With guest blogger Ian Krieger.
Why business mapping is critical to effective Service Management and how to get started.
In Part 1 we looked at why the cloud can give IT service management team more control – not less. Now let’s look at how to use business mapping to provide control and visability in a world where applications are offered as subscription services, from a multitude of vendors.
Use Business Mapping To Ensure IT Truly Supports the Business
A map looks at the context of complex systems. We’re familiar with technology roadmaps that match short-term and long-term goals with specific technology solutions to help meet those goals, often presented in a diagram. They are designed to help customers (including internal customers) understand the technology, current and future, that is at work in their business. But the technology view is only one part of the puzzle.
In addition to addressing the business’ immediate and projected needs you need to have a larger view of the product/capability that your organisation provides and the market forces that may impact it. The external forces range from market segment growth, competitive situation and your distribution channels through to political, economic and environmental factors – and more. There are also internal forces including the company, customers, suppliers and other constituents. This view is known as a market audit.
A business map takes this to the next level. It starts with identifying the need that the organisation is addressing with its product or service, the evolution of that product/service from an idea through to a marketable product and eventually a commodity.
Business maps arm the technologist, and business professional, with information that can be used to understand the overall business’ direction and what factors influence the various capabilities that underpin the central need of the value chain. This holistic view of the business gives context for recommendations and decisions. Hint: Get it right and there will be less instances of Shadow IT, as you will be able to understand the emerging needs of the business as it relates to its strategy
Here are six questions to help you start the mapping process:
1. Where are we now with the business capabilities, supporting processes and technologies?
2. What is the visibility and value placed on each of these
3. Where do we want or need to go with these? Ultimately the drive is to head toward commodity, however, that isn’t always the right answer as there are sometimes constraints
4. How do we get to where we want or need to be?
5. As the organisation moves from new and novel to commodity, what are your options for sourcing and delivering?
6. How will we know that we are on track?
If you’d like to know more about business mapping read my blog.
Transparency across multiple vendors
IDC predicts more than 65 percent of enterprise IT organisations globally will commit to hybrid cloud technologies before 2016. This hybrid environment encompasses everything from applications, to platforms to business services, providing the services the business needs dynamically.
So once you’ve mapped your organisation and selected your solutions how do you track and manage service delivery across multiple delivery modes and suppliers? How do you let the business know what is available to it? And how do you encourage the innovation through the adoption of new services?
Integrating the disparate IT and business systems and providing a clear view of what services are available to the business based on Persona allows everyone to know what is available. Most importantly this provides a way of tracking and measuring the services, both individually and holistically as they underpin key business capabilities.
As an Enterprise Solution provider we face this problem ourselves in deliver services to both our internal and external clients. To solve this we created VantagePointSM. This is designed to be a multi-sourced business services automation and aggregation platform. It consolidates disparate enterprise systems into a unified, real-time and personalised stream of intelligence, delivered via a dashboard on laptops, tablets and smartphones. This visibility and control that this offers, allows us and our clients to reduce the effort in maintaining and managing services.
So there’s no need to fear the cloud. Recognise it for what it is – a different way of delivering services that can actually give you more control, not less, provided you take the effort to jump into the driver’s seat and use your map.
Ian Krieger is the Chief Architect for Unisys Asia Pacific & Japan. He has worked in the IT industry for more than 20 years. He has helped organisations throughout the region understand how to best use services and technology to support their business’ goals and strategies. Ian is a technologist who prefers to look at the practical applications of technology as opposed to the “shiny”.