IT Struggling with Service Model Implementations, Survey Says

March 03, 2013
by Pete Goldin
APMdigest

Enterprise IT staffs spend significant time struggling to keep up with change management, as well as trying to improve overall end-user service quality. To address these issues, IT managers have implemented service modeling projects, which have helped make some progress but there is still far from universal satisfaction, according to a new survey by Neebula Systems.

Organizations with more than 500 employees were asked about their priorities in managing IT operations, as well as objectives for and satisfaction with the results of service modeling projects. The responses indicated that service modeling becomes more difficult as data centers become more complex and that IT professionals are employing lots of different technologies to address their issues.

The survey showed that as an indication of the IT staff's ongoing battle to put out fires, there was an average of 30 or more critical and major events open for 88 percent of respondents.

It is clear that addressing this problem is the motivation for undertaking a service modeling project. Specifically, three main priorities were identified for service modeling projects:

- root cause analysis (listed by 68 percent of respondents)

- change impact assessment (67 percent)

- business continuity planning (51 percent)

However, the survey shows IT operations struggling with business services implementations:

- Half responded: "our goals were met and we are very happy with the project"

- 28 percent said: "our initial goals were not met but we are realizing value"

- 23 percent said: "our goals were not met"

More than 92 percent of respondents spend 6-plus months on service modeling projects. Yet, when asked "what percentage of your business services are defined in service models?" the majority of respondents (84 percent) said they had between 21 and 60 percent of their business services are defined in service models. Those are used to help IT align with business requirements to maintain availability of services such as billing, email and inventory management. Only 4 percent had completed more – indicating the vast majority of IT operations do not avail themselves of business service topology models.

None of this appears to be for lack of trying, with multiple types of tools deployed by IT, such as device-specific consoles (primarily for servers, network, and storage devices), transaction tracking tools, application performance management and other monitoring software.

In addition, 90 percent were using Configuration Management Databases (CMDBs) with many indicating they are using CMDBs from more than one supplier. Among respondents, 75 percent indicated they maintain service models in the CMDB.

The survey also found that accuracy of services was a big question mark. On one hand, 64 percent of respondents felt that their service models were mostly up to date. On the other hand, a quarter of respondents felt less confident.

Survey Methodology

Neebula conducted the survey from late September through early November with more than 100 respondents. The survey was open to IT staff of enterprises with at least 500 employees. It should be noted that there is no correlation with Neebula customers, as this was a general survey. There were 86 percent of respondents with 500-plus servers in their IT infrastructure and 84 percent said they were supporting more than 100 business services.

Related Links:

Click here for a free copy of the survey