Third Sky Expert:
John Worthington, Director of Consulting, Third Sky
When performing a TIPA assessment I often get inputs from stakeholders that indicate an IT operation that is out of balance. These wild swings from one extreme to the other can spell real trouble for an IT operations department, as ITIL suggests.
But maintaining balance in IT operations is not something IT can do on its own; it takes the business too. It is not uncommon for operational imbalances to be driven by an ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ mentality, and this kind of dysfunction is often the root of the problem.
The IT Operation is Toast
This may be the most common, since ultimately the business controls the money and the strategic agenda. In this scenario the IT organization is held to levels of IT service performance with absolutely no regard to how it is achieved. It’s where you see good IT people who cannot consistently deliver, and acts of heroism by IT staff who regularly go above and beyond the call of duty.
The focus is on IT cost reduction with little ability to tie activities to the delivery of services, resulting in IT being forced to cut corners on quality (which leads to more heroics).
The Business is Toast
In this scenario, the IT organization is king. Nothing happens unless stability can be guaranteed, even if the multitude of SLAs and OLAs in place has virtually no alignment to business requirements.
Performance is maintained through strict demand management and spending money on preventing capacity bottlenecks even when they are unlikely to happen. Changes are requested to fix items that are not broken, and IT costs are spiraling out of control.
You’re Both Toast
What customers should remember is that at either extreme, at the end of the day they are both going to be toast. Organizations simply cannot sustain prolong periods of imbalance and succeed.
Unfortunately, actions to ‘get things back into balance’ are often taken to extremes as well. It is these wild swings --- in either direction --- that ITIL talks about.
It is not about ‘Us’ and ‘Them’, it’s about WE.
Stay out of the toaster.