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Ptak, Noel & Associates

White Paper

Managing Service Quality: CA delivers business value by automating integration of ITIL disciplines

Many enterprises are implementing ITILs guidelines for service support and service delivery to great effect. However organizations must connect these disciplines to have active control over service quality. Service delivery solutions provide the insight that action must be taken and best practices have evolved to collect, report, and analyze user experience against complex service level agreements. Yet if this service delivery analysis is disconnected from ITs service support capabilities such as mapping service/infrastructure relationships, incident management, and problem management then enterprises cannot actively control and improve service quality. Only when IT combines these two disciplines can enterprises truly align IT and business priorities, ensure compliance with increasingly complex service agreements, and achieve business goals with an increasingly complex computing environment. This paper discusses how service delivery and service support capabilities can be connected to deliver high quality services and outlines how CA Wily Technology is streamlining and automating this process to improve the consistency and cost effectiveness of managing service quality.

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Managing Service Quality: CA delivers business value by automating integration of ITIL disciplines

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Business value created by connecting service insight and control

As enterprise executives are aware, business profitability and competitiveness increasingly depend on ITs ability to deliver high quality services in a consistent and cost effective manner. The definitions of what constitute high quality services, and by extension the criteria for business success, are captured in increasingly complex service level agreements (SLAs). Service level management (SLM) solutions and best practices have evolved to collect, report, and analyze user experience against these complex agreements. While this analysis provides valuable insight, it is typically disconnected from mechanisms that control the infrastructure providing the service. Insight without the ability to act is somewhat useless. The ability to act is derived from IT management solutions and processes, which are currently evolving to handle the architectural complexity of todays business services. A wide array of web servers, application servers, custom application components, application accelerators, databases, legacy applications, networks, and other devices interact in increasingly dynamic ways to deliver services. Often these technology interactions are the limiting factor in delivering services consistently in compliance with SLAs. Therefore it is just as important to optimize the performance of these interactions as it is to maximize the performance of the individual technologies involved in each transaction. Thus the business value of SLAs can be fully realized only through coordinated management of the complex infrastructure. This need for management coordination is driving ITs initiatives to improve operational processes that cross individual technology silos, particularly using ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) as a process framework. ITIL is popular because it provides common terminology and definitions that improve communication between business executives, service managers, IT executives, and technology experts interested in high performance services, but who have different perspectives of those services. ITIL recognizes and defines the two different disciplines of service delivery and service support. Service Delivery processes, such as SLM, ensure that business users have visibility into how the IT infrastructure impacts and supports their business services. Service Support processes, such as Incident and Problem Management, outline how disparate silos of technology expertise can be connected to support multi-tiered services. However, these individual ITIL-based processes are not meant to become the new IT silos, with solutions that are implemented, optimized, and automated in isolation. For example, SLM solutions provide significant insight into service performance. Yet, if the SLM reporting is disconnected from ITs infrastructure management capabilities and Incident and Problem Management processes, the enterprise limits its ability to actively control and improve service performance. If this happens, SLM reporting loses its effectiveness as an agent of business improvement. Instead it becomes a source of tension between business and technology executives because the connection between real service delivery data and real service infrastructure supportability data is not available to effectively determine the best improvement strategy to achieve business objectives be it

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Managing Service Quality: CA delivers business value by automating integration of ITIL disciplines

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negotiating different SLAs, investing in IT process automation, or increasing infrastructure capacity. The most successful enterprises avoid this tension by recognizing that business success depends on its ability to correlate and integrate the management of complex service level agreements with the management of complex, interdependent infrastructure.

Issues caused by disconnected service delivery and support processes

Used by entirely different teams, service delivery processes and service support processes today are at best loosely coupled, at worst they are partially implemented and disconnected. For example, enterprises with partially-implemented service delivery processes have real-time SLA monitoring capabilities but only analyze SLA compliance on a monthly basis. This partial implementation means that SLA violations are identified long after actual occurrences, when it is too late to log incidents or correlate the violations to specific infrastructure problems. Instead, if the SLA analysis is performed in real-time, then the enterprise is alerted about negative performance trends before agreement violations occur. Thus enterprises with proactive SLA analysis are warned in time to implement corrective actions. However, this proactive SLA analysis must also be connected to the enterprises service support processes because problem identification spans both service delivery and service support. Fully implemented service delivery solutions track real-time degradation of the user experience via proactive SLA analysis, whereas service support solutions track real-time technology issues and use infrastructure/service relationship maps to determine which services will be affected. Both perspectives are important for detecting issues. However, correlation between detected issues may not be obvious because the two solutions monitor services from different perspectives, thus each will detect and act upon its aspect of a service problem in a different way. Figure 1 illustrates the issue. Infrastructure monitoring tools used by application managers may detect problems with the infrastructure, which are duly logged as incidents in ITs Service Desk solution and then various infrastructure experts are tasked with problem resolution. The service level monitoring tools used by service managers or business managers may detect problems with the user experience, which are duly logged as incidents in ITs Service Desk solution and various infrastructure experts are tasked with problem resolution. The result is two different teams working on the same issue. The likelihood that the incidents are reconciled before work is assigned is fairly low because the correlation between infrastructure-based incidents and service level incidents is still a manual effort today. The odds are lower still in very large organizations with distributed Service Desk teams and application management teams. This duplicated effort not only increases the operational cost of delivering quality services, but hampers ITs ability to support an increasing number of services.

