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Change or Die! Revamp IT processes to meet business demands

TerenceNgai

time to change.jpgIf you had a chance to document your current IT processes, the odds are good that you’d see a lot of manual steps. And the diagram would likely be described as components, networks, applications, and operations, a standard pattern for enterprise IT. However, to keep pace with growing business needs, IT must instead focus on providing services, not components, and delivering them via cloud in an automated fashion. By doing so, IT can save money, operate more efficiently, and react more nimbly to shifting business demands.

 

 

What steps should you take to align IT processes with business goals?

 

  • Examine existing processes
  • Identify the core common business processes and functions that IT supports
  • Institute automated self-service where appropriate

 

Slow processes often lead to shadow IT

 

How do the business users request new resources from IT? In many enterprise IT divisions, it involves a manual process of using the phone and filling out an online form.

 

Does this sound like your organization? In the old world, the business user calls the help desk, then fills out paperwork and submits it to the IT procurement department. Accounting might require some kind of justification for the request. Six weeks later, the powers that be approve the request and presto!, IT spins up servers and storage.

 

This manual, cumbersome process helps explain why so many business units and developers resort to shadow IT. Want resources right away? Amazon makes it easy: go online, enter your credit card information, and you’re set. To compete with such convenience, enterprise IT needs to speed up its processes in the new world.

 

 

Standardize for greater efficiency

 

Before you can modernize your IT processes, the CIO needs to work closely with the business to determine goals and priorities. You should pinpoint the common IT processes and functions that the business is relying on. Is there a marketing project that multiple lines of business want you to support? Are you supplying compute and storage resources so the marketing department can perform Big Data analytics?

 

Once you identify the IT processes for one project, you should look across the company for other projects that require similar capabilities. For example, if you’re in enterprise IT at a bank, you should investigate if there are common processes that the mortgage, retail, and commercial business units share.

 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are their needs from a technical perspective?
  • What kind of cloud services do they need?
  • What are their processes for developing applications and serving customers?

 

By focusing on the core processes that each business unit has in common, you can get the most bang for your buck from your resources and maximize your business impact.

                                 

 

Automate and deliver services via cloud

 

Once you’ve identified common processes, you can create standardized IT services. In my previous post on the need to for IT to upgrade its skill set and organization, I discussed how cloud is accelerating change by enabling the delivery of automated services. Using cloud to provide a list of standardized self-service IT services that can be automatically provisioned increases IT efficiency and delivers services much faster to the end users.

                                                                  

You decide which services you want to make available to your business. The greater the demand, the higher the priority to put a service in the catalog. (Unique services that have minimum usage across your company should not be in the cloud service catalog.) You establish how the service should be provisioned and configured. Employees can then subscribe to the portal and request services.

 

With a click of a button, an end user can use the self-service portal and request a new service such as email and have it provisioned automatically in hours rather than weeks. The self-service model replaces a manual IT process in the old world with a completely automated, error-free, and efficient process in the new world.

 

An automated service catalog saves IT time, money, and resources, enabling staff to concentrate on innovative ways to improve the business. To learn how HP can help you transition to cloud and automate processes, please visit www.hp.com/helion

  • HP Cloud
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About the Author

TerenceNgai

cloud SaaS hybrid IT

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