Mercury optimizes business

Changing business environments and requirements are the major factors for failure in IT initiatives, according to a survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and sponsored by Mercury Interactive, a business technology optimization (BTO) software provider.

The worldwide study titled "Managing IT business Risk: Safeguarding the Organization from IT Failure" surveyed more than 1,000 CIOs and IT executives from 22 countries. Among the surveyed population, about 300 are from Asia Pacific, with 30 IT executives from Hong Kong.

"The global research reveals that there is a blind spot in business today regarding the risk that IT failure creates in the business," said Denis McCauley, director of global technology research at EIU.

The survey indicated 40 percent of Hong Kong CIOs polled said business requirements definition were the primary factor for failure in IT initiatives, while 30 percent of them identified business environment change as a factor.

Aiming to help local companies manage business risk associated with IT failure, Mercury Interactive last month revealed its latest offerings to enhance IT in coping with changing business environments and requirements.

The company's key offerings include four products: IT Governance Center; Quality Center; Performance Center; and Business Availability Center. With a strong market position in testing newly developed software's quality and performance, Mercury Interactive's quality center and performance center have established a track record in the market, according to Edwin Lo, managing director, Greater China.

Lo noted the company's local clients are mainly major enterprises, including Citibank, Bank of America, HSBC, Towngas, Hospital Authority, Hong Kong Jockey Club and Cathay Pacific.

With increased awareness of IT service management and ITIL, Mercury Interactive expects its Business Availability Center to be a "rising star" in its product portfolio, said Darryl Dickens, senior director of marketing and communications, Asia Pacific.

The Business Availability Center mainly provides management and monitoring of application performance, quality and availability to ensure business service continuity. Different from most application management software, Dickens noted Mercury Interactive takes a top-down business perspective in managing applications.

"We monitor applications and provide alerts based on business metrics and SLAs," he said. "That's different from other providers, who monitor applications from an infrastructure perspective."To further enhance its offering in IT service management, Mercury Interactive has also recently acquired service desk technology provider Vertical Solutions and software development house Tefensoft with an aggregate purchase price of US$18.5 million.

Dickens said Vertical Solutions expects to expand Mercury Interactive's offering in its business availability center to provide ITIL-based capabilities including incident management, problem resolution, configuration management, change management and release management. Meanwhile Tefensoft is expected to advance the company's R&D effort to achieve its BTO strategy.

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