The challenge of managing IT environments is the ability of staying abreast of the many facets that exist.  No matter what your role is in the environment, the requirement to monitor an aspect is present from the manager overlooking operational performance to the service desk agent keeping a handle on open problem tickets.  In most cases, the items requiring monitoring are not few.  Nor are they convenient.


Most companies invest large portions of their IT budget to create reports and monitoring interfaces to systems.  However, many of these efforts are done independently of each other and not often considered as a collective.  As a result, the people required to manage the environment often have to use several distinct tools in order to obtain a full picture.


Mashups can provide an effective alternative to the challenge.  Using web technologies to access the business logic used to control and support the IT environment, a presentation interface can be created.     Do this for every system found in the environment to create a “catalog” of available monitoring tools. 

However, mashups actually provide greater capabilities.  By identifying the tools required, an individual can create a single interface that allows them to view several systems simultaneously from an web browser.  The ability to compile a single interface for multiple perspectives is the core ability of a mashup.


However, it doesn’t end there.  Some business functions may find a need for some additional logic in presenting information:  for instance, applying financial performance to the number of problem tickets resolved to identify the true cost of services.  Unfortunately, the information is often found in separate systems.  Mashups components can be created to apply business logic to such situation and make it available for monitoring.


For viewing multiple perspectives of the environment, mashups prove an effective management tool.  The ability to customize allows managers to build their own “monitoring tool.”  And for the business, an inexpensive alternative to empower their managers.

Managing a business can be difficult undertaking.  Daily issues and operational controls can provide plenty of focus to tie up a full day’s schedule.  For this reason, the idea of complying to some external regulation or standard can sometimes seem an unwelcome intrusion, especially when it is announced that a pending audit will happen soon.  Then the need to scramble to ensure that everything in place tempts the focus from maintaining operations. 

In truth, compliance to a standard is not an intrusion, but an opportunity.  Whether referring the ISO standards, process frameworks like ITIL®, quality management programs like Six Sigma, or governmental regulations for industries, compliance is still an opportunity.  How?  Because, these statutes provide a tool which to rate your organization against other organizations and past performance.  As a tool, the statutes provide points of concern to focus on improvements in the business.  Using the standards and regulations as tool for improvement provide greater benefits to your operations. 

Compliance encourages business.  Customers are becoming more savvy in looking for products and services.  Discerning customers realize that compliant companies are proficient in receiving and delivering on requirements.  In some instances, they are only willing to work with companies compliant to specific regulations and standards to protect their own interests.

The opportunity of being complaint can also be seen in building teams.  Being complaint cannot happen with one person nor in a short period of time.  It requires a team to be performing as a team at all times within the guidelines set done.  So the next time an audit is announced, remember the opportunity for improvement, for increased business, for building teamwork.

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