A Practical Approach for IT Governance

Archive for June 2015

The Art of Simplifying Things

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Project Management Process

Near and dear to our heart is the art of managing IT.  The evolution from control centric (Theory X) to people centric (Theory Y) has been in the works for decades, and most firms now have abandoned the older and more rigid models for managing technology. Today it is all about people and process simplification. IT Management is evolving to focus on simplicity and rapid delivery.

Let us step back a few decades.  Remember ERP Systems – most of us made a career implementing ERP systems. What started as a ERPsimple integration of manufacturing and finance, grew into an integrated business system.  HR, Sales and Marketing and other businessfunctions became a core part of the ERP system.  Managing IT was centered around the Data Center, User Devices, ERP Systems, and a few point solutions that were specific to each industry.  Ratios of IT expenditures to overall revenues provided the benchmark for IT.  As CIOs, we bragged when we were able to deliver IT at the lowest possible cost.  Management of IT was well defined and most of the tools were built around the areas of infrastructure management, IT assets, IT services/help desk, change management, basic project management, and simple cost accounting.

Following the internet revolution came Cloud computing, Mobile Technologies, Big The third platformData and Social Media.  These disruptive technologies led to radical changes in the IT architecture.  Gartner was quickto label it as the third platform. This enabled rapid development of point solutions that were inexpensive and quick to deploy.  So the IT architecture moved away from centralized systems to point solutions that were best of breed.  Sadly the companies that developed these good point solutions found that the revenues were just not there – so they grew to become the big systems we were all used to – a good example of this shift is provided by

IT Management shifted as well. Management focus turned to integration and making sense of the vast amounts of data we were collecting.  ITIL gained momentum as it simplified managing IT with a set of integrated work flows addressing change management, customer Commsnese KPIsservice, infrastructure management, etc.  It expanded its scope to address projects and innovation, and guess what, suddenly a simple idea became quite onerous.

The focus on security, IT Governance and getting a 360 degree view of IT has become the cornerstone of IT management today.  The secret is in simplifying the proc

esses.  It is not the 100 plus ITIL suggested KPIs that matter, but the focus should be on a handful that drive decisions.  Making things simple, however, is not that simple.  The reason is that we are all creatures of habit, and habit, as most of us know, is difficult to change.  The great CIOs are also great change agents, and those are the ones in demand today.

Written by Subbu Murthy

June 29, 2015 at 8:09 am