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It goes without saying that we strive to be successful, both personally and professionally. When it comes to the latter, how can you be sure that the decisions you’re making are leading your business down the path of financial success?
The answer can be found in how you’re evaluating the decisions you’re making and ultimately adjusting to those results.
Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) found a direct link to the number of metrics in play and businesses and organizations who saw themselves as ‘more successful’ in optimizing IT for financial value.
The top three priorities were:
- IT CapEx costs
- The cost of delivering IT services internally
- IT OpEx efficiencies
When asked about the main challenges and hoped-for benefits of optimizing IT for financial performance, the number one answer to each respective question on the EMA survey was improved operational efficiencies.
So what’s the recipe for success? EMA’s data suggests groups can become more successful by focusing their efforts on the following areas:
- IT Budget – 38 percent of successful organizations had an IT budget that grew more than 50 percent
- Organizational values – Single coordination across silos, IT executive suite leading the way, CEO-level involvement
- Discovery – More discovery/inventory tools overall, real-time updating, devote more time to reconciling data discrepancies
- Service modeling – CMDB or a CMS deployed and ADDM capability deployed
- Automation – More automation technologies deployed
- Service catalog/app store – Least successful organizations don’t offer these option
- Audit – Those who spent more time preparing for audits felt they were prepared for security-related vulnerabilities
- Business technologies and analytics – Analytics for IT impacts on business outcomes, analytics in support of partner-related business process optimization, workflow automation for processes for linking business and IT stakeholders, and IT governance targeting
- Metrics – Most successful organizations have at least five metrics in place, versus two for the least successful
- Challenges – Tackle challenges such as lack of IT-to-business stakeholder dialog, fragmented technologies, sharing data effectively across IT silos, associating cost data with other parameters
EMA suggests using this data to develop a personalized plan for your organization. See how LANDESK can help you tackle some of these challenges and achieve greater value in your IT.
The mobile revolution has changed the way many workers perform their jobs. A smartphone or tablet can provide many of the tasks once exclusively limited to a desktop. This has created an even greater remote workforce, able to interact with customers and co-workers from anywhere. This concept isn’t lost on IT organizations, who are adapting to serve this mobile revolution.
According to a recent survey conducted by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), 40 percent of respondents said their ITSM operation supported a mix of desktop and mobile devices. Respondents indicated that the top challenge for mobile endpoint lifecycle management was understanding all endpoint costs on a per-owner basis for mobile and non-mobile.
Another sticking point was data, which EMA found is a key metric of optimizing IT for financial performance. Data is a broad term. EMA reveals that successful organizations are able to sort the ‘good’ data from the ‘bad’ in order to make more valued decisions.
The survey showed that workers spend, on average, about 10 hours a week resolving data accuracy issues. Those who considered themselves ‘extremely successful’ in optimizing IT for financial performance spent as much as 25 hours per week reconciling data from different sources. According to EMA, this shows that data management is critical, but there is serious room for improvement due to a lack of tools to help organizations achieve this.
Businesses are also finding savings in Green IT where desktop power consumption, VDI power efficiencies, and data center power consumption were the top three priorities. IoT trends followed suit, with many organization’s ITAM operations dedicated to lowering utility and power costs, followed by building and facilities costs.
As for future investments, those who responded to the EMA survey said their organization was eying the following financial optimization initiatives in the next year:
1. Workflow/automation for processes linking IT and business
2. IT financial planning analytics
3. Executive dashboards for sharing information with IT
4. IT governance analytics targeting ITSM efficiencies
5. Executive dashboards/reporting between IT and business stakeholders
EMA points that these results show many organizations are looking to the above solutions to unify IT and use that information to influence business-related decisions.
See how LANDESK can help maximize the value of your IT and save money with award-winning solutions and products.
Running IT as a business isn’t just a catchphrase; it’s now an important requirement for corporations and organizations trying to remain competitive and profitable.
But what does “running IT as a business” really mean?
That’s a gray area according to Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), who state that traditionally defined markets will isolate where IT needs to invest in order to increase value and minimize cost.
