GSX Blog

What’s Your Service Management Strategy to Maintain Environmental Health?

Posted by Meryll Moreau on Tue, Dec 10, 2013

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In our increasingly technology driven business environment, collaborative solutions don’t use just one tool, they use multiple. Organizations today have a portfolio approach to their IT collaborative tools. No one tool meets all their requirements, so there can be many components inside an organization’s complete collaborative arsenal.

While such a diversity of solutions may offer a business the range of tools required to meet their business requirements, it can be a huge challenge to monitor and configure. Multiple technologies, architectures and versionings can lead to a dramatic overhead in operational support. In some cases, various management tools require as much time and attention as the systems they are monitoring.

Many complex and detailed infrastructure management tools focus on the availability of the system, but not on the level of service that the system is providing.

Typically within an IT organization, different individuals require different types of data. Generating and sorting through the sheer volume of data that is relevant to a collaborative environment can be a daunting task with high levels of overhead involved. This is why it’s useful to have a tool that automatically captures and records data on services you want monitored. With this information, you can have a wide range of reports to suit each person’s specific needs.

Knowing about your environment’s health can provide you with a big picture overview of the servers in your collaborative environment and compare the performance of SLAs and KPIs across all of your servers. This enables you to rapidly identify issues with servers and prioritize them for further attention.

What’s Your Service Strategy?                 

Service Strategy is an ITIL term that is based on the underlying assumption that you view IT as a service that is being delivered to your customers. To formalize your Service Strategy, the following fundamental questions need to be addressed:

  • What is the service being delivered?
  • Who are you delivering it to?
  • What does the service encompass?
  • How do you measure the quantity of service delivery?
  • How do you measure the quality of service delivery?
  • How do you monitor service delivery?
  • How do you manage service delivery?
  • How do you plan for capacity requirements?

The answers to these questions form the basis of a service strategy.

Now, how do you report on it to your customers? How do you track and report on it internally? How do you anticipate issues, threats and capacity requirements? All of these issues need to be addressed prior to delivering or purchasing a service. It is futile to define a service if you are unable to report on the quantity and quality of the delivery on that service. To manage a service, you must be able to measure it.

KPIs and SLAs

For proactive service management, it is essential to monitor and measure out your SLAs, including the KPIs that impact on your SLAs.

Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are formal agreements on the expected level of service delivery that’s agreed upon between the customer of the service and the company, department or individual delivering the service. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are metrics that are used to quantify a service. KPIs are not usually components of the SLA, but they can be used to monitor performance and the ability to meet SLAs.

The myriad of systems, technologies, metrics and agreements that make up a company’s collaborative portfolio can sometimes result in information overload. Environmental Health configurations enable administrators and managers to specify the metrics that are critical to their environment and easily plot them across all servers in their environment. An overview is given that will rapidly identify issues that need to be addressed. Once issues are identified, you can quickly move from an environment summary to detailed statistics on individual servers in that environment.

Reliable communication and collaboration systems are essential to the way modern businesses function. More and more companies need these systems available 24/7, 365 days a year. In today's challenging economy and with IT budgets constrained, the ability to quickly and efficiently monitor your environment and measure the performance of your servers and services is the key to staying ahead of your competitors. It is crucial to ensure the continuous and efficient operation of these systems and identify potential problems before they occur.

 

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Tags: ITIL, sla, GSX Analyzer, Service Delivery, analytics