There is no single IT service management approach that can be ideal for all organisations. Before settling on any solution, companies should look at the nature and expectations of their business.
So said Tom Scholtz, research vice-president at Gartner, speaking during the ITWeb SMEXA conference in Bryanston, yesterday.
“In adopting IT service management strategies, there is no 'one size fits all'. Therefore, different approaches should be taken by companies based on how they view IT in their organisations”.
Scholtz outlined four unique views that organisations have on IT, including IT as the butler, entrepreneur, team player or grinder.
“Some organisations view IT as a butler and in these kinds of businesses there is minimised IT governance,” said Scholtz. In this group, he added, IT is viewed as a caretaker of the business and is only expected to play a supporting role, responding to and fulfilling requests from the business in a casual manner.
These companies will not innovate or lead in technology application or adoption, he noted. In partnering, the best organisations expect is a professional service provider and not a strategic partner in IT.
“In some businesses, IT is viewed as an entrepreneur and in this case organisations have no time for IT governance,” said Scholtz. “The organisations tend to give IT a clear domain responsibility and their philosophy is to not always get things right.”
In this case, he noted, IT is expected to lead the business in applying technology to improve the company's strategic differentiations. Scholtz added that IT governance is baked into overall corporate governance, and that the CIO reports to the highest levels of the organisation, frequently discussing key issues with the board of directors.
Other organisations view IT as a team player in their businesses, according to Scholtz. “Such companies will give IT formal collaborative governance to focus on benefits realisation in an agile governance process.”
In these companies, IT is considered central to operating efficiently and reducing the costs and risks of operations. However, it is totally dependent on business partners for their insights about applying technology for competitive differentiation.
Scholtz also said there are some organisations that view IT as a grinder. “This is the commodity view of IT. In such companies, IT is expected to run efficiently and work collaboratively with its business partners to drive technology into business processes”.
He added that for these organisations, IT is considered central to operating efficiently and reducing the costs and risks of operations.