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Executive IT Perspectives: Service brokerage and solving catalog sprawl

HPE-SW-Guest ‎04-03-2014 01:06 PM - edited ‎04-16-2014 11:50 AM


Guest post by Sherry Ramm, ITSM Marketing Consultant


I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Joseph Kim, Business Leader for HP Propel and discuss how service brokerage is solving the catalog sprawl problem that plagues nearly all of our larger customers today.  As former CTO at HP and Chief Architect at GE, he has a unique perspective of living in the trenches of solving these problems in his own organizations. Now, fast forward to today, he has a passion that drives him to help his former peers around the world solve these same issues with leading market solutions. 



What’s your background?

“Before coming to HP, I worked at a Global 5 company’s IT enterprise department, where I ran various departments on the apps, ops and shared services organizations. The last role I held was Chief Architect, responsible for technical guidance and creating 1, 3 and 5 year playbooks for IT.”


What is your current role? 


“I am the Business Leader for HP Propel, responsible for the go-to-market, marketing, product management, R&D and services.”


As a former Chief Architect and IT Leader, what’s the biggest problem you see today affecting IT and how did it come about?


“Sure. Historically from IT, there has been a real need to connect the IT activities directly to the business. Although various standards, frameworks and solutions – such as SOA, TOGAF, ITIL, etc. – have helped bridge this gap, IT is still losing this battle.

As proof, the businesses (or sometimes referred to as the line of businesses) have started to utilize SaaS and Cloud vendors for IT-related services. In essence, instead of going through Central IT, they are going to Amazon and Google. The value propositions and pressures caused by the cloud, social/mobile and consumerization are too great to ignore further.


This phenomenon has caused various other issues, such as catalog sprawl, where IT and lines of businesses have started to create their own catalogs to more-easily consume IT services. Since various services have different ways to fulfill them – e.g. ordering a laptop is fulfilled differently than provisioning a private cloud environment – this has caused some IT and lines of businesses even create multiple catalogs for single departments. A recent poll from ZDNet has identified that 71% of Global IT Enterprises have catalog sprawl problem causing 60% loss of value in the services offered. The same poll states that 59% of these IT Enterprises are looking to either aggregate or consolidate catalogs in the near future.”


What makes you passionate about now helping those IT leaders that are in the position you were in?


“Great question. The way I think about my current job is different than those that have spent their entire lives without being in the customer’s shoes. I look at my role as ‘still working for the IT Enterprise.’ I made the transition to Software so that I can help impact the broader IT Enterprise community – in essence giving back to the community. My history in IT Enterprise and Software enables me to productize solutions that solves real IT problems today and help future-proof those solutions.”


How can IT best solve the Catalog Sprawl problem?


“From a business and architectural perspective, IT Enterprises need to make a mind shift of needing to provide all services to becoming a Service Broker.

In order to capture 100% of the business’ service demand, IT needs to also broker external services as well – such as Amazon. With this mind shift, it can truly can help IT get closer to the business by capturing all Amazon demand and renegotiate costs with Amazon like any other vendor or service provider. This I would say is the first step. The next step would be looking to provide unified experience, including an aggregation of catalogs to their end consumers.”


Why hasn’t IT overcome this issue yet?


“I think this whole issue around consumerization, mobility and the cloud has been talked about for 5-7 years.  Gartner and IDC and Forrester have brought it up and said ‘hey, eventually it’s going to land where we are today’.  But what’s happened is, as these things were occurring in the IT enterprise, it wasn’t what the customers were asking for. They weren’t asking for more things faster, etc.  And they weren’t going to fund it accordingly.  So either IT enterprise funding stayed the same, or in fact, overall it actually went down over the last couple years. So it wasn’t like they had the time to actually look at it.   


Service Brokering – a matter of survival


I think what it’s taken for IT to look at it over the last 1 ½ to 2 years, is that they’re starting to lose control.  So, a lot of the funding is starting to move from central IT over to the Lines of Business if they are able to consume these services cheaper outside. So it’s not an option any more.  Maybe 5 years ago it was an option.  It was a nice to do.  Now you have to do it, or else you’re going to lose complete capture of the service demand that’s happening inside of your business.”


If you haven't had an opportunity to experience HP Propel in your organization, here is your opportunity.


Make sure you catch part two of the conversation with Joseph Kim here.

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