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Part 2, INFORMATION POWER: BiSL Framework – a new perspective


20922876_m.jpgby Deborah L Anthony, PhD, DPSM


Soon after I learned about the BiSL model and applied the basic principals in several of my own consulting engagements, ITSMF USA and the ASL/BiSL Foundation provided me an opportunity to further explore the model.  I was invited to facilitate a series of working sessions that were offered throughout the United States. To date, 14 sessions with over 260 total participants from a wide range of industries, and including professionals from both IT and business roles, have participated in these workshops.


In the working sessions, we spend two hours discussing topics such as:


  • Was there, in the experience of those in the audience, a problem in the relationship between the business and IT?

  • How did the problem manifest itself?

  • Having looked at the BiSL Framework at a high level, was there potential for addressing the problem from a fresh perspective – business information management?

Our discussions revealed some very interesting results:


  • Every group agreed strongly that the business/ IT relationship was indeed in need of repair. Evidence of the dysfunction varied, including the existence of “shadow IT” practices, a lack of an IT “seat at the table” in project development and planning activities, and pressure on IT to do more with fewer resources.

  • Exposure to the Business Information Management Framework ignited visible interest in many of the participants, while a rarer few responded with the sentiment “business information management is a business process, as an IT professional I shouldn’t be bothering with this.”

  • Participants who worked with “business relationship roles” were enthusiastic to see a structure around which their business relationship staff could further define their roles and offer validation for the position – and its importance.

Currently, I continue to invite participation in the discussion.  Key to my intense interest is the result of reviewing Gartner’s 2008 study that suggests that greater than 90% of all business transactions are digital.  I have concluded that BiSL can be viewed as an additional element in the business to IT demand/supply relationship. 


The illustration below depicts the business organization in red, the IT organization in green and organized use of the BiSL framework in blue.


BiSL graphic2.png


The emerging technologies of Big Data and Cloud are putting new demands on the need for an “information system” /”Service delivery model” to replace the traditional transactional IT model of business user to IT application via infrastructure exchange.   As these new technologies entice IT organizations, IT leadership faces the question “how do I leverage these technologies to positively impact business outcomes?”   At the core of the answer is an understanding of the business workflow and the information the business uses, consumes and generates as a result of completing the work.


To consider:  in your recent, or ongoing, conversations with IT organizations how often does “business information” enter into the discussion?   Would you consider raising “business information use/needs” as a means of identifying “requirements” of a technical solution? 


Please send me a comment and share your thoughts so we can continue the conversation.


Find part 1 of this series here.


About Deborah Anthony


Deborah has 20+ years of experience designing, implementing and managing IT organizations, and 15+ years of consulting experience. She has worked across industries including public sector, manufacturing, financial services, retail and telecom.


Her work includes taking two large governmental organizations through enterprise-wide technology-driven changes that resulted in those organizations being acknowledged as “best of class”.  She has also managed key emerging technology beta projects, assisting both HP and our customers to discover the potential impact and value of innovation.


She earned a Ph.D. and MS degrees in the related fields of information management and technology. Additionally, she holds certifications in PMP with Project Management Institute, and ITIL, where she is V3 Expert Certified.





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