IBM takes its BI capabilities into the data center

Gives predictive analytics to IT with the help of agents

IBM is taking its business analytics capabilities down a new path by making them available to IT organizations to monitor and predict issues with systems and processes.

The new tools come out of IBM's WebSphere and Tivoli lines and are designed to work in a heterogeneous environment and across a range of IT services, including storage, networks and services in the cloud.

The first tool is the WebSphere Operational Decision Management, which monitors business processes against business rules, automating governance, said Scott Hebner, vice president of market strategy at IBM.

As an example of how the tool could work, Hebner said that if inquiries about a certain product are rising, the system could alert IT to the need to devote more resources to the issue. "This is for the IT employees to be able to ensure that a process is running efficiently against whatever rules are defined," said Hebner.

Judith Hurwitz, an analyst at the Hurwitz Group, said that IT systems today are really "a combination of lots of different services," such as software or infrastructure as a service, as well as internal data centers.

Hurwitz said "it is very important to be able to analyze the quality of service," to make sure "you have a consistent level of service across that entire environment."

Another tool from IBM is Tivoli Analytics for Service Performance, which provides a consolidated view across an IT environment. Among the things it does is bring predictive analytics to IT infrastructure, a capability that is now widely used by businesses to compete in the market.

It uses historical trends to help identify when, for instance, there is a risk of service degradation because of the increased use of a particular system.

Hebner said the system uses agents that are deployed throughout the environment to gather data.

IBM has also updated the capabilities in its messaging brokering, IBM WebSphere Message Broker, so that these tools can share information.

Patrick Thibodeau covers cloud computing and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed . His e-mail address is pthibodeau@computerworld.com.

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