Today, business executives are asking IT to manage its performance as a business. This means improving governance and forecasting by offering services instead of technology support. Allowing the business to choose from a range of services with defined price points provides greater transparency and accountability.
Your IT business strategy can:
- Manage costs and service levels to the business.
- Organize IT along business instead of technology dimensions.
- Provide metrics of IT performance to business managers.
IT infrastructure is frequently aligned to specific technologies or applications. These disconnected silos of infrastructure adapt slowly to business change and are not prioritized according to business requirements. The business lacks insight into how well IT can respond to its needs, causing service cost premiums and productivity impacts. Business leaders need more transparency and insight into IT operations across the enterprise.
EMC Consulting recommends an approach that defines IT services to the business. Instead of providing technology support to specific applications, define tiers of services in an enterprise service catalog, and then map applications to the appropriate tier. This lets you make informed decisions on the tradeoffs between cost and required service levels.
This service-based infrastructure devotes appropriate levels of IT resources to applications based on their importance. It provides business visibility into IT service capabilities, minimizes risk, and maximizes business and IT process efficiency. Clearly defined costs and service benefits lead to increased business support for IT. Optimizing infrastructure costs across the enterprise also yields substantial savings.
Individual business and application stakeholders often expect IT to devote resources to their own specific requirements because they are concerned about subsidizing IT costs from other parts of the business. When it’s time to fund the IT budget, these stakeholders resist allocations across the enterprise, thinking that these allocations hide costs for IT infrastructure they don’t need.
In such an environment, how can IT generate economies of scale across the enterprise and leverage skills and best practices across business functions and applications?
EMC Consulting believes a service-based information infrastructure can solve this cost issue. This approach organizes IT resources according to service levels chosen by the business for specific applications. Since IT architectures and resources can be directly tied to particular tiers, the costs of these tiers can be individually measured.
A service-based infrastructure allows stakeholders to make informed decisions about the cost and service level tradeoffs shown in each tier. From a cost perspective, IT can either directly charge business functions for resources they consume within each tier, or base cost allocations on the chosen service level tier.
The rapid growth of information poses significant challenges for many organizations. Cost pressures and talent shortages mean constantly searching for ways to manage more information without adequate staff. A shrinking talent pool of senior data center professionals makes this ongoing need for improved productivity even more challenging.
EMC Consulting recommends that you look at data center organizational requirements based on the services IT provides your business. Developing an organizational model and governance structure based on this service-oriented approach assures skills, roles and responsibilities are aligned with business priorities.
We suggest an organizational model that defines roles along a plan-build-manage spectrum of responsibilities. IT processes are mapped to each phase using best practice frameworks such as ITIL. As the organization matures, you can increase the technology specialization of your staff by defining skill levels aligned with milestones for these processes. Developing a training roadmap based on the gap between current and desired skills improves organizational effectiveness and provides clear career paths for your IT teams.
Managers often make business decisions based on incomplete or outdated information. Many companies are starting business intelligence (BI) projects to improve access to business performance data. BI creates data warehouses that store information from multiple business systems.
A management dashboard centrally displays the real-time business metrics and key performance indicators stored in a BI system. Dashboards provide presentation formats for cross-functional, decision-focused analysis. Using graphical displays, they let managers view status at a glance, drill down into data to ascertain a root cause, and spot trends. Scorecards show color-coded indicators for each KPI. “What if” analysis allows users to instantaneously calculate the relationships between an array of interdependent variables.
Building a management dashboard requires not only technologists, but also industry-focused business analysts and data visualization experts who understand information architecture and user behaviors. EMC Consulting recommends that you seek experienced industry professionals who understand data management and data visualization challenges, and who build management dashboards that structure data in an intuitive user interface.
- IT Service Management Consulting
Transform your IT organization into a service provider to your business by developing a service-oriented infrastructure that optimizes IT processes and better manages data throughout its lifecycle.
- Business Intelligence System Development
Improve decision-making by tapping into disparate data sources to provide historical, current, and predictive views of business operations.