In many organizations, the IT department was an evolutionary outgrowth of increased dependence on technology. This meant IT itself was often organized around technologies, not business processes or salable products. The resulting IT silos, marred by intra-departmental finger-pointing and information hoarding, create inefficient operations, poor IT service delivery and slow responsiveness to new service requests. Indeed, IT is increasingly at odds with companies that require speed in order to become successful digital businesses that blend the online and offline worlds. Consequently, the enterprise IT service delivery model is under pressure to show value and responsiveness without exploding the budget.
In this article, I outline how a business process management structure for IT service delivery can bridge the gap between IT and the rest of the business, allowing IT leaders to sit at the table for important decisions. Originally developed for manufacturing, logistics, finance and sales, BPM is also useful for IT. Since BPM focuses on outcomes, not tasks, it helps IT organizations align services, investments and customer-facing processes with business requirements and strategies. Today’s breadth and depth of IT operational data, log analysis tools and big data analytics provide IT leaders with fact-based insights into business use of services and resources, service reliability, security, costs and the utilization of existing IT assets. This information is vital to measure how IT meets business needs, while optimizing IT efficiency and spending.
While some may question the implicit assumption that running IT as a service and using BPM to improve its service delivery model with structured, repeatable processes is the best way to run IT, there’s plenty of evidence showing that is how successful businesses selling infrastructure, software and other managed IT services actually work. The article details the steps of organizational maturity IT must go through in order to evolve from delivering IT as a hodgepodge of individual technologies to managing it as a value-producing service. It includes recommendations for successfully handling the BPM transition including the need to secure both executive leadership and business buy-in, since the IT services must be clearly aligned with business goals, needs and strategies.