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EMA Research Shows Service Level Management Acceptance on the Rise and Linked to Business Survival

Comparative study charts changes in service level management tools, acceptance and best practices

BOULDER, Colo., Aug. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study released by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), the leading independent IT management research and consulting firm, reports that Service Level Management (SLM) acceptance continues to grow and that IT executives increasingly view SLM as a vital factor to business success. The 2007 comparative study shows that the number of surveyed organizations implementing Service Level Agreements (SLAs) has risen to 82 percent of respondents, a 26 percent increase since EMA's 2003 findings.

"This year's study really reinforces our findings from the last several years. In addition to the increased adoption of SLM, companies also reported the adoption and documentation of best practices, with 79 percent of respondents citing the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) as the preferred methodology," said Lisa Erickson-Harris, project lead and research director at EMA. "Best practices adoption is a key factor in SLM success, so this upward trend is encouraging."

The report marks EMA's continued commitment as a leading authority on SLM trends, adoption and technology offerings. Led by founder and CEO, Rick Sturm, EMA has consistently conducted the most in-depth research on this emerging IT practice area, having published the highly regarded books, Foundations of Service Level Management and SLM Solutions: A Buyer's Guide, now in its third edition.

For EMA's most recent research report, SLM Acceptance: 2007, Erickson-Harris and her team surveyed more than 80 IT professionals at companies who currently manage or have plans to manage IT from a services perspective. The survey covered respondents' SLAs and SLM initiatives, including the enterprise adoption of IT Service Management (ITSM), Business Service Management (BSM) and ITIL best practices, as well as drivers, benefits, priorities and deployment challenges associated with SLM.

Key findings that are detailed within the report include: -- 90 percent of end users perceived SLM as critical or important to their executives and directly tied to business survival -- 82 percent of organizations surveyed have implemented SLAs -- 79 percent of respondents cited ITIL as an adopted methodology -- Internal education is key to success and also one of the greatest challenges for organizations implementing SLM -- 56 percent of end-user respondents report having no sense of ROI either before or after employing best practices -- More users associate IT-business alignment with BSM than with SLM -- SLM and Configuration Management Database (CMDB) initiatives can coexist very nicely -- as one survey respondent notes, "you can't do sophisticated SLM without a CMDB"

EMA's research reveals a marked correlation between enforcing standards and achieving results. SLM adoption, paired with the right mix of best practices, is continuing to provide positive outcomes. More than two-thirds of the respondents reported increased operational efficiency and customer satisfaction after rolling out their SLM initiatives.

"There are many other benefits to SLM acceptance," said Erickson-Harris, "SLM can lead to deeper client relationships, improved service levels, higher levels of profitability and a competitive advantage. However, like any addition to networks or systems, these benefits require planning, stamina and patience, and SLM is no exception."

To complement the recently published study, Erickson-Harris will share highlights from her findings during a free Webinar slated for Thurs., Sept. 6, 2007 (http://www.emausa.com/ema_lead.php ?ls=SLMAcceptwebpr0907&bs=SLMAcceptweb0907) The Webinar will help answer the question -- "Where on the scale of SLM maturity are most corporations?"

In addition, a wealth of information on SLM and vendor solutions is available today through EMA's SLM Solutions Center (http://itsolutions.emausa.com/). This free online resource provides the industry's most comprehensive third-party analysis of IT management vendors and technologies, including unbiased analyst profiles of more than 60 SLM products.

NOTE TO EDITORS For more information, contact Guy Murrel at [email protected] at 303-581-7760 x17 About Enterprise Management Associates

Founded in 1996, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) is the leading independent industry analyst and consulting firm dedicated to the IT Management market. The firm provides IT vendors and enterprise IT professionals with objective insight into the real-world business value of long-established and emerging technologies, ranging from security, storage and service level management (SLM) to the Configuration Management Database (CMDB), virtualization and service-oriented architecture (SOA). Even with its rapid growth, EMA has never lost sight of the client, and continues to offer personalized support and convenient access to its analysts. For more information on EMA's extensive library of IT Management research, free online IT Management Solutions Center and IT consulting offerings, visit http://www.enterprisemanagement.com/.

Enterprise Management Associates

CONTACT: Guy Murrel of Catapult PR-IR, +1-303-581-7760, ext. 17,
[email protected], for Enterprise Management Associates

Web site: http://www.enterprisemanagement.com/

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