To be highly effective, IT organizations must accommodate changing business requirements smoothly without disrupting business operations or end user productivity. A recent Ovum Summit survey identified six common traits among highly effective IT organizations:
1. Utilization of virtualization and consolidation technologies towards creating more dynamic and flexible infrastructure architectures.
2. SOA applications investment towards promoting business process flexibility.
3. ITIL implemented across the majority of process areas covered by current recommendations.
4. IT management tool investment.
5. IT governance, business alignment and SLA monitoring.
6. Readiness to take on new challenges such as social networking to improve IT operational productivity along with end-of-life and recycling strategies.
The March 2007 survey conducted by Ovum Summit surveyed 300 North American enterprise and mid-market decision makers with 32 in-depth questions. The study’s author, Mary Johnston Turner, Ovum Summit vice president, says that roughly 22 percent of the total survey sample met the above criteria. ‘These highly effective organizations have laid a lot of groundwork over the last couple of years by implementing virtualization, SOA and ITIL,’ says Turner.
What about the remaining 78 percent of respondents that do not meet the criteria of being highly effective? Less effective organizations, ‘are more focused on individual technology issues than end-to-end services and have not developed a well integrated requirements, planning and deployment process that links business, development and operations,’ says Turner.
CIOs might want to focus on utilizing social networking software tools. Of those considered highly effective, 39 percent used social networking extensively, compared to 6 percent of organizations that were considered less effective. ITIL V3 guidelines call for collaboration across business, development and operations. Using social networking tools (internal wikis, internal facebooks, team rooms and Web conferencing) will help facilitate communication across groups located in different physical locations that have different internal cultures.
When describing highly effective IT organizations Turner says, ‘They are well positioned to take advantage of the soon to be release ITIL V3 recommendations that aim to more closely integrate software development, release and operations processes. They are also in the best position to take advantage of emerging collaboration and enterprise social software solutions. The other 78 percent of organizations need to rapidly develop both infrastructure and operations roadmap to achieve these same levels of effectiveness if they are going to stay competitive in the coming years.’