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One of the constant challenges facing IT Directors is how to respond to the ever-accelerating pace of change in business and the ever-present demand for flexibility and responsiveness. One of the biggest factors holding back business from meeting the needs of its customers is an inability of IT to adapt to requirements fast enough. Whilst some may see this is as a software issue, I am convinced that in fact most software today can be adapted, if not perfectly, speedily enough to meet changing demands, but the problem is how to deploy it.
The big vendors have recognised this and come out with any number of half thought through marketing solutions, such as “on-demand” and “adaptive enterprise”, but have delivered very little which has been of practical use. The answer lies in gaining control of the infrastructure. Unfortunately this is not a simple thing to do, after many years of changing IT fashion, mergers and acquisitions, most IT infrastructures consist of a nexus of components which are poorly understood and rarely documented in any structured fashion. The answer is to go back to basics, which is the reason for the growing interest in what, at first sight, appear to be mundane and prosaic solutions embodied in ITIL and one of its key components; a Configuration Management Database (CMDB).
ITIL is a set of best practices designed to help organisations gain control over their infrastructure and then maintain that control, and a CMDB is the technology that stores and tracks changes of the configuration items within an IT estate, be they hardware, middleware or software. If only it were just a matter of buying some more technology then I have no doubt there would be more widespread adoption of the concept of a CMDB. Unfortunately what is required is skilled staff, with experience of successfully overcoming the challenges of implementing and then running a CMDB given the complexity that I have just described; and that is where Devoteam Tertio could be the missing link.
DevoTeam Tertio are the Services Management arm of Devoteam, one of the fastest growing, and certainly one of the few truly independent, IT consultancy firms in Europe. Devoteam has recently acquired Tertio. The reason that Devoteam wanted to acquire Tertio is clear: they have a proven track record of implementing and then helping companies to successfully deploy some of the leading technologies in this space. Having personally seen at close quarters how difficult it is to select the right software, to motivate people to undertake the work of implementing a CMDB, and to drive the solution into effective production when someone can quote successful implementations at significant companies throughout all sectors of the UK market it is noteworthy.
Tertio’s success stems from years of successful IT Service Management, and strong strategic partnerships with key vendors such as BMC, CA, AlterPoint, HP and Abydos. They have a track record with companies such as NTL, T-Mobile, Royal Bank of Scotland, Sainsbury, BAA and Lastminute.com. Their overall package of solutions embraces Business Service Management, Service Management and Network Systems Management, but for me it is the potential of turning the potential of a CMDB into an achievable asset that is the most exciting element and one which I would suggest those struggling to achieve using their own resources would be well advised to adopt.