Took this from a NW on Network/Systems Management mailing from January 21, 2004....
Take a look at the 4 levels further down in the article.
Today's focus: Toward IT maturity By Mark Ehr and Scott Crawford Management vendors today are promoting their version of what promises to be a giant step toward greater IT maturity. This sea change involves shifting IT from today's management-by-crisis, in which IT reacts to problems after they have occurred, to a brave new world featuring fully automated, autonomic systems that include Buck Rogers-style "adaptive," "dynamic," "on-demand," "real-time" technologies. What can IT do today to prepare for this brave new world? Baby steps. One key technology IT can use today is application performance management (APM). APM allows IT to manage business-critical services by state, from the end-user perspective. Instead of culling tens of thousands of IT metrics and sifting through them to determine the root cause of a problem, APM determines if a problem exists from the perspective of the end user, and then guides IT to the source of the problem through its knowledge of the infrastructure upon which the service relies. Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) believes that APM use is a key indicator of a maturing IT organization. In September EMA conducted a research study entitled "Next Generation IT Organizations: An Evolutionary Approach to On-Demand Computing." In this study, EMA developed an IT maturity taxonomy that classifies organizations into one of the following four levels: Level 1: Active. These IT organizations manage by crisis, utilizing management technologies in a purely tactical way. Not surprisingly, roughly 60% of enterprises fall within this category. At this stage, APM is not used, as these organizations utilize point tools to gather elemental metrics such as network utilization and device up/down status. Outages are usually reported via the phone - users call to complain to the help desk that a service is not working right (in the best case), or IT is blissfully unaware that a problem even exists (in the worst case). Level 2: Efficient. Approximately 30% of IT organizations have taken the next step in management maturity by integrating management into a single reporting console and by beginning to integrate data from some of the IT silos. Management may be integrated, but reporting is rarely real-time. Problem detection remains indirect but is more application-aware. The beginning of an APM mentality is seen at this phase, but IT has not yet become a fully APM-oriented organization. Level 3: Responsive. Perhaps 10% of enterprises are at this level, which is characterized by application-aware, responsive APM. APM systems monitor specific applications from the top down, correlating events generated by the underlying infrastructure when a problem is detected. Monitoring is enhanced by direct measurement of "real world" usage experience. Outside the firewall, hosted application monitoring services provide detailed reporting. Inside the enterprise, proxies may be employed to capture real-time performance data. Level 4: Business-driven. This is EMA's term for the adaptive, on-demand enterprise. EMA believes that no organization has yet attained this level of maturity. Business-driven IT is characterized by management technologies that have fully automated day-to-day tasks, integrating proactive management with closed-loop feedback mechanisms. Correlation of top-down and bottom-up management events, combined with virtualization, provisioning, and other key technologies, effectively takes human interaction out of the loop for all but the most serious problems.