The services and technologies being touted under the new umbrella strategy address three major issues: compliance, business resilience, and service management.
Among the specific packages of technologies and services being marketed under the new strategy are those aimed at improving IT governance across organizations, including IBM's Business of IT Dashboard, a bundle of asset management services designed to help companies assess strengths and weaknesses in critical areas of IT risk management.
Based on IBM's Tivoli Netcool technology, the dashboard gives business and IT leaders a comprehensive view of their operations, and the software will be linked with the company's IT Lifecycle Management and Governance Services for Tivoli products to offer advanced reporting and measurement functions.
In the area of dealing with attacks in real time, the company is promoting use of its IBM Tivoli Security Operations Manager v4.1 security event management platform to help coordinate and analyze data across multiple security and compliance systems.
Industry analysts said that the most significant difference between IBM's governance and risk management strategy and those espoused by its largest security rivals is that IBM is aiming its efforts at a broader view of business operations and technologies.
"Both McAfee and Symantec are focused on security risks and business continuity, with IBM it's more about governance and risk management backed with real IT process and service delivery considerations," said Michael Rasmussen, analyst with Forrester Research. "IBM has done more work in aligning enterprise risk and compliance issues; the security companies are all about IT deployment, IBM is talking about how this strategy fits into enterprise business planning."
While he doesn't expect companies to latch onto the IBM vision or buy into the packages of technologies and services it is marketing overnight, the analyst said that the company should be able to drive significant interest that may someday relate into sales.
"There will definitely be skeptics who will want to see these things proven and understand the tactical short-term benefits, but these issues are dynamic and changing rapidly, so customers are actively looking for ways to bridge process management around risk and compliance," Rasmussen said. "To execute on this vision IBM has a lot of interesting challenges to make their products work together in the vision they've articulated; it might be twelve-to-eighteen months before we see that happen, but the revenue should grow over time as they move toward this more cohesive approach."