DDLS Philippines Senior Technical Instructor and Consultant Peter Jungfer shares his thoughts on what a modern IT department looks like.
There is a shift in the needs and requirements of businesses globally. To remain competitive, we must deliver a broader range of client services faster, and in this fast-paced marketplace, it is no longer acceptable to continue using the old systems of process.
Traditionally, the business unit would develop a process or platform use case that would then be delivered to the IT Unit. This would be translated to IT infrastructure and then passed to procurement for purchase. IT can finally implement the structure to the business, and only then will the application, service, or capability be utilized.
The outcome is that there is a very long delivery process and during this time any strategic market advantage may be lost.
There is a shift away from the traditional implementation structure as the Business Units continue to take more responsibility for the development and alignment of delivery and process. Now, the IT department is no longer solely responsible for the delivery of infrastructure, services, and engagement process.
Businesses look to the IT departments to deliver services under a “pay for use” program with the priority for “as a service” delivery models. Adoption of Cloud Services and migration of the Application services to Cloud Service Providers is an IT department’s primary delivery responsibility.
This allows the business to adjust its internal business model to include chargeback and internal SLA’s whilst delivering an increased level of service to the customer.
By transferring this responsibility to the business, it has the visibility of capabilities and requirements (and services) which when included in a service catalog can be much more easily understood and managed by business users. This strategy then promotes the development of the business unit as the definer of the requirements for revenue-generating business as well as the platforms that will deliver to the consumer.
By default, the business is more interested in the delivery of consumptive services now than the underlying capital cost and traditional IT service delivery models.
Business units should have no reason to want to understand the underlying delivery of services from the IT department. Capability development, maintenance, and underlying IT services should be transparent from the business.
The business now develops a strategy for new services, value-add or cost consolidation. And IT is expected to deliver via a service catalog, a range of predefined platforms in which the business can choose whatever is most relevant to its needs.
These services are delivered in a consumptive model which is much more business delivery focused. As such, this model allows IT services to no longer be a cost center that businesses will question as to its value but instead will allow the responsibility for the consumption of the IT services and financial cost to rest with the business unit consuming the service. Consumption-based services should deliver a standardized technical model that has two responsibilities.
- First, the business is responsible for the consumption and reclamation of services that are supplied by the catalog. IT will be a service to be consumed much in line with how a machine will deliver a service without the actual workings being understood by the consumer.
- Second, IT is responsible for the delivery of the platform which will conform to the demands of the business. It will have a described and validated set of service levels, business criticalities, and operating standards to comply with.
Development of the patterns and processes that are to be consumed and delivered needs to have a coherent, defined, and business-related outcome.
“IT for IT’s sake” can no longer be supported. In the IT departments, there has always been a “This looks cool, let’s get one” attitude. Only once the new and improved, technically exciting infrastructure is in place does the business then try to understand how it can be consumed. Alternately the attitude of “it’s not broken so we won’t fix it” ceases to be a supportable model as the consumptive model is accepted as a standard.
Focusing on what the business needs to increase revenue, drive down cost, and deliver a better quality of service to its customers is not the appropriate model.
All of this leads the process to ask a simple question: “How do I upskill my resources and apply them to be able to address the business requirements?”
The simple answer is the adoption of a training plan.