The Fractional CIO and ITSM: Keeping the balls in the air

Mike Alley, Director of IT Service Management for Logicalis US, looks at the role IT Service Management (ITSM) solutions can play in helping CIOs to maintain control of increasingly complex enterprise IT environments, which must deliver value across the full range of business functions.

ITSM - IT Service Management

As Chris Gabriel recently pointed out in the blog 'Are you a Fractional CIO?' the role of the CIO is changing fast.  CIOs today must ensure IT delivers value according to the needs of a wide range of very different business units, and by "tens, hundreds, and as we move to a world where every user experience counts, possibly thousands of IT services".

That is no small task, especially as enterprise information technology remains complex and difficult to manage - despite the clear advantages offered by automation and the cloud.  As a result CIOs taking on increasingly 'fractional' roles need a single, immediate view of how every device in their IT environment is functioning. They, and their IT teams, must have visibility and control throughout any cloud environment their organisation is employing, and the ability to connect agreed upon service-level agreements (SLAs) from key outsourcing partners to actual service delivery.

Make no mistake, this level of visibility and effective governance of IT processes is not a luxury. It is becoming an absolute necessity. It is what makes automation and cloud computing a science, rather than a free-for-all, ensuring that the efficiencies gained through these technological improvements are not replaced by chaos, disorder and a complete loss of visibility in the data centre.

The good news is, if you are struggling to manage this myriad of interrelated products and services, IT Service Management (ITSM) may be the answer. ITSM is the mortar that holds together the individual components of the new IT delivery model - but it is not right for everyone.

The question then, is whether it is right for you. To find out, take a look at the 10-point checklist below:

  1. Are your fellow Board members concerned about compliance?
  2. Is an existing ITSM solution holding the company back with limited capabilities, features and services?
  3. Would it be helpful to automate the ability to operate under ITIL, COBIT or BS5750?
  4. Is your IT team in constant fire-fighting mode?
  5. Do you want the company’s help desk to run like a well-oiled machine?
  6. Does your IT department need to make integrating acquired companies easier?
  7. Would you like to get ahead of the organisation’s IT spending?
  8. Would automating the organisation’s run book improve response time and resolution accuracy while saving valuable human time and expense?
  9. Would you like your IT department to spend less time chasing down and compiling IT expenses and more time on IT analysis?
  10. Do you want to more closely align IT spending with business need, rather than technical requirements?

ITSM may not be for everyone but, for 'fractional CIOs' and IT teams operating in ever more complex and demanding times, it can deliver clear benefits. Indeed, if you answered '"yes" to two or more points, you'd be well advised to take a closer look.

Tags Managed Services, ITSM, Business Strategy