Move Beyond Strategic IT as a Pure Discussion Point

IT has become the cornerstone of modern business to the point where it would not be possible to function, let alone succeed, without it.

As a result of its increasing role in business, the IT function has changed, evolving from a technology provider into a strategic partner to enhance customer satisfaction.

You may have heard this all before, but what does it really mean and how do you embrace this evolution as a business?

Let’s break it down into a three-step approach where each step builds on the previous for continual service improvement, so you can easily move beyond Strategic IT as a pure discussion point.

1. IT Infrastructure Management

You cannot be fully proficient in your service delivery to customers without first establishing infrastructure stability. This is achieved by maximising the ROI on computing assets and gaining control of the infrastructure, the devices and the data it generates.

The result of implementation:

  • Quick response to changing and disruptive conditions
  • Flexible and agile procedures leading to proactive rather than re-active management strategies
  • Automated work that reduces labour, cost and impactful incidents while allowing for better capacity planning, centralised, accessible, real-time information and reporting
  • Streamlined day-to-day operations so staff can plan for and meet demands of business strategy, including competitive growth
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Reduced downtime and decreased repaired time

2. IT Service Management

The core of ITSM starts with identifying the services your customers need. Then the focus is shifted to planning and delivering those services, taking into account availability, performance and security requirements so quality and cost targets of the business can be reached.

The result of implementation:

  • Business and IT alignment – understand what the business needs and putting technology in place that can bring those goals to fruition
  • Repeatable and scalable processes give staff and customers the same consistent service experience
  • Increased productivity with satisfied end-users – staff knows what services are available, how to use them and customers enjoy the ease of transacting with your business
  • Prevention of IT issues before they happen
  • Shortened time spent between detecting incidents and solving them
  • Repeat problems are identified and resolved

3. IT Business Value Management/IT Governance

IT Business Value comes into play when the focus is on transforming IT to meet the present and future demands of your business, concentrating on internal and external goals.

If IT processes are aligned with the entire lifecycle of your business processes, you are enabling new opportunities to unlock further improved service quality and agility.

The result of implementation:

Business Strategy aligned with IT Strategy: External

  • Business Scope = Technology Scope
  • Distinctive Competitiveness = System Competencies
  • Business Governance = IT Governance

Business Infrastructure & Processes aligned with IT Infrastructure & Processes: Internal

  • Administrative Infrastructure = IT Architectures
  • Processes = IT Processes
  • Skills = IT Skills

(Source: Henderson and Venkatraman)

The resulting changes that occur with the contribution of IT during this transformation typically looks like this:

IT AS SERVICE PROVIDER IT AS STRATEGIC PARTNER
IT IS FOR EFFICIENCY IT FOR BUSINESS GROWTH
BUDGETS ARE DRIVEN BY EXTERNAL BENCHMARKS BUDGETS ARE DRIVEN BY BUSINESS STRATEGY
IT IS SEPARATE FROM THE BUSINESS IT IS INSEPARABLE FROM THE BUSINESS
IT IS SEEN AS EXPENSE CONTROL IT IS SEEN AS AN INVESTMENT TO MANAGE
IT MANAGERS ARE TECHNICAL EXPERTS IT MANAGERS ARE BUSINESS PROBLEM SOLVERS

In conclusion, unifying your business and technology positions IT as a partner in the overall business strategy. It is not just your incident reporting and ticket escalation resource. It manages continuous improvement of IT services and applications, including new services to either enhance or take over specific business functions to streamline transitions between internal and external processes and systems.

It is an essential presence in your business goal setting initiative, ensuring the design of your strategy and processes are aligned to available infrastructure and technology.

Now that you know the WHY and the HOW, our role is to guide and mentor you to manage your risk, cost and revenue growth and take your business from good to great.

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