IBM refocuses on governance, risk management

IBM refocuses on governance, risk management

IBM unveiled several new and enhanced products on Tuesday, some incorporating technologies the company has bought, notably the Netcool software from its purchase of network management specialist Micromuse in February 2006.

Other acquisitions have also helped IBM beef up its governance and risk management (GRM) offerings such as the purchases of Internet Security Systems, compliance and auditing technology vendor Consul and enterprise content management company Filenet.

Over the past year, companies such as SAP and Oracle have been establishing their own governance, risk and compliance (GRC) business units basing their efforts on the acquisitions of Virsa Systems and Stellent, respectively. With many customers citing improvement of their current GRC software as a key IT challenge, vendors are rushing to provide the necessary technology.

"Business is moving at warp speed and customers need help in dealing with the rate of change in their industry, to take advantage of it and to respond to new competition," says Kris Lovejoy, director, GRM strategy at IBM. CIOs need better control of their IT systems and to ensure those systems are aligned to their business needs, she added.

In discussions with hundreds of CIOs, IBM identified the triggers the executives had to deal with in their companies. One example Lovejoy says, is the ability to respond quickly to a request for legal discovery. Then the vendor worked to come up with software and services to meet those needs, either developing them in-house or acquiring them.

Later this year IBM will highlight other pieces of its GRM portfolio, including the Insight dashboard it acquired through the purchase of Consul, she added.

Among the new or recently announced IBM products are several dashboards including a suite of asset-based services dubbed The Business of IT Dashboard. Based on IBM's Tivoli Netcool technology, the software enables customers to assess, monitor and manage their current GRM tools.

Being able to better manage risk is a key criteria for PHLX.

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