Business-IT Integration, ITILv3 & Cultural Transformations – Part II

Business-IT Integration, ITIL® v3 & Cultural Transformations: Part II

Continuing our discussion from Part I, we understand that while ITILv3 enables IT organizations to apply Business Service Management (BSM) concepts—and therefore align business and IT goals—it is a process that doesn’t happen overnight. It is absolutely critical to realize that integration of ITILv3 is about more than just IT infrastructure and IT operations management: it often requires a cultural transformation.

Implementation of ITILv3 is about aligning IT and business goals and ensuring traceability of business processes and services, technical services and individual technology (infrastructure, application, software, hardware, databases, middleware and others) components. This sometimes requires a major shift in the way IT has been managed and operated, and the manner in which its services have been delivered. In fact, implementing BSM will very likely impact each and every aspect of the business enterprise organization.

Such transformations require a well-aligned vision and a strategy of consistent, steady, incremental, and ongoing improvements in order to realize the benefits of business-IT integration, such as increased effectiveness and efficiency. Depending upon the organization’s baseline maturity level, such a transformation may even be revolutionary, meaning the time it takes for that organization to realize the benefits will be that much longer.

In an effort to see the returns sooner, some organizations have considered outsourcing BSM without fully realizing what that means. As we can see, it is a lack of understanding of all that is necessary to achieve success that makes these transformations riskier.

Implementing BSM is expensive, risky, and difficult. It requires a consistent and well-planned approach. Two of the most common questions IT managers have asked me over the years pertain mostly to how to keep the momentum going in the midst of an ever-changing organizational and business environment. More specifically:

  1. How do we implement BSM and demonstrate the value-add before our next management ‘shuffle’?
  2. What do we do when this shuffle happens and we lose all support?

The answers to these questions are simple.

  1. First, you must demonstrate the value created as early as possible to help senior management and the larger organization see a small “slice” of your vision.
  2. And second, under such business/organizational pressures, faster turn-around coupled with effective and efficient management of continual improvement efforts may be the answer.

How can IT organizations go about delivering incremental and iterative value to their customers through steady and ongoing improvements in an agile fashion? My future blog entries will be dedicated to answering this question—and more.

To learn more about ITIL, check out Learning Tree’s course, Achieving ITIL Foundation Course.

Ahmad Shuja

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