However, the industry struggles to define the cultural drivers surrounding IT’s move to more effectively align with business needs.
In an effort to shed some knowledge on this situation, EMA launched an investigation into the finer points of optimizing IT for financial performance. They surveyed 250 IT and non-IT stakeholders in North America and Europe, working in enterprises and organizations with more than 250 employees. It’s important to mention that a majority of the respondents (35 percent) were IT managers, and that 37 percent were at the director level or above.
Here are some of the interesting trends EMA discovered:
- Non-business IT stakeholders were twice as likely as IT execs and IT professionals to prioritize improved IT-to-business alignment.
- IT budgets are growing at a rate of more than 10 percent, with the average response reflecting a budget of more than $10 million annually.
- The survey revealed that the top four internal organizations leading the drive to optimizing IT for financial performance were: IT executives, IT operations, ITSM, and ITAM. Surprisingly, only two percent responded that no one single group was leading the initiative in this area.
- There’s a strong link between having a single coordinating organization across all silos of IT and success in optimizing IT for cost and value.
- There was little separation when it came to defining what companies defined as their top IT financial priority. According to the survey, 16 percent said optimizing IT process efficiencies was their top priority, versus 14 percent who indicated that improving overall IT-to-business alignment was their primary focus. 10 percent pointed to preparing for audits as their top priority.
As per audits, results showed that organizations spend on average 30 hours consolidating asset inventory data and an additional 30 hours collecting asset entitlement data for a major audit. That’s significant considering the options available for tracking and inventory of software assets.
Another surprising observation is how companies are managing the assets they already have. EMA’s survey revealed that 35 percent of respondents were doing weekly discovery or inventory, with just 21 percent performing the same actions in real time. They’re also using a wide range of solutions to perform that task, with the average answer indicating that anywhere from 12-19 different tools were used across an organization to discover assets.
EMA discovered that in addition to workflow automation and IT process automation, more companies are incorporating analytics-driven automation to support financial optimization. That change shows that more companies are taking notice of the role IT plays in driving financial optimization.
Cloud-based solutions are on the radar of many organizations. EMA found that 35 percent of those polled viewed cloud as integrated overall with their broader approach for optimizing IT. According to respondents, cloud’s biggest challenges were security-related, with many saying security compliance for audits was their top concern while optimizing cloud processes for value and cost ranked more towards the bottom. One thing is for sure, cloud-related spending is growing at a 10 percent rate annually, with the average organization devoting 30 percent of their IT budget to support cloud services, according to the survey.
Are you spending to invest in the future of your IT, or are you dedicating your budget to just fighting fires? Let LANDESK show you how you can solve the biggest problems facing your IT, while helping your organization prepare for the future.
As we approach another new year, some may already be thinking about resolutions for 2017.
Here’s a suggestion: Stop talking about your company in monolithic, size-focused terms such as “SMB” (“small to mid-sized business”) or “large enterprise.”
In all but the smallest companies, there is rarely if ever a situation where one size fits all. Why? Because in most enterprises (regardless of size) multiple initiatives and efforts are underway simultaneously. And while your business may be deeply experienced in some areas, some of those initiatives likely involve areas of focus at which you and your colleagues are novices.
IT presents several immediate and obvious examples. Your company may be expert in its primary business or businesses. But unless one or more of those is, in fact, IT, it’s unlikely that your company is as good at IT as it is at whatever it does best.
With this in mind, it may be more valuable and relevant to think less about companies in terms of “small” and “large”, and more about companies in terms of “start-up” and “scale-up” of specific initiatives. Or about processes that are more mature and less mature. Or environments or situations that are more complex or less complex.
Why words matter
This may seem at first like a pointless exercise in rhetorical hair-splitting. However, it turns out that how you frame discussions can have important effects on how those discussions play out and the results they produce.
Or, to be a bit more succinct, word choice matters.
Especially when you’re considering or pursuing initiatives important to your business.
