IT Systems exist to make business processes more efficient. In order for this to happen, the IT department needs to have goals that are based on business objectives. These business objectives come to realization through business processes which ultimately help fulfill the organization’s mission. The scope of the IT department head can look something like the figure below.
Perspective is everything. You can’t run an IT department that is proactive and is truly contributing to the organization if you don’t know what the organization expects from the IT function. This means that it is necessary for the organization to document processes and objectives in order for IT to align their strategy to meet these objectives by making processes as efficient as possible. The figure below shows a simplified example of two major processes that depend on IT systems. The IT systems are represented by conveyor belts and gears and the business processes are represented in the arrows.
This view of how systems affect business processes changes many things:
- How IT prioritizes maintenance, upgrades and service contracts
- How IT reports to Senior Management
- How IT assigns risk to systems (now based on the impact of business processes)
- Skillsets of internal and external resources that support IT systems
Now imagine if IT just has information about systems and nothing on how they affect business processes. How will reporting look? Maybe you will see monthly reports on tickets created, systems upgraded, patches applied and system downtime. You will also hear how IT is very busy and can’t get to that SharePoint project. These things matter, but they don’t convey risk and performance in a way that non-IT Executives would care to understand.
Once there is an IT strategy that is aligned to meet business objectives, your IT function will calibrate and grease the gears according to your business process requirements. Having this view of IT is the catalyst to moving your IT function from reactive to proactive. There are many things to do after you change your perspective of IT so feel free to visit http://prometheusconsultingllc.com or Contact Us to take the next step.