Business dependencies are an important aspect of IT. They can be hard to map and manage, though, which is why it’s useful to know how to automate this process. Automated service mapping can help you deal with complex business dependencies and make sure your IT infrastructure is stable.
Business dependencies can be hard to track and manage.
- They may be hard to understand
- They may be difficult for your organization to manage
- You might not even know what business dependencies exist, let alone how they relate to one another or your IT infrastructure
The importance of mapping business dependencies
Dependencies are one of the key factors that determine the success or failure of a data center, cloud, or hybrid infrastructure. In many cases, they are even more important than the hardware itself.
The importance of mapping business dependencies will depend on the context of your business. The more complex and/or large your organization is, the more important it will be for you to map out these dependencies so that you can properly assess risk and design solutions for them.
The type of business also plays a role in determining how much time should be spent identifying dependencies: businesses that deal with sensitive information or are regulated by law (such as healthcare) will likely have more complex dependencies than other types of firms.
The challenge of using a static map is that it can become outdated quickly as your data center or cloud environment changes over time. To be effective, your map must be able to adapt to these changes and continually update itself as needed. This requires a combination of automated and manual processes for monitoring and updating your data center or cloud map.
Dependencies in the cloud are even more complex, as the application might maintain some of its on-premises dependencies and add new ones as well.
The best way to manage these dependencies is through a Dependency Mapping tool. It allows you to identify all of the dependencies that an application has, and then it helps you map them to the right releases of each dependency.
This process helps you avoid problems that can occur when there’s a mismatch between an application’s version of a dependency and its environment’s version of that same dependency
Finally, industry can affect how much effort should go into identifying dependencies because different industries tend to require different kinds of data protection procedures. For instance, a grocery store doesn’t need nearly as much security as an online retailer selling credit cards over their website.
Determining the scope of business
Defining boundaries is a critical step in any project. In this case, you’ll need to define the scope of your project and its components. This includes:
- Scope of the business – What does your business do? What services do you provide? What applications do users access?
- Scope of service – What does your service offer customers or partners? What are its functionalities and features; what is its value proposition?
- Scope of application – What specific applications are involved in delivering this value proposition (such as an ERP system)?
Use a tool that supports the low-code approach
Low-code tools are easy to use and can be used to create a business architecture, service blueprints, and dependency maps. These are just some of the things you can do with a low-code approach:
- Create a business architecture (including processes) that aligns with strategic goals and objectives
- Map dependencies between services in order to define the scope of each service prior to building it out
- Build out a catalog of services so that they’re available for consumption by other teams within your organization or external partners that may need access as well
Automate service mapping with automated platforms and application dependency mapping tools
Automation platforms and application dependency mapping can be used to automate service mapping. Using a combination of these two types of technologies allows you to quickly create and deploy automated service maps, which are then updated as your organization’s needs evolve.
When you’re managing a data center or cloud, you have a lot on your plate. It’s easy to get bogged down in details and lose sight of the big picture—especially when it comes to managing application dependencies.
But if you can look at your application dependency map—a visual representation of the relationships between applications in your environment—you’ll be able to see things in context. You’ll be able to see how your applications work together as business processes, and how they depend on each other for protection and performance.
In the past, we used to think about networks (IP addresses and ports), platforms (bare-metal, VM, container), or infrastructures (private data center or cloud). But now we can focus on what really matters: applications.
It’s time for a new way to think about your business dependencies. This will help you plan for the applications you need to run in order to meet your goals. It’s also critical for protecting those applications from threats like DDoS attacks and malware infections.
Automated service mapping can help you deal with complex business dependencies
Mapping out your business dependencies is an important step in defining a solution. Before you get started on that, though, it’s important to define the problem and set goals.
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking they know what they want but then getting frustrated when they realize that their vision isn’t as achievable as they thought it would be. So before you go mapping anything out or making plans for how to tackle this project (or any other), make sure your goal is clear and attainable within three months’ time.
The cloud is a complicated place. If you’re managing a data center, it’s easy to understand how your business relies on each aspect of it: if your server goes down, you can’t communicate with your customers on social media or take credit card payments. But in the cloud, dependencies are even more complex, as the application might maintain some of its on-premises dependencies and add new ones as well.
The process of migrating applications to the cloud has many moving parts. One of these parts is mapping business dependencies—that is, identifying all of the features and APIs you use in all of your applications, so that when it’s time for migration, you know what will need to be moved to the cloud and what will stay on-premises.
When you’re ready to migrate to the cloud, supplement your dependency tree for each application to include all references to your cloud provider’s features and APIs. Make sure you understand how your cloud provider will notify you of changes to APIs and tools, and prepare to validate any new dependencies that these changes might create.
Simplify mapping business dependencies for data center and cloud with ViVID
Mapping your service dependencies can be a daunting task. It’s important to understand how these dependencies affect your business, but it’s also critical that you get started quickly and efficiently.
Automated service mapping tools can help you deal with complex business dependencies, so that you don’t have to spend weeks or months manually tracking down every connection between different systems before you have time to do anything else.
It gets easy with ViVID (Virima Visual Impact Display) Service Mapping. ViVID uses automated service mapping to create comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date records of your IT business services. It gives you dynamic visual depictions of your IT infrastructure, application dependencies and business services so that you can easily see where everything is connected—and what’s missing.
ViVID also helps you keep track of NVD vulnerabilities with automatic Risk Assessment reports that will tell you when a vulnerability needs to be fixed. And it allows for easy mapping of ITSM Incident and Change records for faster troubleshooting during incidents or changes in the environment.
At Virima, we believe in the power of visualizations to help our customers understand their infrastructure, applications and underlying dependencies so that they can make better decisions about how to improve operations.
Virima Discovery’s auto-generated machine learning techniques allow us to map application dependency and infrastructure relationships automatically. Once a little institutional knowledge is applied, we can provide comprehensive service dependency mapping.