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IBM Offers IT Service Desk Fix

IBM estimates that only 5 percent of service and support issues are resolved by self service, which makes the $1.2 billion IT service desk market (Gartner "Magic Quadrant for the IT Service Desk," Nov. 4, 2010) ripe for automation and integration products such as Big Blue's new cloud-based Tivoli Live -service manager. According to Gartner's IT Key Metrics Data, the IT service desk accounts for about 4 percent of the total IT budget, and since 86 percent of the cost of an IT service desk is staffing-related, that means about 3.9 percent of the total IT budget is spent on IT service desk staff.

While 100 percent automation won't happen, the company says that better than 5 percent can be achieved. Available on the IBM Cloud or as a stand-alone application, the scalable software-as-a-service solution can grow from basic IT service desk functionality to more advanced capabilities, including change and asset management.

The solution starts with as few as 25 help desk agents, scaling up to 500. The company believes that its rent, buy or mix-and-match approach to selling software for automating IT will make it easier for customers of all sizes to improve IT services while cutting costs.

One of the key benefits is that the subscription model for Tivoli Live-service manager moves this function from a capital to an operating expense, says IBM. Eliminating the challenges of perpetual software licenses, installed hardware, implementation costs and the time to implement just makes sense, says the company.

Tivoli Live-service manager joins IBM's first Tivoli Live SaaS offering, Tivoli Live - monitoring, which was announced a year ago. Both services can be used together with other IBM software, or they can be integrated for what Big Blue calls a broader service management environment.

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