In some way or another we have all seen this before on
some level, business units outside IT making technology decisions or purchases
without IT knowing about it.
The question you need to ask – is IT the organizational
version of the human appendix?
The appendix is not a vital organ and medical researchers
still debate its exact function in our bodies. One hypothesis is that it had a
larger function in a time long ago, starting to see any similarities?
More than ever the business units are finding that they
are positioning themselves to not only spend technology dollars but make
technology related decisions. Why does this happen? Well, many of the leaders
of these teams believe that they are more informed in this digital age to make
decisions where they do not ‘need’ IT. When you ask these teams why, they will
say that it is just easier to do it themselves.
It’s not all doom and gloom for IT we just need to be
scalable to new ways of working with our business. Among the roles that are
surfacing is that of a service broker. This role consults with business
partners to not only understand their needs but also to facilitate the sourcing
of technology from a provider. This doesn’t necessarily mean outsourcing; it could
be something that we as an IT organization already provide. In some ways IT may
already be managing this function today without formally calling it this.
This forward thinking view is great and everything but the
most common response from a long time IT person will tell you that “you still
need to keep the lights on with legacy systems”. This is where those less
likely to adapt will outline that IT’s existence is not over yet. The trick
here is that despite this mentality we need to think about your business being
able to deliver on its objectives. However, if legacy applications or
infrastructure become the bottleneck for the business, than it will ultimately
be the topic of discussion on “why do we need IT”?
Here’s the good news, we know what we need to do to
survive – evolve. As IT starts to take a renewed look at how it works with the
business it will ultimately build relationships which will improve the delivery
of services. An IT team which looks at solutions from this business objective
perspective will be making decisions and suggestions which will line up with
what the business wants in the first place, not what IT assumes that they might
Overall you need to look at how you are delivering
services. Understanding the business is the first step. From there whether you
need to focus on the service broker function, or simply have a more people
focused approach a strategy to create this value has to be outlined.
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Labels: BRM, ITIL, ITSM, Service Management, SIAM