I spend most of my time talking to technology vendors, IT folks and business people all in an effort to drive organizational benefits through the use of technology. Over years of doing this, I’ve noticed a stark divide that exists within an organization between IT and business units. It’s a topic I’ve opined upon before – but it’s worth repeating the rift that exists here:
On one side, IT is saying that it has to retain control to ensure security and compliance and that with unfettered access to technology, staff would introduce lots of dangerous avenues for security breaches into the organization. On the other side, you have the business itself which has long been frustrated by the fact that seemingly every request to IT is either stonewalled or slowed significantly.
Given this rift then, I’m always interested to see examples of technologies which help bridge this divide – technology that meets the underlying need of IT, while still delivering the agility that the business demands. A good case in point is the recently released MyIT product from BMC (disclosure – I’ve been consulting to BMC on the MyIT product and launch). It’s a good example of a product that bridges the gap between business units who are striving for agility and the IT group who wants to deliver that agility, but is understandably concerned about the risks involved in losing control of an organizations’ technology.
Before looking at what MyIT can do, and why I consider it an important IT/business bridge, let’s look at some research statistics for context;
- Only 35% of business leaders believe that IT provides high quality, timely support (per Forrester, May 2012)
- 56% of Gartner DC attendees classify the relationship between developers and IT Ops as “un-collaborative”
- Between 2007 and 2011 infrastructure and operations costs have remained steady at 66% of IT budget (per Gartner)
- 34% of approved IT projects are “in queue” but not resourced (Gartner again)
Clearly something is broken here – the relationship between IT and the business is fraught; developers and operations are often at loggerheads; IT budgets are primarily being spent on “keeping the lights on” and worthy projects can’t get the resources necessary to be progressed.
What is needed is a circuit breaker on the IT process – something that consumerizes the front-end experience for business users, while continuing a robust and well-governed IT back end. Something that delivers individual users timely and contextual service and support and replicates the experience they’ve grown accustomed to in their consumer lives. MyIT goes a long way to delivering this – it is a cross platform, cross device service that delivers all the users across an organization a personalized portfolio of products alongside support offerings. It’s the way an enterprise can give its users an app store, with the requisite checks, controls and auditing that IT demands.
The benefits of a self-service portal such as this are broad:
- Service costs can be reduced as more staff self-serve and more processes are automated
- Productivity increases as employees can quickly acquire the products they need, and obtain timely support
- Employees feel the joy of, at last, not having to fight IT for resources
- IT is happy – since the products employees are using have already been vetted and the entire environment meets their requirements
Of course there is still work to be done – IT needs to be quicker still to certify new applications. Employees and business units need to be empowered to acquire resources and deploy applications freely (whether on public or private infrastructure or on their platform of choice). IT needs a central management view of software, infrastructure and platforms. That said, MyIT is a good start and once it is release generally next year, will solve some real pain points for organizations.
Over the next few weeks I’m going to be writing some more about the underlying issues that need to be solved between IT and the business. I’m looking forward to the conversations that will ensue, and taking this topic beyond the regular band of commentators and to a wider IT and business audience.
(Cross-posted @ The Diversity Blog – SaaS, Cloud & Business Strategy)