Service Level Management: On the Level
sponsored by Nimsoft, Inc.

As business computing has moved from the back office to the front lines, the performance of information technology - system uptime, application responsiveness, and transaction speed - has become increasingly vital to business performance. In the face of increasing costs, global competition, and rising customer expectations, innovations such as business process automation, e-commerce, and zero-latency transaction processing can boost profit margins and increase competitiveness. This dependence on IT creates both pressure and opportunity for the IT organization: pressure to ensure that IT infrastructure and performance support business goals, and opportunity to enhance IT's reputation and the company's success.

To meet this opportunity, many organizations are taking a new approach to IT, treating application and transaction capabilities as services provided by the IT organization to the business. To become service-oriented, some of the largest companies are re-architecting their entire computing infrastructures to create what has been variously dubbed Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), the Service-Oriented Enterprise (SOE), Enterprise Services Architecture (ESA), and numerous other acronyms. While service-oriented computing offers many benefits, there are no turnkey solutions today, and massive re-architecting doesn't fit the goals, needs, or budgets of most organizations. However, the ability to do Service Level Management (SLM) -- management of IT performance for business results - is within the reach of most companies. This paper presents an evolutionary approach to SLM that enables organizations at any stage of IT development to successfully implement SLM and begin contributing more to the business bottom line.
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