Management glossary

A guide to IT management technology terms

Business service management: BSM software tracks the performance and availability of network components that support an application. The promise is that BSM software will correlate how business services perform based on how well the network infrastructure responds to and supports applications. Its intent is to allow network executives to view how their IT infrastructures are supporting business goals, and to guide IT staff in prioritizing troubleshooting and workloads to meet business objectives.

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Business services management: BSM software tracks the performance and availability of network components that support an application. The promise is that BSM software will correlate how business services perform based on how well the network infrastructure responds to and supports applications. Its intent is to allow network executives to view how their IT infrastructures are supporting business goals, and to guide IT staff in prioritizing troubleshooting and workloads to meet business objectives.

Business process management: BPM analyzes and retools business processes such as hiring/firing an employee, handling a customer service request from report to resolution and "lead to order" - the steps from receiving a sales lead through completing a sales order. Through BPM tools, a company can create a workflow for a business processes that automates all or most of that process. Automation increases efficiency and often cuts costs.

Service-level management: SLM tracks and enforces preset service-level agreements (SLA), both with internal end users and external customers and service providers. Many vendors offer software that can help companies more quickly collect and correlate performance of network components with how that component supports a business service such as a customer service desk, or an online credit card processing application.

Application management: Application management tracks the server and application response times, availability, transaction times, network latency, bandwidth consumption and overall health of commercial, proprietary and homegrown applications. Some tools reside on the server where the application is installed. Others use agents to track performance across the network use.

Network and systems management: NSM encompasses all the tools that perform monitoring of network devices such as switches, hubs, routers and links as well as operating systems and the servers that support them. Sometimes called "element" or "device management", NSM deals with the performance of individual pieces of gear, rather than their part in a bigger business picture.

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