Let There Be Light: Bringing IT Visibility Back

All across the company, various business teams are adopting analytics to optimize processes, increase revenue, and quantify business results — with the exception of one. Ironically, this organization stands to benefit from analytics as much as any of the others, if not more so. IT, I’m looking at you.

Never has it been more important for IT organizations to increase visibility of the environment to first, improve service levels, and second, validate its own existence. About 20 years ago, everything was managed by the internal IT organization, and employees couldn’t get so much as an email account unless they went through IT. But as you know, it’s a completely different story today. Email is just the tip of the iceberg; cloud service providers are offering deeper and deeper services that have traditionally been delivered and managed by IT.

Meeting Demand from Other Business Teams

Meanwhile, technology has become a core business enabler independent of IT. The pressure is on the IT organization to deliver more services faster and more reliably. If IT doesn’t meet the business’s needs, users take their business elsewhere. It’s critical, therefore, that IT optimize operations to meet business requirements and show accountability. Analytics provide the insight that enables you to do both.

Here’s an example: Say you’re the owner of the CRM system. You report to IT but have a dotted line to the VP of Sales, who has been complaining about the length of time it takes for changes to be made to the system. She’s been asking for pricing changes, new integrations, mobile access, and so on. Your job is on the line unless you make something happen.

The first thing I would do is analyze my team’s historical performance. If it turns out we’ve been doing a great job, I’d hand the report to the VP of Sales and say, “Look, I’ve got three people and in the last two years we’ve delivered hundreds of improvements and tons of new releases to you and your team.” To begin, I would give her visibility into how productive and invaluable my team has been.

But what if my analysis shows that the complaints are justified? Every change we make causes problems; we say we will deliver in three months but it takes us six months. If that’s the case, I need to analyze why this is happening and determine the root cause. Are we ignoring requests from sales? Are the problems related to the complexity of our systems? Is our vendor unresponsive? I’d find out what is happening and what I need to do to fix it. The overarching themes here are accountability, visibility, and improvement.

Driving IT Visibility with Analytics

A report from strategy&, a division of pwc, describes using IT analytics to deliver more projects on time and on budget. The report explains that IT organizations have the data they need to make significant improvements in how they deliver projects. I’d say the same for IT service delivery. You have all the data you need, and analytics applications like Numerify make it easy to analyze that data — providing deep visibility both for you and for the business, visibility that proves the value of IT.

[Photo courtesy of Pexels.]

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