One of the pitfalls (or blessings, depending on your perspective) of being a small software company is that you get laser-like focus on your core business problem out of necessity. For me as a vendor, one of the real value points about the Gartner show is getting exposed to other market segments that touch ours that I might not run across otherwise. That’s the case with the session I just attended on BSM (Business Service Management).
BSM is essentially a live dependency map, integrated to monitoring tools, that escalates only the monitoring events that have a real impact on the business and presents them in a business-consumable format. This is a goal for a lot of IT organizations—I know the Microsoft.com operations team was trying to implement something like this using the Microsoft server product stack plus homegrown tools about five years ago before the BSM market was grown, and knowing them they now have a complete solution. What was interesting to me was how BSM seems to dovetail with the work that my company has done in the last year on the CMDB, which really is about creating and documenting the service dependency map that BSM needs as a starting point.
When you combine a good CMDB with robust change management, and then tie in a good monitoring API and logic about how component status rolls up (or doesn’t) to the status of a service, then all of a sudden the time and effort spent on building that CMDB has paid some unexpected dividends.