IT Silos and the Need for Enterprise Architecture
If we consider IT as a stand-alone business unit, these same principles apply. The business of IT from service requests through design and provisioning into operations and ultimately service retirement must be architected from an application, infrastructure and data perspective so that the IT business objectives can be met. IT Management applications (most commonly referred to as tools) are the backbone of the IT service provider business and provide functionality to fulfill ITs own demand, supply and support chains, which are comprised as follows:
- Demand Chain
- Service Request Fulfillment
- Service and Project Portfolio Management
- Capacity Planning
- Supply Chain
- Change Management
- Asset & Configuration Management
- Source Control
- Supplier Contract Management
- Service Catalog Management
- Release & Deployment
- Infrastructure Provisioning
- Incident/Problem Tracking
- Monitoring and Event Management
- Compliance Management
- Backup & Restoration
- Job Scheduling
- Functional & Performance Validation
- Identity Management
- Service Reporting.
The Bottom Line
While there may always remain a need for point solutions due to the specificity of technology and the depth of management a given IT tool can provide, the determination for tool use should be the result of an architectural analysis and decision to apply the right solution to the intended functionality. The holistic management of the business of IT must take into consideration the ability to provide an across the board view of the IT demand, supply and support chains.
Applying an enterprise architecture strategy to the business of IT will enable internal IT organizations to:
- Prioritize projects
- Manage internal and external resources
- Align services to business needs
- Assess and manage risk
- Minimize business disruption
- Manage and report on service levels.
Equally important is that architectural decisions, once made, must be adequately supported. Assuring that the resources and skill sets are in place to build or customize and support the IT management tool implementation will go a long way to assuring the success of the architecture strategy for IT management.
Valerie Arraj is principal and managing partner for Compliance Process Partners, an IT compliance focused consulting and training company that uses service management and control objectives to help organizations lay the groundwork for compliance to regulatory and governance guidelines.