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Managing Service Quality: CA delivers business value by automating integration of ITIL disciplines

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Service Delivery process

Trouble Tickets

SLA incidents & violations Customers Partners Employees

Application Team 1

Incident Resolution

Service Desk Team A

Communication? Service Support process


Trouble Tickets Monitor Application Front-end & Back-end Infrastructure Alerts & Diagnostics Application Team 2 Incident Resolution Service Desk Team B

Figure 1: Scenario where SLM and Infrastructure Problem management processes are disconnected (Source: PNA adapted material provided by CA)

The different solutions also often detect their aspects of a service problem at different times. For example, performance metrics for individual technologies may not reach critical levels until well after users begin complaining about service performance. Similarly, a seemingly low-priority infrastructure issue logged at 6 A.M. may be the cause of a high priority SLA violation when users get online at 9 A.M. The lack of context extends the resolution process because users of the different solutions must triage the situation with limited information. The lack of integrated analysis also perpetuates a siloed approach to troubleshooting end-to-end services. For example, service staff seeing only the long database response times reported by an SLM solution could erroneously assign a database administrator to resolve a non-existent database problem. The erroneous assignment occurs because without more detailed infrastructure context, namely the databases relationships with other technologies which deliver multiple services, that service person is unaware that a code-related spike in database queries from an application server cluster is the actual cause. This miscommunication extends problem resolution times, which directly devalues the competitive advantage delivered by the service. However, an integrated approach to troubleshooting minimizes resolution times and increases the effectiveness of the entire IT operations staff. Another related issue involves the prioritization of ITs problem resolution efforts. As SLAs become more granular with varying levels of guaranteed service performance it will become more difficult for

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Managing Service Quality: CA delivers business value by automating integration of ITIL disciplines

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IT managers to prioritize their troubleshooting efforts without a precise understanding of the business context of infrastructure incidents. For example, when faced with simultaneous infrastructure incidents affecting multiple business services, technologists will focus first on the incident affecting a larger number of services. Yet, depending on the importance and granularity of the SLAs involved, this decision may not align with business goals. The more complex the SLAs become, the more important it is to seamlessly integrate business intent and priorities into ITs daily operational decision-making. This also provides IT the opportunity to document its direct and positive impact on business success. Looking beyond daily control of services quality, the lack of coordination between SLA and infrastructure analysis also affects strategic decision-making. Enterprises that view technologies as individual silos, and not from a service perspective, usually fall into an investment cycle that favors optimizing performance of those silos. Yet optimizing silos often does little to improve overall service quality because of the non-linear relationship between service performance and performance of individual silos. Many businesses are stymied by their inability to determine which infrastructure investment strategies will actually improve overall service quality. To accurately make this determination, strategists must have visibility into the type of infrastructure problems which impact service performance most, the combined staff effort required to deliver different levels of service, and how the current capacity will handle different growth rates of service usage. Answering these types of questions requires correlating customer experience data, problem diagnostics data, and resolution process data. These disparate data types are typically housed in different solutions without any indicators of their relationship, thus adding to the difficulty in obtaining the insight necessary for strategic decision-making.

The solution lies in correlating business and technology contexts

Many of the problem resolution, business prioritization, and investment decision-making issues can be simplified or resolved by connecting service delivery and service support processes. The integration should be focused on providing the appropriate business or technology context needed to complete specific process tasks, such as replacing the disconnected analyses of user experience and infrastructure relationships (illustrated in Figure 1) with an incident lifecycle that is auditable and repeatable. Figure 2 illustrates one example of an incident lifecycle. In this case, the user experience metrics associated with a negotiated SLA are under constant surveillance. The incident is first detected as SLA analysis recognizes performance trending towards a particular violation. At this point, a ticket should be created and populated with the business context including the service being affected, the financial impact of the pending violation, and the business priority of the agreement as well as the infrastructure context including transactional response time analysis, the technology-toservice relationships, the health of those technologies and their supporting systems, and related load-balancing schemes. Armed with the business and infrastructure context, IT staff can effectively prioritize resolution efforts against any other open incidents and coordinate the right

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Managing Service Quality: CA delivers business value by automating integration of ITIL disciplines

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specialist or team of specialists to perform the detailed diagnostics and implement changes to resolve the problem. The ticket is closed when the monitored SLA metrics improve in response to the resolution efforts. Combining end-user experience monitoring and SLA analysis with infrastructure monitoring and relationship analysis into a single incident lifecycle helps simplify and shorten problem resolution, thereby helping ensure that the customers experience with a service is positive.

