In today’s market, businesses are increasingly reliant on IT and IT services to gain and retain a competitive edge. IT is under pressure to provide services that meet the current and future needs of the business, driven by changes in the needs of customers. In business, timely agility is the key to continuing profitability. For the business to become more agile, IT needs to become more agile.
Typically, 70% of an organization’s IT budget is spent on operations; supporting the current set of applications and services and keeping business users productive. Only 30% of IT budget and effort is dedicated to transforming the business through innovation.
To meet the current and future expectations of the business, IT needs to implement a strategy for continual improvement in 3 key areas:
- Alignment - Align delivery of IT with the needs of the business through improved communication
- Integration - Integrate IT services into business processes to increase business efficiency
- Agility - Increase the IT department’s ability to deliver new services to enable more rapid deployment of new products and business services.
In many cases, the IT department is responsible for the largest chunk of the organization’s capital investment and operational expenditure, which naturally draws a great deal of pressure to control costs and demonstrate value. The complex nature of IT makes it difficult to measure efficiency and demonstrate value in business terms – i.e. the usage levels, benefits and costs attributable to the support of revenue streams. The challenge lies in linking the infrastructure and supporting resources to lines of business.
Quality of service provision must be balanced against the cost and speed of provision. The business expects services to be available, reliable and fit for purpose. Mechanisms must be in place to manage all the quality attributes associated with IT services.
Risk must be managed. IT is so deeply embedded in the business that a serious IT failure can have a catastrophic and long-lasting effect on the profitability of the business. It is important for IT to prevent downtime wherever possible through visibility of impact, risk and cost, as well as providing a solid plan to support disaster recovery.