Let’s look at ABC Corp again...
Jane, on the ServiceDesk knows that when a particular type of event is received for the CashOrder app, she should assign the call to Bob, because if there’s a problem with CashOrder, you call Bob – he’s supported it since day one. He always knows how to fix it. And what does Bob do? He spends the next 30 or so minutes connecting to the system, checking to see who is using the app, sends them an e-mail saying the app needs to be taken offline, so they’ll need to disconnect, and if they don’t he’s going to disconnect them anyway. He goes and grabs a coffee, then he checks again, stops the app, navigates through the obscure folder hierarchy to that folder tucked away where all those old files collect (and Bob knows that when there are more than 30 files, greater than 5mb in size and over 4 hours old, the app doesn’t like it and throws a wobbly), he deletes them all, then restarts the app. Sometimes he’ll check if the app is actually working again, and sometimes, if he’s in a good mood, he’ll actually tell the users that the app is back up again so that they can continue doing the job they are being paid to do. Bob loses count of the number of times he has to do this every month…
Who, or what, did the ‘management’ here? In reality, part of the process was undertaken by Jane on the ServiceDesk assigning the call to Bob, and then Bob himself who undertook all the necessary steps to resolve the problem. Not the ‘Systems Management’ tool – in this case it’s just monitoring. But what happens if someone new on the ServiceDesk responded to the alert, and, what if, heaven forbid, Bob was on holiday (Bob normally takes his Blackberry on holiday and checks his e-mail, but this time his wife put her foot down and told him to leave it at home…). Well, the monitoring tool continues to raise the alerts, but they take longer to resolve, as people have to work out who should own the problem, and what they need to do to fix it. The problem gets worse, people can’t do their job, they phone the ServiceDesk to complain, and eventually, a very unhappy Robin Farquhar-Brown, ABC’s VP of Operations storms into the CIO’s office…
Wouldn’t it therefore be good if the ‘Systems Management’ (read ‘Monitoring’) tools actually ‘Managed’? A kind of ‘Systems Management 2.0’. A solution that provides the comprehensive, and important, monitoring of the IT infrastructure, but then actually knows what to do with the events when they are generated, regardless of whether Bob is on holiday or not. A tool that:
- Collects the event(s)
- Creates a ServiceDesk Ticket
- Connects to the app to check current users
- E-mails the users asking them to disconnect
- Waits for users to disconnect, any remaining are e-mailed again, telling them app is going down
- Stops the app
- Navigates to folder, searches for old files meeting the defined criteria
- Deletes the files
- Starts the app, and validates that it is functioning again
- E-Mails the users to tell them the app is back up and working
- Updates and closes the ServiceDesk ticket
Systems Management 2.0? IT Process Automation anyone..?