Thank you for Subscribing to CIO Applications Weekly Brief
ITSM - The Most Important Acronym in the IT Organization
Mark Szkudlarek, Vice President Information Technology, Novelis
Typically, most organizations have the Runwell defined, using a framework like Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) to define the “How”. There is a common understanding of Incidents, Service Requests, Problems, Changes, Service Catalog, and a Configuration Management Database (CMDB).
IT can Design and Deliver solutions, sometimes with the help of a partner or with the team around us. The “How” is defined by a project methodology. You might leverage a partner’s methodology or develop one specific to your organization. It may support Agile, Waterfall, or both to deliver solutions. Each has pros and cons based on the type of development, the solution, and the speed to market required.
A common pitfall is the handoff from the Project Team to Operations. If you hear comments like thrown over the fence, the Operations team was surprised or identify key items were missed, but only discovered after go live…you may have a problem. For the last decade, I have had an Architecture Review Board (ARB) to define IT standards and conduct design reviews. This was an opportunity for the architects to present their designs to a group of peers across IT. The group consisted of architects, application, database, hosting, network, security, end-user compute, and operations people. If you are a global company, the team needs to be global. This allows us to get as many eyes on the design, ask questions to validate key components, and challenge (in a positive way)to ensure we have the best design based on the IT standards before the build process begins.
The secret to ITSM is how to optimize the individual parts while ensuring they work well together
Fast forward to Manage the Lifecycle; this part is often forgotten, but I find myself spending more and more time here. Ensure you think about the solutions critical to the business that require attention: the 20-year-old ERP where the employees who support it and know the business processes are retiring in the next few years, the server or solution no longer supported by the vendor, self-service tools developed by the department but not formally supported by IT or the shop floor where you will find the most vulnerable systems.
The secret to ITSM is how to optimize the individual parts while ensuring they work well together. It’s an end-toend process that needs to be aligned across the organization, well-understood by IT employees and partners, but also by the business. Communication is a key ingredient to the success of ITSM. IT Leaders must speak the same language, share key messages, support and demonstrate they understand the process. I was fortunate early in my career to work in consulting and then at a very large global company which showed me how things can work and at scale. When you have seen it work and realized the benefits, it is much easier to know what you are building. As you introduce change, recognize most people will not have seen it before or understand the benefits.
Because of this challenge, the “Why” is more important than the “What”. If you really want to transform the organization, everyone needs to understand the Why, the reason they need to change. One approach is to solicit feedback from the people who work in the organization. It is important to understand what is working and leverage that as a strength, identify what should be stopped and stop it, and also identify what should start to understand what should be changed. Once you identify the Why, then ITSM can begin transforming the organization.