Making Wise IT Investments

In most silo-ed organizations, most technology-focused teams tend to manage technology for technology. The reality is that lack of appreciation for the business value created by the individual silo-ed technology components prevents silo-ed enterprises to manage technology for the business. Each silo may have silo-ed, technology-focused partnerships and may provide technology solutions with limited cross technology view of how these various technology components actually create value for our customers and shareholders. The result is that, in most cases, investment decisions are made based on silo-ed views of the enterprise with business value, in most cases, as one of the last considerations. Statements like, “We offer 99.999% availability of our infrastructure for all,” just makes me believe that these organizations actually do not have visibility into what actually matters. Of course, not everything in their infrastructures is equally important, but this is how they view their world. The reality, however, is that business expectations from all IT investments can be summarized in one sentence:  All and any IT investment made must translate into value delivered to our customers. This may sound like an extreme statement but if you think about it for a moment, you may be able to appreciate that it makes perfect sense.

Some would argue that this may not apply to all potential situations. One example would be the case in a regulated environment. If you think about it, even regulations imposed by regulatory bodies are there to protect the interests of our customers. Other arguments may be that we spend money to keep the engine going and these are really maintenance type of expenses. Well, you are doing these maintenance activities in order to ensure that services continue to deliver business value and meet customer expectations.

IT does not and should not exist for IT. According to ITIL® v3, “Business is IT. And IT is the business.” This integration must exist for IT to become a value-add business partner. Service is the means of delivering value to our customers and service improvement is the key service management implementation component that enables the businesses and customers to benefit from the investments made in implementing service management.

Service improvement or business service improvement is one of the most critical components of business service management implementation. It really brings all improvement investments together and enables customers to actually realize tangible service improvement benefits. If managed and organized appropriately, business service improvement actually becomes at the core of keeping the sponsorships and necessary support alive and thereby enables the organization to keep its momentum going. This is the component that will iteratively and incrementally create business value. If planned appropriately, business service improvement component will ensure that all service management process improvements are planned and implemented in a targeted fashion and are optimally leveraged to deliver the expected value.

If you’re interested in learning more, Learning Tree offers a course entitled Achieving ITIL® Foundation Certification that serves as an excellent foundation for ITIL.

Ahmad Shuja

*ITIL® is a registered trade mark of the Cabinet Office

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