SLA Monitoring

Application Monitoring


Incidents & Violations Customers Partners Employees

Trouble Tickets (with full diagnostic info)

Incident Resolution

Application Team

Service Desk Team

Figure 2: Incident lifecycle where service level and incident management processes are connected (Source: PNA adapted material provided by CA)

Enterprises benefit from this integrated approach in several ways: More consistent service performance and fewer disruptions because IT can align troubleshooting efforts with metrics and priorities that are meaningful to the business. Shorter SLA violation times and faster problem resolution times because automated correlation between transaction analysis and infrastructure analysis improves initial triage Increased number of managed services with little increase in IT staffing levels because automating and streamlining management processes dramatically improves staff efficiency and effectiveness. Faster business decision-making because SLA dashboards improve communication about the real-time status of business services. More accurate demonstration and measurement of the business value of IT process improvements through implementing and integrating ITIL initiatives.

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Managing Service Quality: CA delivers business value by automating integration of ITIL disciplines

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From lifecycle diagram to real implementation

Implementing the incident lifecycle diagramed in Figure 2 requires consistent communication between service delivery and service support solutions and teams. To make this consistent communication practical and cost effective, CA began several initiatives to streamline and automate product integration, focused specifically on delivering and connecting different ITIL processes. CAs Wily Technology Division has focused specifically on improving the connections between SLM and Incident and Problem Management by automating the data and analysis sharing between four products: CA Wily Customer Experience Manager (CEM), which supports SLM processes by monitoring both synthetic and live transactions and analyzing their performance and validity against business rules to determine the real-time business impact of transaction performance degradation. CA Wily Introscope, which supports ITILs incident and problem management processes by providing performance monitoring and diagnostics for the entire application infrastructure, including web servers, application servers, application components for .NET and J2EE environments, databases, and legacy applications to predict problems and isolate rootcauses, thus simplifying triage across multiple IT silos of expertise. CA Service Metric Analysis, which supports ITILs SLM process by collecting metrics from diverse infrastructure and business sources, correlating them with ITs scheduled operational events such as data backup or planned downtime, and reporting agreement violations, performance trends, and capacity utilization trends to facilitate on-going service improvements. CA Service Desk, which supports SLM and infrastructure problem management processes by logging and tracking the problem resolution process and managing changes to infrastructure configurations needed to resolve the problems. This integration gives various IT staff access to the right analysis at the right time so they can take action to control the quality of service delivered to the customer. Consider the incident lifecycle outlined in Figure 2. In this case CAs integration efforts have automated the compilation of the business context and the infrastructure context. Figure 3 illustrates how the integration currently automates the interaction between CEM and Introscope to bring together the SLA analysis, based on real-user data, and infrastructure relationships analysis, based on real-time infrastructure monitoring. The result is an incident management ticket, also automatically created within Service Desk by the integration capabilities, that contains: Agreement information, which conveys the business context IT staff needs to prioritize its efforts, Infrastructure relationships which provide the context IT staff need to analyze monitored metrics in a holistic, service-oriented manner, and Detailed infrastructure health and transaction response-time metrics needed to complete the triage.

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Managing Service Quality: CA delivers business value by automating integration of ITIL disciplines

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There are several benefits to this integration. First, the collection and presentation of both business and infrastructure context for triage staff occurs in a repeatable manner, which improves the consistency of IT operations. Also, the time between initial detection of pending agreement violation and getting the right people working on the problem shrinks dramatically because the context is collected and distributed in an automated manner. Additionally, miscues and miscommunication problems are virtually eliminated, because all parties are working with the same information.
End User Experience Monitoring CA Wily Customer Experience Manager (CEM)

Application Performance Management CA Wily Introscope

Service Level Management CA Service Metric Analysis

Incident, Problem & Change Management CA Service Desk

3) Create Incident Ticket with URL to Detailed Diagnostic Information 1) Detect real-time SLA violation, request application infrastructure data 2) Provide infrastructure data Real-Time SLA Monitoring Business processes Business transactions User groups Real-Time OLA Performance Monitoring: Web application front-end Web application back-end Application resource usage Generate diagnostic reports Provide customer experience and infrastructure performance metrics SLA and OLA Management: Model services, goals and reporting intervals Analyze CEM, Introscope, and external data metrics Baseline service performance Service Desk Incident Tickets Response SLA Call Assignment and Prioritization Helpdesk statistics

