IT As Enabler
Delivering an IT service to a business is difficult. It needs to support and enable the success of the business. In my experience, every IT department wants to provide the best service it possibly can. There are a huge number of moving parts to the IT infrastructure of a company, with a great many complex interactions. These typically happen between teams that manage specific sections of this infrastructure.
For IT to help business succeed there are some key steps that can and should be taken. Firstly mapping business functions to IT components and identifying critical paths for application data and networking. This will clarify what goes where and identify the location of any weaknesses. This will also help should there be a need for remedial action as it allows for swift and economical targeting. It will help with capacity planning and for management information, reporting data based on actual facts rather than hearsay or ‘wetted fingers’.
Using comprehensive tools that monitor infrastructure, applications and capture packets will give the IT teams visibility and control of their systems. It will also give them the ability to pull disparate data from separate monitoring components. With this in place the IT department will be able to predict where problems may arise, spot unusual activity and be able to pinpoint and fix problems the moment they occur rather than using resources on time consuming forensic IT analysis after the fact. With less downtime and quicker response times the business, end users and the IT department all win.
IT and business must communicate. This cannot be stressed in enough. A clear and consistent two-way line of communication from board level down is essential. When business strategies, tactics and targets are defined everyone, including IT, should be comfortable that they are achievable, planned out and have a clear timeline.