AccelOps offers an integrated solution that correlates diverse operational data and
delivers out-of-the-box analytics making it easier for IT to perform critical functions such as
diagnosing application performance, improving response times from the IT service desk,
assessing systems assets, expediting root-cause analysis, baselining and mapping the
infrastructure, generating operational reports, fortifying governance and facilitating IT service
management. AccelOps All-in-One dovetails in the existing IT environment, rapidly improving
the ability to monitor, control, and manage the infrastructure from a service perspective
including rich functionality such as:
Infrastructure discovery, baselining and mapping
Change and configuration management (CMDB)
Network behavior and virtualization analysis
Availability and performance management
Event log and security information management (SIM)
Identity access and directory service monitoring
Service definition and business service management (BSM)
Extensible dashboards, reports, and rules aligned to best practices
AccelOps Data Center and IT Service Management
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AccelOps offers an automated data center and IT service management approach that enables
organizations to migrate from a component to a service-based management model, including
the critical functions highlighted in Exhibit 4. AccelOps All-in-One has focused its design
principles on those solution attributes that bring the most value to mid-tier IT:
Reduces operating expenses: AccelOps IT service management solution saves time and
energy for IT administration by centralizing operational data. IT easily finds the
information it needs in one intuitive IT service management tool, effectively updates the
network visibility and control situational analysis, and automatically performs repetitive
monitoring and reporting tasks.
Easily integrates into existing environments: The All-in-One system captures and
manages configuration data, network flow data, as well as diverse application and user
transaction data (including primary and secondary logins). The solution automatically
understands the data coming from reporting sources and how to process and manage
that data. AccelOps is deployed with support for the major system, network and
application products, and the solution can be customized to support new data sources
without requiring an entire AccelOps update.
Improves response times: AccelOps’ user interface presents IT with an integrated view
of the infrastructure, the most pertinent operational status, and the ability to drill-down
to finer details. Administrators can readily drill down beneath service, business, and
operational instrumentation to the details of who, what, when, where, and how for root
cause analysis. The system ships with out-of-the-box reports, heuristics, rules, metrics,
dashboards and reports that are easily extensible. The visibility and control provided by
a common IT services management tool allow IT to rapidly respond to incidents and
Enables CMDB and IT service management: The AccelOps system discovers and
baselines the infrastructure details from sources such as network flows, network
devices, security, systems, applications, and directory services. The configurations and
subsequent changes are all tracked within a complete change management database
(CMDB). Since the system learns infrastructure to application relationships, the user is
presented with an automated means to define a service. The user can easily set service
levels on top of the monitored component attributes that are inherited by the defined
service. The result jumpstarts IT service management, monitoring and measurement.
The AccelOps software product comes in two flavors – as a virtual appliance or as a Software as
a Service (SaaS) offering. This allows for immediate use and appliance-like integration, as well
as deployment flexibility and ability to scale throughout the mid-tier organization. The AccelOps
All-in-One solution for IT service management consolidates management tools and optimizes
the respective use of operational data. Companies may realize additional cost savings in
bandwidth, servers, power and storage by reducing duplication of operational data.
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The plethora of IT management tools inhibits the ability of IT to move forward with IT service
management initiatives. Mid-tier businesses have been employing separate non-integrated
management tools for each function IT, including fault diagnosis, network and application
performance, asset management, security, and operational reporting. The perceived
satisfaction of these tools is illustrated in Exhibit 5, where respondents rated each of these
critical capabilities of an active IT team as average or worse. This inefficiency often results in
higher operating expenses, extended response times, on-going administrator training, and
costly service degradation and outages.
Monitor and Modify IT Produce details and
correlate a device, component reports satisfying
system or availability to operations
application fault improve business requirements
Based on the tools currently utilized, rate on a scale of 1 (least) to 5 (best) how easy and quickly your
organization can satisfy these IT or business unit requests?
AccelOps brings to market a uniquely integrated IT service management solution that replaces
a wide variety of individual management tools, harnesses the value from operational data,
allows IT to be more efficient, enhances service reliability, and makes service management for
the mid-tier market tangible and possible. IT has greater flexibility to manage IT services from a
strategic perspective rather than a tactical functional perspective defined by traditional tools
and processes. By delivering the solution in a virtual appliance or Software as a Service
offering, AccelOps provides a choice of deployment methods that best integrate with the IT
environment. A subscription pricing model lowers initial costs and enables the organization to
adjust capacity as needed.
Effective management of the technical infrastructure is a critical core competency for IT. The
Ogren Group recommends that organizations re-examine their IT management processes and
tool sets and explore new approaches that make it significantly easier and less expensive to
operate their business with IT service management.
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The Ogren Group Special Report has been commissioned by AccelOps and is published for the sole use of Ogren Group clients. It
may not be duplicated, reproduced, or transmitted in whole or in part without the express permission of the Ogren Group, 92
Robert Road, Stow, MA 01775. For more information, contact the Ogren Group: firstname.lastname@example.org. All rights reserved. All
opinions and estimate herein constitute our judgment as of this date and are subject to change without notice.
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