To ensure alignment of business and IT objectives, it’s important that organizations take the essential step of moving from a system focus to a business service focus. To make alignment possible, IT must tie activities and capabilities to something meaningful to the organization and its customers. Having your IT department focused on Agile, ITIL, COBIT and ISO are beneficial methodologies but all speak to the importance of a service focus. Following are a few ways to clear out activities that may be consuming your staff’s time and start the shift toward thinking about things from an IT and business alignment perspective:
- Business Service Focus Area: System Resources – Outsource lower level work such as data center management. Additionally, you can replace perpetual licenses with SaaS and subscription based licenses to eliminate the need for your staff to perform upgrades and other maintenance. This allows your staff to focus on transformative business objectives.
- Business Service Focus Area: Network and Applications – If your applications aren’t globally distributed, consider using SaaS applications instead. For example, if you have an application that requires local hosting (non-SaaS), you are required to have networking and application infrastructure at each location to support it, maintenance, monitoring and people to fix it. If you use a SaaS application, you can globally distribute without a need for all the underlying infrastructure.
- Business Service Focus Area: Automation – Look for opportunities to automate processes and areas to integrate processes into a DevOps framework. Move towards a continuous delivery cycle by focusing on integration, built-in testing, constant monitoring and analytics feedback. This reduces risk and helps you expose and/or reduce inefficiencies and hidden costs.
- Business Service Focus Area: End-user Experience – Identify different and important end-user groups, such as consumers on your website or your internal finance department and align SLAs and KPIs the end-user’s goal. For example, instead of tracking web server ping time, look at how long your user is waiting to process an ecommerce order.
As you move from addressing systems resources down the list to addressing end-user experience, you’ll start to provide more and more value to the business. To learn more about how your organization can align with and deliver on objectives that move the business forward, download Aligning IT with Business Objectives – An eBook from HOSTING.