Getting a clear view of how IT operations influence business processes not only improves efficiency, but can mean less money spent on licenses, says a Gartner analyst.

During a Wednesday Webcast, Gartner Inc. network and systems

management research director Deborah Curtis endorses an architectural approach to IT-supported business processes. She spoke about the value of business services management software, like Managed Objects’ Formula offering, in helping align IT operations with business goals.

The approach she recommends maps out the various technologies and their operations. It then links those to the enterprise’s business processes. What you end up with, she says is a clear view of how the enterprise relies on technology which can then help focus IT efforts on supporting critical components first. It moves the enterprise from a chaotic, putting out fires, mode of operation to being able to proactively manage those systems most critical to customer service or internal operations.

The goal is to achieve a new level of communication between the IT department and the business unit, she says.

Knowing the exact way technology operations affect business also has some side-effect which can prove rather beneficial to the IT department, she says. It helps the IT organization focus their monitoring time and attention, for example.

Through mapping, examples of adequate instrumentation monitoring exists can be identified, Curtis says. Black holes where monitoring is not adequate will also probably show up.

“”But there’s going to be this third category,”” Curtis says. “”There will be things that you are monitoring. . . and spending time on, and creating what I call ‘write once/read never’ reports on. . . You can take that off your list of things to do. Release your staff of that responsibility so that they can focus time on filling some of the black holes that you may have found.””

Money can also be saved on licensing fees, she claims, if licensed agents have been deployed to support systems that don’t link up with critical business operations. That money can potentially be recovered, or redirected to any identified “”black holes.””

Increased efficiency is also a way to use businesses service management software to save money, says Managed Objects marketing vice-president Helen Donnelly.

She brings up the example of Fidelity Investments, a Managed Objects client, who has been using Formula as their top-level management console.

The largest mutual funds company in the U.S., Fidelity Investments have a significant Web presence, Donnelly says. The company handles 87 per cent of its trading volume through its 18 different Web identities managed through

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