September 7, 2023 By Dylan Boday 4 min read

Today’s IT challenges can drive unforeseen complexity in the data center and new support challenges to delivering highly available and secure environments. In fact, 62% of companies surveyed by IDC said that multiple infrastructure vendors resulted in more downtime issues than single-source support. With the average cost of a data breach currently estimated at $4.45M, it’s critical to manage down-level IT environments and the security exposures they can create before they become a security breach. Many organizations still manage their IT environments manually and could benefit from an automated solution designed to simplify support and provide insights across the IT landscape to mitigate downtime, increase security and simplify IT lifecycle management. 

What is IBM Support Insights Pro?

IBM Support Insights Pro is designed to aid clients with the ever-increasing complexity associated with IT environments, particularly those in regulated industries with heightened sensitivity to downtime and security breaches. The IBM Support Insights Pro subscription (generally available on September 12, 2023, for an additional cost) offers prioritized security and lifecycle insights, recommended OS and firmware levels, and extended case history and analysis for select IT assets—all in an easy-to-visualize single pane of glass. These features are designed for clients to understand the impact of their IT lifecycle, optimize security and performance, and reduce infrastructure planning time. Additionally, Support Insights Pro leverages IBM watsonx Assistant built on to simplify the experience.

What is IBM Support Insights? 

IBM Support Insights Pro is an extension of IBM® Support Insights, a cloud-based subscription service that provides analytics-driven insights, inventory management and preventive maintenance recommendations to help IT teams address security vulnerabilities and improve infrastructure performance. Included with select IBM Technology Lifecycle Services support contracts, IBM Support Insights is designed to provide better visibility across data centers, on-premises and virtual IT infrastructure. It is connected to IBM Call-Home, IBM Technical Support Appliance and Cisco, and now with the new release, we will link to ServiceNow through CMDB. Over 3,000 clients are leveraging IBM Support Insights today to manage over four million IT assets. With IBM, clients will have access to the experience and expertise of a recognized global IT security and privacy leader, committed to protecting data and maintaining the security and privacy of our clients’ enterprise, products and services. 

Inventory management 

IBM and many non-IBM systems are discoverable through secured and flexible data connectors. IBM Support Insights provides an inventory view with physical location maps, searches, filters, exports and asset-level details, enabling clients to build customized views of their overall IT infrastructure and support coverage.

When it comes to planning budgets and renewing support contracts on time to reduce service risk and related costs, the historical views of inventory and coverage changes are designed to provide immediate business value. With Support Insights, one client reported a 94% reduction in the time taken to identify IT assets and find warranty exits and coverage issues. IBM intends to add features to IBM Support Insights in a future release to add, change or remove assets directly in the application.

Risks and recommendations 

Proactive support can be time-consuming with multiple IT vendors. To mitigate unplanned downtime, companies can benefit from holistic visibility into their IT environments to address support coverage, product lifecycle and compliance risks that could lead to downtime. IBM Support Insights has alerted clients to over 1.5 Million active security vulnerabilities with potential savings of up to $29.8B in cumulative costs associated with data breaches. [1] This visibility of the overall risks in the IT estate can help clients to make faster and more informed proactive decisions on prioritized high-risk assets.

Identifying and applying the latest recommended security patches to address newly discovered vulnerabilities can be time-consuming. IBM Support Insights Pro prioritizes OS risks, positioning clients to plan for the infrastructure’s lifecycle by visually comparing exposure risks between current and recommended levels. With Support Insights Pro, one client reported a 67% reduction in the time taken to analyze and select standard OS versions to deploy across their network infrastructure.

When technology evolves and hardware moves to end of service, performance and compatibility issues can arise, potentially leading to service degradation and outages. Support Insights Pro provides prescriptive recommendations to address identified issues and facilitates infrastructure planning with prioritized hardware lifecycle analysis for IBM Servers, IBM Storage and Cisco assets.

Available for AIX, Cisco and 250+ community open-source applications, the Support Insights Pro subscription extends risk exposure alerts and recommendations from select commercial hardware and software to include community open-source by providing access to the IBM Open Source Problem Reporting Insights (OSPRI) service. OSPRI functionality will be integrated directly into Support Insights Pro in a future release. 

Case metrics 

The Forrester Priorities Journey survey done in 2023 shows that 75% of CIOs surveyed indicated that improving IT reliability and resilience is a priority for them. [2] Maintaining a record of support cases, isolating case activity patterns and pinpointing recurring problems can be challenging. An IBM Support Insights Pro subscription can help clients identify support trends and patterns from their case history across supported vendors. In addition, clients can leverage case analysis to measure support performance for supported assets, products, or locations and identify patterns or potential hotspots that are recommended to address to improve system availability.  

How to get started  

To get started, try out the IBM Support Insights demo, and contact us if you have any questions.  

Learn more about IBM Support Insights

Statements by IBM regarding its plans, directions and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice at the sole discretion of IBM. Information regarding potential future products is intended to outline general product direction and should not be relied on in making a purchasing decision. The information mentioned regarding potential future products is not a commitment, promise or legal obligation to deliver any material, code or functionality. Information about potential future products may not be incorporated into any contract. The development, release and timing of any future features or functionality described for IBM products remain at the sole discretion of IBM. 

[1] Disclaimer: Number of alerts from IBM internal data. Potential savings are calculated based on the percentage of known exploited vulnerabilities of total common vulnerabilities and exposures (Worldwide Device Vulnerability Management Forecast, Worldwide Device Vulnerability Management Forecast,2023–2027: Evolving Beyond Scanning) multiplied by the average cost of a data breach (IBM, Cost of a Data Breach Report, 2023).

[2] Forrester’s Priorities Journey Survey, 2023. Base: 144 Purchase influencers. 

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