Depending on the words you use to describe it, an initiative to, say, improve IT security or asset management may come across as a daunting, boil-the-ocean exercise, or as a worthy enhancement to the processes that run the business. And since every significant initiative involves engaging the support of others, how you present the initiative can have a major effect on its probability of success.
The challenge of word choice is equally significant regardless of the size of your enterprise. There are lots of smaller companies that face IT and other challenges as complex as those faced by larger organizations. And not every challenge faced by a larger enterprise is necessarily more complex than those faced by their smaller counterparts.
Another challenge: making sure the words used to assess challenges and plan solutions are based on accurate, credible information wherever possible. This means that in many cases, a central, well-managed repository of relevant information, stored and organized with an agreed-upon taxonomy, is the best foundation for communications based on or related to that information.
LANDESK has both the solutions and the thought leaders to help you use the right words to pursue your IT initiatives successfully, and to back those words up with the best available information about your environment.
Are you considering or pursuing an IT asset management (ITAM) initiative? You can read about how different people view assets differently, as well as what should be in your ITAM database, in this excellent blog post by ITAM Evangelist Patricia Adams: What is IT Asset Management?
You might also want to check out Patricia’s on-demand webinar in which she introduces her ITAM Attainment Model. There is also the very useful Info-Tech ITAM Report in which LANDESK was named a “Champion” vendor.
- Risk management
How about risk management? Read Effective Risk Management Without Boiling the Ocean, another great post by our CSO, Phil Richards. In it, Phil discusses why a risk register aids risk and security management initiatives, and suggests some of the words that can help avoid boiling the risk management ocean.
- Service management
Service management, within and even beyond IT? Got you covered there, too. LANDESK Service Desk combines social, mobile, and self-service support with data connectors and multiple integrations with other tools and data. Its ability to deliver a federated view of your configuration management database (CMDB) and other features are why Garter named LANDESK a “Visionary” in its 2015 IT Service Management and Support report.
Of course, we have other resources and solutions to help you succeed with initiatives in these and other areas as well. Check them out online, or contact your LANDESK, AppSense, Shavlik, or Wavelink representative to learn more.
Let LANDESK help you make 2017 the year in which your organization increases the maturity of its IT initiatives and processes, to the benefit of the entire business.
Slow and steady wins the race. That’s the underlying message in Aesop’s fable of The Tortoise and the Hare. While the hare’s speed put him at a great advantage over his shell-sporting competitor, the tortoise’s steadfast focus on the task ultimately won him the race.
Imagine if your IT organization combined the hare’s speed with the tortoise’s drive and determination.
Agility versus stability is a paradox for service management teams who are more versed with the command and control environment. Concentrating on internal operations at the expense of an innovative, user-centered approach is when failure occurs.
Why organizations fail to support agility
Reasons why organizations fail to support agility include complex processes, functional silos that don’t communicate effectively, a lack of alignment with the needs of business users to maintain productivity, and the inability to understand and take advantage of new trends quickly. Business units become frustrated that their internal IT team is slow to respond and is not error free.
While business units don’t want to run their own IT, they believe they don’t have a choice.
Meanwhile, service management teams express frustration that users search out and purchase their own tools, which they still expect to be supported corporately.
To keep pace, service management teams must develop an “outside-in” approach that helps the business identify and understand signs of change and turn these into actionable goals.
The modern ITSM organization has become one of the most critical departments in the business, but it’s time it took a more active role. IT can lead out in identifying and applying value creation activities, process improvements, digitization, and service automation opportunities to enable greater effectiveness across IT and into the business, including finance, HR, procurement and supply chains, and facilities.
ITSM manages most of the services that run an enterprise and is already focused on building consistent, repeatable processes that reduce time to action and improve productivity. Initiatives that prove impactful within ITSM can be incorporated into the delivery and management of business services beyond the realms of IT. Service management teams become a consultative role model for the enterprise. An integrated, process-driven ITSM system becomes an effective enabler of enterprise agility. Many departments beyond IT are benefiting from this approach already.
Your ITSM organization may have everything needed to run at full speed and address a wide-range of problems, but a few missed steps could render all that preparation useless, leaving you crawling at a fraction of the pace.
