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Effective IT Management (Ovum IT Management and Strategy Report)

Effective-IT-Management-Dec10-Management-SummaryOptimizing resources in a changing environment

December 2010

Catalyst

IT management needs to ensure that it is in a position to help the organization benefit from the opportunities that present themselves in an ever-changing environment, creating a flexible IT function that can exploit existing and emerging technologies to best advantage.

Key Findings:

  • IT management should focus on strategic competencies.
  • Business understanding is the catalyst for achieving IT management effectiveness.
  • IT strategy creation and execution is not an isolated exercise.
  • Getting the most from IT investment is more about communication.
  • IT organizations cannot continue to ignore the need for better IT financial management.
  • Organizations need to create a flexible IT function that enables the delivery of services that meet the objectives of the enterprise.
  • The CIO should provide leadership despite the challenges presented by a federal IT organization.
  • Outsourcing relationships must be managed over their lifecycle.
  • Organizations that manage software licensing poorly can incur significant risk and costs.
  • The SaaS model is gaining traction as a delivery method for IT management software.

Ovum view

IT management must focus on activities and solutions that facilitate flexibility and increased business service availability, such as service-management activity, portfolio-management tools and techniques, and the effective management of the wider environment. While the economic climate remains difficult, IT management should not focus purely on short-term survival strategies, but must also plan for longerterm investment opportunities, and be prepared to meet the demands and requirements of the business in the development of new products and services.

Enterprises should put in place solutions to improve visibility and enable the use of business-based metrics. Alongside this, an architectural approach is advocated to bring some structure to the complex IT environment and help to integrate IT with the major decision-making processes. Once the measurement and understanding are in place then IT leadership needs to have a strategy ready for optimizing not only IT but also business operations. From a vendor perspective, it is important not to lose sight of the need for enterprises to improve customer satisfaction, as well as providing innovative ways of delivering and paying for services.

When considering the opportunities for improving the effectiveness of IT management, it is important to appreciate that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. Organizations will need to be selective and initially opt for initiatives that will achieve the best results in the shortest time period. However, real improvement can only be gained through a systematic and holistic approach, enhancing IT processes and management in order to ensure that the best value is being achieved from the organization’s IT investments. Managing IT embraces the entire organizational environment and is therefore difficult to condense into a simple action plan. For IT management there remains the continual balancing act between cost, quality, and risk.

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