Real-Time SLA Dashboard for operational LOB decision making Success-rate SLA Transaction SLA Six Sigma

Service Level Reports for strategic decision making User group SLA Business process SLA Transaction SLA Infrastructure performance SLA

Ticket to manage IT resolution process Incident tickets with detailed diagnostic information create fix, resolve problems

Figure 3: Process flows automated by CAs integration (Source: PNA adapted material provided by CA)

Equally important is the flow of real-time CEM and Introscope performance information to Service Metric Analysis for historical and trending analysis. For example, IT service managers with ready access to both data sources can better correlate efforts supporting the entire service environment with the performance levels actually experienced by service users. This allows IT and business managers to have more realistic conversations about the supportability of different levels of service performance, thereby improving business decision-making. In the future, CA plans to automate and simplify the distribution of SLA and OLA violation thresholds modeled in Service Metric Analysis to CEM and Introscope. Therefore, as business priorities and needs change ITs service and operational contracts, those changes will be populated seamlessly into ITs infrastructure and customer experience monitoring and analysis capabilities.
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Managing Service Quality: CA delivers business value by automating integration of ITIL disciplines

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This ability to adapt how IT infrastructure is managed in direct response to changes in business need will help CA customers take another step towards mature, agile IT-business alignment.

Final Word
This paper discussed how business success depends on its ability to correlate and integrate management of complex SLAs with management of complex, interdependent infrastructure. This correlation and integration leads to delivery of higher quality services more consistent service performance, faster problem resolution and fewer disruptions because IT service support and service delivery efforts can be proactive, based on service metrics that are meaningful to the business. Another important theme is the collaborative, process-oriented approach to solving business and IT problems. This approach starts with understanding the processes that must be streamlined and connected to deliver business requirements efficiently and effectively. Once the processes involved are determined, the focus shifts to understanding how existing solutions map to the process and how information should flow between them to simplify various tasks staff must perform within the processes. This approach keeps the IT-business alignment effort focused on creating an integration-requirements list that will deliver immediate, tangible value. Then enterprises demand from software vendors pre-packaged integration solutions, templates, rolebased interfaces, and education to make the implementation successful. CA has clearly internalized this collaborative, process-oriented approach to drive implementation of its Enterprise IT Management (EITM) strategy. The first step for CA was creating Service Management Accelerator Solutions that combine ITIL maturity assessment tools, education courses, team-building workshops, and solution implementation roadmaps to assist enterprise IT organizations with getting started on their process improvement journey. CA Wily has taken the next step by determining how the different ITIL-related solutions can combine to manage the quality of complex business services delivered by complex infrastructure. At the same time, this effort combines three specific EITM capability solutions (Incident and Problem Management, Service Level Management, and Application Performance Management), further demonstrating the degree to which CAs EITM vision can help unify and simplify IT. The key automation provided by the integration is connecting the insight that action must be taken, provided by service delivery solutions, with the determination of what action to take, provided by service support solutions. The resulting integration provides enterprises immediate, tangible value customers can proactively detect, diagnose and resolve issues with complex business services using meaningful combinations of customer experience indicators and disparate infrastructure performance metrics.

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Ptak, Noel & Associates


This paper was sponsored by: CA Wily Technology 6000 Shoreline Court, Suite 200 South San Francisco, California 94080 T +1 650 534 9400 F +1 650 534 9340

No part of this document can be used in any medium without the written permission of Ptak, Noel & Associates LLC. ITIL is a Registered Trademark and a Registered Community Trademark of the Office of Government Commerce, and is Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. While every care has been taken during the preparation of this document to ensure accurate information, the publishers cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. About Ptak, Noel & Associates LLC With a belief that business success and IT success are inseparable, Ptak, Noel & Associates works with clients to identify, understand and respond to the implications of todays trends and innovations on the future of IT Operations. About the Author Jasmine Noel has 10 years experience as a recognized expert in infrastructure management. Noel served previously as director of systems and applications management at Hurwitz Group, where she formulated and managed the companys research agenda. She was also a senior analyst at D.H. Brown Associates, where her responsibilities included technology trend analysis in the network and systems management space. Noel is regularly quoted in publications such as eWeek, InformationWeek, InfoWorld, and NetworkWorld. She also has contributed articles to several leading publications on various IT management topics. Noel holds a bachelor of science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master of science from the University of Southern California. May 2007

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