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Three ways to use IT operations management to empower business innovation

Mon 16 May 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

By Oliver Descoeudres, Marketing Director, Logicalis AU

According to a recent survey that polled more than 400 CIOs and IT directors in 24 countries, businesses today are at a tipping point when it comes to the transformation of their IT departments. The role of IT in the enterprise is rapidly changing from technology provider to services broker, and with those changes come expectations from both the C-suite and the organisation's technology users for a better, faster, more streamlined route to the IT services they need to do their jobs effectively. The fast pace of these changes has left many CIOs sidelined or, at the least, leading IT departments that are still seen as cost centres within their organisations rather than business partners driving value. To change this, CIOs need a roadmap that will help them better meet the business needs of their organisations, and the next-generation of IT service management (ITSM) -- IT operations management (ITOM) -- may be the answer.

To help CIOs explore how next-generation ITOM can help them reach their IT nirvana, here is a three-step process: Get aware, get smart, and get automated.

  1. Get Aware: Buried as it is, deep within the ITIL v3 lifecycle of ITSM best practices, IT operations management can seem like a safe haven for technologists where they can immerse themselves in the familiar details of servers, networks and storage. For those who want to participate as strategic players within their organisations, however, the key to IT operations management is not drilling down into the details of the infrastructure, but becoming aware of operations management in the context of how their organisation uses technology to accomplish its business goals and objectives. To "get aware," CIOs must start by closely aligning business needs with specific IT services in their configuration management database (CMDB).  
  2. Get Smart: IT teams often hit a bumpy stretch in their rollout of ITOM processes when they first implement an incident monitoring system in their IT environment. At this point, they are aware enough of the importance of a steady state in IT to support business agility, and they know they need to implement some level of ITOM to accomplish that level of stability, but they haven't yet learned how to cope with the sheer volume of alerts they are about to confront. Turning on the new monitoring system, as a result, can be a real eye-opening moment as screens fill with an outpouring of thousands of alerts. There are an almost uncountable number of events occurring hourly in a typical IT environment today. Becoming aware of them all with a monitoring system is only the first step. Knowing how to respond to them all is the ultimate goal... and that's where the event management process is critical. To "get smart," CIOs must employ event management and analytics to better understand and enhance IT operations.  
  3. Get Automated: The challenge many businesses have today is that most of the intelligence in terms of how they manage IT operations exists in somebody's head. If anything happens to that somebody, that intelligence is lost. A service-defined enterprise can use ITOM automation as a way to capture the collective intelligence of an IT team and put it in an appropriate tool where it can be applied consistently in a repeatable fashion. So, to "get automated," CIOs must use their new-found awareness, event management and analytics capabilities to effectively automate responses to incidents, requests and provisioning. Automation is also key to building a software-defined data center in which all of the components -- network, compute, storage -- are virtualised and controllable from a single unified interface. By creating a management layer that spans all data center resources, IT departments can more quickly and easily define, develop and deploy services in response to an organisation's rapidly changing business needs, the final step before becoming a truly service-defined enterprise.

By Oliver Descoeudres, Marketing Director, Logicalis AU  

About Logicalis

Logicalis is an international IT solutions and managed services provider with a breadth of knowledge and expertise in communications and collaboration; data center and cloud services; and managed services.

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