Friday, February 27, 2009

4 Steps to IT Alignment

Check out Hank Marquis' presentation, 4 Steps to IT Alignment, on managing IT operations based on business value to help address four of the perennial top 10 IT management goals:
  1. Aligning with the business
  2. Controlling costs
  3. Improving quality
  4. Balancing resource allocation
Business Services Management (BSM) is a term used to focus IT Service Management (ITSM) initiatives on business value. "BSM is a mindset not a product set" according to Peter Armstrong, BMC, the man who is attributed to inventing the term. I like the term BSM because of its business orientation, which is a key aspect of the approach outlined in this presentation.

Hank's recommended approach is:
  1. Define the customer facing services with the customer, in customer terms, the supporting resource facing services, and understand the business case for each service (Hank refers to the SID/eTOM model)
  2. Get the customer to value and prioritise the (customer facing) services in terms of risk to the business, taking into account confidentiality, integrity and availability (refers to CRAMM)
  3. Measure service quality starting with the most important service (refers to SERVQUAL)
  4. Justify projects in terms the business understand and follow best practice.
Keep in mind the term "IT alignment" in this presentation is about aligning IT services with business needs. This presentation is not about aligning IT strategy with business strategy or about aligning the portfolio of IT-enabled investments with business and IT goals and the business's role in this, so this approach alone is not sufficient to achieve alignment of the whole IT portfolio, but it is a good approach for getting your ITSM initiatives in tune with the business.

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