A business exists because it creates and delivers its core products and services that are needed by its customers to achieve their respective desired outcomes. For an automotive industry, these products are cars and other automobiles, for banks, it may be a range of banking products and services such as personal accounts, mortgages, personal loans, and so on. The activities and steps that need to be executed in order to develop and deliver these products/services are logically grouped into business processes. Those processes that result in the creation of core business products and/or services are called business processes. The more efficient the business processes are, the greater throughput the business will have thereby increasing its profitability. Before the emergence of the Information Age, businesses used other means to improve their productivities. In recent years, emergence of Information Technology and the Internet created tremendous opportunities for the business leaders and entrepreneurs to exploit these new channels to transform their business processes and introduce new ones. eBay, Amazon, Google, and almost all financial services companies and many others are great examples of those companies in which business is IT and IT is the business. These and other similar companies have exploited IT to the point that IT is integrated into their respective business processes.
Therefore, although business processes are not something new, the inter-dependencies between the success of the business processes and the effective delivery of IT services is definitely something new. In case of automotive industry, raw materials include the automotive parts (engine, transmission, body parts, electrical system, and so on) and the assembly line business processes consumes these parts to produce a complete operational vehicle at the end of the assembly line. Similarly, in the case of IT, the IT components (applications, software, hardware, servers, networks, and so on) are the raw materials that feed IT processes. The end result of these IT processes result in the creation of IT services. For these services to be valuable to their consumers, it is absolutely critical that these are aligned with the respective needs of the customers.
Using people, process, partners and products (tools), IT managers must link IT infrastructure components together to create the concept of an end-to-end IT services that enables the business processes.
In order for them to be valuable, the IT organization must learn to communicate in terms of business metrics and customer satisfaction. Not metrics but business metrics are critical in order to build awareness of all the value-add IT achievements.
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