One of the thornier issues associated with managing IT in the enterprise is simply the fact that it's so fractured. Not only are applications isolated within their own silos, there's not much visibility into the underlying IT infrastructure. There is, of course, no shortage of tools for managing any subset of the overall IT environment, but it's been difficult to roll all that information up into any kind of useful set of metrics for managing enterprise IT as a whole.
Hewlett-Packard says it is attempting to do just that with the release today of the IT Performance Suite, a dashboard that leverages all the information HP gathers across its IT services management portfolio to give IT executives a holistic view of the enterprise.
Pie Loubser, HP senior director of product marketing for HP Software, says that as enterprise IT gets more complex to manage with the advent of virtualization and cloud computing, senior IT executives need a set of dashboards that allow them to easily see if they are in compliance with any number of service-level agreements (SLAs) and, if they are not, to see what the root cause of the problem is.
In addition, HP is including 150 key performance indicators (KPIs) that are based on historical trending information that HP has gathered over the years. Loubser says this marks the first time that IT executives will have a tool that provides information about the relative performance of their IT environment to other organizations. What this amounts to, says Loubser, is a business intelligence tool that has been specifically crafted to meet the needs of IT executives.
IT organizations have a habit of using technology to help manage every other business process in the company outside of IT. The time has clearly come to start thinking about how to use IT to better manage IT processes; otherwise, the IT organization will continue to be the digital equivalent of the cobbler's children who run around without any shoes. And when you stop to think about it, that's more sad than ironic.