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The Business of IT

The Business of IT

Richard Laroque

Richard LaRocque, ing. ITIL V3 Expert

IT Service Management Lead

The Business of IT

In my two previous posts, I talked about Service Based Costing and how it fit into the IT organization.   I touched upon the fact that, to succeed with Service Based Costing, IT should almost be considered an independent business within the organization it serves. This, of course, begs the question: what is the business of IT?  It’s a simple question to ask but a complex one to answer.

Some see IT as responsible for developing applications and systems; others believe IT maintains and manages infrastructure; yet others see IT as in charge of PC support.  There are many other variations and permutations of these answers and all, while being true, miss the mark.  Reducing IT’s work to provisioning technologies is an oversimplification: technology is not an end, it’s a means to an end.  The business of IT is to fulfill the information processing needs of its clients; and fulfilling these needs can only be achieved through provision of an end-to-end service.

IT’s clients expect more than applications or devices for their money, they want to liberate themselves of information processing responsibilities so that they can concentrate on their true mandate.   IT has been slow to understand this; it spends very little time discussing clients’ business and a lot of time talking technology.  The end result being that IT has forced the business to use “technical speak”, requesting specific technologies as opposed to stating business requirements: and so the drill got bigger and more complicated even though the holes needed have remained much the same.

Best practices such as ITIL have tried to change this but are often misunderstood or incorrectly implemented.  Before embarking on any IT Service Management journey, including Service Based Costing, IT needs to agree that it’s in the business of providing information processing services to its clients because that is the business of IT.

Once that’s settled, the next step is to establish the means to effectively and efficiently manage these services.  In the next post, I’ll discuss why I believe ITSM, and the best practices / standards that describe it, is still relevant for that purpose.

Cordialement / Kind regards,

Richard.