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Service Level Management - the future

SLM is developing rapidly, even after the fall of the dotcoms. That is not to say things are as they were. Demand for solid ROI and high-standard services are peaking while the purse strings remain tight, forcing SLM vendors to consolidate. This article examines the changes in the market in recent years.

Market Analysis

Service Level Management - the future
So far we've looked at the business need for Service Level Management (SLM), how the IT Department has responded, and some of the key players in the SLM space. Now it's time to wrap up with a look at what the future holds for Service Level Management.

The area of SLM is developing rapidly. This growth has been primarily driven by changes in business and technical environments. Now the dot com bubble has burst we are seeing realistic standards being set for business in the new economy, where service is of paramount importance. In 2002 we see a sense of cautious optimism return to business and IT spending will reflect the need to see value for money from IT investment rather than the previous approach of throwing money at technology that offered the remotest chance of delivering some form of business advantage.

Whilst the framework concept reflected the need to implement SLM at an enterprise level in order to try to maximise the return on investment, it was an unrealistic goal for many organisations. The move towards point solutions offering out-of-the-box functionality that can be quickly and easily directed to the organisation's area of maximum pain represents the biggest advance in the SLM market.

As with any maturing market the number of SLM vendors has been slowly consolidating, but due to the development of the point solution concept there continue to be good opportunities for niche players offering the right solution.

Aside from the emerging areas of security and storage, the deployment of 3G wireless networks will provide the SLM tool providers with their next opportunity. The 'always on' nature of 3G takes SLM beyond today's 24 by 7 availability measured in 5 and 6 nines and represents a significant challenge to vendors.

In recent times, everyone has become far more educated to what constitutes good service and far less accepting of a bad service. Added to this the bursting of the dot com bubble has meant that purse strings are being tightened and every organisation is looking to drive maximum value out of it's IT investment. This has left organisations with the conundrum of delivering improved service whilst managing costs - as the saying goes 'we don't have problems, we have opportunities' and it is this conundrum that provides SLM vendors with an outstanding opportunity.

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