To get started, you must understand what will make a difference to your business. The greater your understanding, the swifter and more preemptive your responses and actions will be to support the required agility to reconfigure your platform, fine-tune and automate processes, and measure business impact.
Understand your business and the users you serve
Know industry and compliance regulations. Understand who the ultimate customer of your business is (not IT), how the organization is solving its challenges, and how IT could help do it more effectively.
This isn’t necessarily the wholesale creation of a new market but potentially the recombination of services and technology in a different workflow—such as what Uber did with its transportation model.
As you understand your business more clearly, you’ll begin to better comprehend the changing needs of your users, how they prefer to communicate with your team, or when there are busy and quiet periods in the working year.
Understanding the seasonality of an industry helps avoid the risks, incidents, and instability due to changes. You’ll create stronger relationships as you offer the tools and services users need to do their job more productively.
Offer exceptional experiences to your business users
As you cement your relationships with your business users and learn the services they require, you can gain a more coherent view of how your users want to access services and support. This will help you craft the optimal experience to match your business users’ expectations.
Like any enterprise that creates a service or product for the consumer world, you can have the most compelling offering, but it will fail if it isn’t distributed correctly through the right channels, if it can’t be easily accessed, or if users don’t know it’s available. Adopt the same operating principles when creating your multi-channel interaction experiences to make your users their most productive.
This will help you speed up all of your responses while optimizing your cost management. You’ll
be able to shift resources to react faster to changes in your enterprise’s operating environment. Enterprise agility is pervasive. Every department, not just IT, must be involved for the business to be more agile.
Through stronger relationships, better user understanding, and collaboration with other departments, you’ll be positioned to offer consultative advice to HR teams, facilities teams, sales and marketing teams, and others.
You won’t just advise on needed services, but also on how they can optimize their workflows through automation. Instead of being the tail end of an activity faced with supporting a Shadow IT service that increases pressure and reduces your ability to support business agility, you can craft and automate the workflows with other departments and suggest new services as you go.
Understand business value creation and demonstrate how you support it
Through better relationships, you’ll begin to understand the objectives and priorities of different business managers within the organization. Your effectiveness at tying IT performance, measurement, and reporting to business outcomes will improve. You’ll add value by revealing insights that better support, enable, and impact the enterprise.
Enterprise agility requires a single, consolidated view that anyone can access easily to spot trends, highlight areas to drive improvement, and communicate them so the enterprise can take action ahead of its competitors.
A diverse IT service management operation is fast, friendly, and connects with users in the best possible format for addressing their needs.
LANDESK can help you achieve this within your own ITSM organization, saving you time, money and boosting your productivity.
LANDESK ITSM tools, processes, and interfaces help you deliver services and support today with the ability to respond to future needs. Let LANDESK serve as your expert guide on your journey to IT modernization.
LANDESK solutions for ITSM, including LANDESK Service Desk, help you optimize services, offer end users exceptional experiences, and support business agility to meet the needs of your digital enterprise.
Available on-premise, in the cloud, or as a hybrid model, LANDESK Service Desk integrates easily with third-party systems and applications to provide the data and ability to take action. The solution delivers all the capabilities expected from an enterprise-class service management system, including ITIL®-verified incident, request, problem, change, and knowledge management, as well as market leading self-service to improve service delivery and IT support performance.
Xtraction from LANDESK brings together data from multiple vendors and multiple enterprise applications—each with its own reporting interface—into one consolidated business view instantly. In a single view, you can pull together and display data from enterprise systems like IT service management, IT asset management, client management, project management, and more.
Report daily IT operations activity such as incidents, changes, and requests, or roll up to business value dashboards, then drill down to focus on information important to your business managers. The Xtraction self-service solution enables anyone to view and create reports and business-value executive dashboards without coding. Even those with limited technical or analytical knowledge can quickly extract data, create dashboards, and view actionable insights.
Cut down workflow, gain speed and visibility, and start being more productive today with a free demo of LANDESK Service Desk.