IBM extends service management beyond IT

IBM extends service management beyond IT

IBM on Monday announced a host of products and services that it claims will arm customers with the technology to build new dynamic infrastructures that meld physical and digital realms.

"We call these building blocks. It's a set of products and services to help customers converge the digital and physical worlds to ultimately create more efficient and intelligent infrastructures," said Pete McCaffrey, IBM's director of strategy for dynamic infrastructure.

[ Related: Hewlett-Packard recently introduced tools to reduce customers' costs while increasing agility. Read "HP injects Adaptive Infrastructure with orchestration, recovery" ]

On the product side that includes new Tivoli offerings, such as Tivoli Service Automation Manager software, enhancements to XIV Storage System with interoperability improvements and a lower point of entry for mid-market customers, full-disk encryption on the System Storage DS8000, a data de-duplication appliance, and InfoSphere Warehouse for System z beta software.

Big Blue also detailed new services for security, governance, and the IBM Service Management Industry Solution which, McCaffrey added, are software and services customized for seven industries. Those include utilities, chemicals and petroleum, telecom, banking, electronics, and manufacturing. They broaden the infrastructure, for instance, by encompassing computing devices such as smart meters or RFID.

"All the pieces are designed to support this expanded view of infrastructure," McCaffery explained. "If you can bring together physical and digital, there's a lot of information and insight in that."

The idea is to give IT more insight into devices, such as sensors, that are spitting out important data but that IT doesn't typically control.

"They've been talking about this for a number of years, extending the idea of service management beyond just IT," said Mary Johnston Turner, a research director for system management software at IDC. "It's the kind of thing we're seeing in bits and pieces, like smart elevators. For the most part they're taking existing technologies and applying them to new areas to pool IT resources and use them more efficiently."

IBM's McCaffrey added that "this dynamic infrastructure becomes the foundation for customers to deliver cloud-based services to their users," and taps cloud computing to take costs out of the equation and reduce inefficiencies.

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