Bridging the technical/commercial divide

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Only those directly involved in IT get excited about IT. Everyone else is just looking to conduct their business without disruption.

 

When it comes to service information there are key differences between the needs of the technical deliverers of IT Services and the Board members.  They have been much talked about and debated (see this blog from The Monitoring Guy as a great example explaining the problem) as solutions have been developed to achieve the objectives of both audiences simultaneously.

The task of the buyer looking for a solution is to understand the needs of both audiences within their organisation and to assess potential solutions thoroughly for both.

On a minute by minute basis, technical support personnel need to know the status of all the devices under their control. Any hardware or software issues need to be made known to the appropriate IT support team or individual. Just as important, is prioritization of issues so that resources are assigned based on:

  • The nature of the failure, or
  • The service(s) or number of individuals affected by the outage

These considerations are necessary to ensure that service-affecting issues are addressed ahead of more trivial issues that may be simultaneously flagged up in the environment.

Only by applying such criteria can a service provider endeavour to deliver a quality service.

 

 

On the other hand, at boardroom level, the information requirement is completely different. At Management-level, reports should readily demonstrate that contracted service levels are being met. Such reports should be clear enough to be shared with end-customers. Additionally, rather than the break-fix response to alerts typical of IT support staff, management reports should be constructed in such a way that they can act as:

  • Catalysts for continual service improvement initiatives. By identifying devices with the most recurring issues and taking steps to address these permanently, future performance should improve
  • Levers for IT migration or consolidation projectsDetails of assets in the environment (inventory) can be analysed to identify under and over-utilised resources. This analysis can reveal opportunities, especially in virtualised environments, to relocate virtual machines more evenly across physical servers.
  • ROI evidence of previous IT spend. By looking at the statistics pre and post investment, a clear picture should be apparent of the business benefit of the changes.
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