Cambridge, Mass. — In 2008, the IT management software market will again experience significant growth, according to Forrester Research Inc. The Cambridge, Mass.-based research firm released a study, "Market Overview: The IT Management Software Market in 2008”. The key trend in IT management software spending among many industries will be the widespread adoption of IT process automation technologies across the IT management software spectrum, according to the research.

The two main drivers for investment will be the quest to sustain competitive advantage through superior quality of service and economic considerations around a further reduction in operational IT spending.

In the insurance industry, Web-based applications are now a major business channel. Quality of service, although not the main differentiator, is still believed to give companies a competitive edge. Forrester, therefore, sees investments in this area forging ahead.

Many enterprises have realized that the cost of IT operations weighs heavily on their IT budgets, according to the report. The typical answer is a three-pronged strategy:

1) Reduce the diversity in the data center.

2) Adopt best practices and, in particular, adopt the information technology infrastructure library (ITIL).

3) Rationalize the tool set in IT operations with business service management (BSM).

These enterprises will not disengage from their improvement strategy, as it already aims to cut costs; instead, they will accelerate the transformation of their IT operations into a more efficient model.

According to the report, enterprises frequently refer to ITIL to justify moving to better and more efficient management solutions. It is clear that managing IT services, and using a configuration management database (CMDB), seem to support the direct links between BSM and ITIL. But there is still a deep disconnect between the processes that ITIL expresses and the solutions that BSM promotes.

Insurance industry experts say that ITIL may be a key step to embedding service orientation into business processes through effective governance and management of SOA efforts.

"The responsiveness to environmental conditions requires monitoring, reporting and responding—the key focus of ITIL," Scott Mampre, insurance practice leader for the Financial Services Strategic Business Unit of Capgemini, Paris, said in an INN article in January 2008.

ITIL has seen widespread adoption in Europe, and is now catching on in North America. It is intended to standardize the way IT services are delivered to organizations across the globe, through continuous improvement. Version 3 of ITIL was released in June 2007.

Sources: Forrester Research Inc. and INN archives

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