IBM has unveiled new systems management software to help customers automate and standardise the way they design and integrate IT processes across separate departments.
The aim is to allow organisations to design IT processes once and automate their integration across all areas of operation, rather than manually designing processes for each department.
Built on IBM's Tivoli, Rational, WebSphere and DB2 middleware, the products include "tool mentors" that help implement actions prescribed by the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), a widely used industry guide of best practice.
The new solutions include IBM Tivoli Unified Process, a navigational tool to provide the "how-to" for customising and implementing best practice for mapping, modifying and improving IT processes.
There is also IBM Tivoli Change and Configuration Management Database - a virtualised database that federates IT information spread across multiple databases.
The database provides a single view of an application running on multiple servers, so IT staffers can make better decisions, such as administering passwords giving the right people access to the right systems.
IBM Tivoli Process Managers is pre-packaged automation software for IT processes such as co-ordinating application deployment across software, hardware, storage and network technologies. These products can be customised to serve a particular industry, such as healthcare or retail.
Analyst Gartner said many IT organisations would shift their focus this year from traditional cost-cutting techniques to process improvement, a measure that would not only affect IT costs but also IT performance.
The analyst forecast that by the end of this year 20% of large IT organisations would rely on IT process improvements to lower operational costs by 10%, with the figure rising to as much as 40% of large IT organisations by the end of 2007.