4.2 Services in a Traditional Business Framework

4.2 Services in a Traditional Business Framework

Services must be structured within the IT organization in order to deliver them in the most efficient and effective manner. Integrated services also exist within a business framework and must support and facilitate vertical, horizontal, and logical business linkages.

The traditional approach to establishing enterprise direction was to create a mission or purpose statement along with supporting strategies. Once these were in place, goals and objectives were defined to accomplish the strategies, and finally tactical/operational plans were developed and executed in accordance with the strategic direction. One of the operational plans that was usually, but not always, created was the IT plan.

Figure 4-1 represents a traditional approach leading to an IT plan that would normally contain the service portfolio to be offered to the enterprise.

Figure 4-1. Traditional business model.

As indicated above, the traditional approach to planning is sequential in nature and generally very stable or almost fixed at the top of the hierarchy, becoming more flexible or responsive to change as the process moves downward. Once this sequence was completed and documented, usually on an annual basis, the product generally occupied a prominent position on bookshelves. Only at year-end was the product of this process usually accessed again. At this time, traditional heroes are identified for bonuses and martyrs designated to assume blame. There may or may not be any linkage, communication, or coordination between the various plans or in their implementation. In many instances each plan represented a departmental silo that only operated in that realm. The services that flowed out of these silos often did not support the enterprise mission or optimize IT resources.

Communicating the enterprise direction was often stymied by bottlenecks at various organizational levels or not communicated at all. In the absence of a clear, coordinated and communicated direction, several "assumed" directions drove the planning and execution of the enterprise's functions. This lack of effective process reduces the ability to focus staff resources appropriately and defuses technology's capability to leverage resources, support targeted growth, and enable innovation. Services delivered are often substantially off target due in part to this "noise" in the communication of the enterprise direction.

The IT plan is generally segregated into two major components: application services and operations services. The elements in each of these components can vary depending on organizational philosophy and enterprise-specific requirements. Interestingly, an element of the ISD coming from operations services will entail providing support for application services.

The traditional approach described above is the most prevalent model in use today. Even when it is used religiously , which is not common, the traditional sequentially oriented framework does not provide for sufficient responsiveness and flexibility to support an effective ISD in the current business environment. The explosively rapidly changing business climate requires a totally new ISD framework.

IT Services Costs, Metrics, Benchmarking and Marketing
IT Services: Costs, Metrics, Benchmarking and Marketing (paperback) (Enterprise Computing Series)
ISBN: 0132621959
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2000
Pages: 93

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