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IT management software provide SolarWinds has introduced a consultative tool called the ITSM Maturity Model aimed at optimizing the value of IT service management (ITSM) solutions for enterprises.

The free online evaluation and assessment tool offers businesses insights into their current ITSM practices and a personalized roadmap towards cost reduction, enhanced service delivery and operational improvements.

RJ Gazarek, principal product marketing manager for SolarWinds, explained the ITSM Maturity Model offers a more succinct and simplified way of viewing their current state of ITSM practices, from how teams operate to the technology they are likely using.

“These two things typically go hand-in-hand,” he said. “By understanding their starting point, IT professionals can strategically plan where to go next.”

He pointed out it’s the “next” part which often gets overlooked, noting the big and often difficult shift in IT is moving from a reactive model to a more proactive way of working.

“Instead of staying in firefighting mode—simply responding to whatever happens, as it happens—they can start thinking about getting ahead of issues, problems, and difficulties by improving their practices and, consequently, their tech stacks,” Gazarek said.

He said a major challenge of working in IT is its reactive nature.

“For example, the number one use case for our SolarWinds Service Desk solution is to report on incidents that require a response from an IT employee,” he said. “It can be so easy to get caught up only doing that and run out of time to dedicate to thinking about longer-term strategies and ways to get ahead of problems.”

He explained that for now, the ITSM Maturity Model is self-driven based on what SolarWind’s customers want, need and value, which could change based on customer feedback.

“This model doesn’t demand a specific way forward nor insinuate that maturing multiple ITSM practices overnight is the only way to be successful,” he said.

Instead, it serves as a framework that enables the customer to bring their own business context to the conversation.

“This allows us to have a directed conversation with them and gets them thinking about the most important parts of ITSM for them to get right,” Gazarek said.

The company also unveiled enhancements to its free Plan Explorer tool for analyzing query performance in Microsoft SQL Server environments. The upgrades include compatibility with SQL Server 2022, enabling expanded performance analysis capabilities to fully support the latest SQL Server features.

Plan Explorer also now offers enhanced visibility with plan guide indication, providing insights into query execution. This feature is designed to simplify complex execution plans, making it easier for users to identify potential performance bottlenecks.

The tool also introduces streamlined deadlock investigation capabilities, allowing users to dissect deadlock events, understand their root causes and implement corrective measures more efficiently.

The start page of Plan Explorer has undergone a revamp, offering a redesigned interface for a more intuitive user experience.

“Plan Explorer allows database admins and developers to get to the root of query problems,” Gazarek explained. “It offers a suite of features that go beyond what’s available in SQL Server Management Studio, including, index analysis, query performance profiling and playback, plan recosting and more.”

He explained as the company developed the updated release of Plan Explorer, the aim was to ensure both new and existing users found immediate value.

“We curated the new start page to contain easily accessible resources to help get the most out of their installation, like documentation, news about community events, and information about other tools in the SolarWinds portfolio,” Gazarek said.

He added that going forward, the company would use the page to highlight upcoming SQL Server events, webcasts, and more to keep users engaged with the SQL Server community.

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