A new study conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by CA Technologies finds that business models and services such as cloud computing and big data analytics are not possible without a strategic “service assurance” portfolio underpinned by infrastructure management.

According to the report, innovative business models and technology use cases such as cloud-based services, collaboration tools and big data analytics characterize an “industrialized IT movement,” and have in common the need for robust monitoring to give them the visibility needed to work.

As part of the study, Forrester Consulting conducted a survey of 150 IT decision-makers in North America and Western Europe. It tested a hypothesis about how the organizational and economic dynamics of infrastructure management are evolving to provide the intended goal of streamlining performance and availability across diverse systems, networks and applications to improve service quality, predictability and efficiency.

The results found that those surveyed are far from the ideal state of infrastructure management, but they are making progress. Among the key findings of the study are that fragmentation of infrastructure management is destroying value. Isolated tools lack adequate attention and are wasted investments, the report says. In addition, poor integration of these tools fails to deliver the visibility into the behavior and availability of services.

“As companies pursue cloud computing, big data, a mobile workforce and other grand initiatives, certain IT programs form the foundations upon which these exciting business capabilities will be constructed,” the study says. “Like any foundation, it must be sturdy or else the structure above it may crumble to the ground. Infrastructure management — an underpinning some may consider passé — is indeed a critical foundation.”