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Fixing broken IT service management processes

Centralized IT has been struggling for years to remain relevant as it gets easier for business units to circumvent it and buy their own technology outside of the corporation. To address this challenge, there are four things centralized IT shops need to do, says Derek Lonsdale, IT transformation leader and Lean expert for PA Consulting. In this webcast presentation, Lonsdale lays out the first of those tasks: to fix basic problems in their IT service management processes. Get his take on why this step is so important.

Editor's note: The following is a transcript of the second of five parts of Lonsdale's webcast presentation on coping with shadow IT.

See the rest of this webcast presentation on shadow technology and IT service management processes

Part 1: What brought us to renegade IT

Part 3: Understanding the business better

Part 4: Embrace change and deliver subject matter expertise

Part 5: Governance and supporting services

Derek Lonsdale: The first point [is to] fix the basics. What are the everyday services that are broken? And if we know that it's taken months and months to provision a server, or weeks to provision a desktop, there's no way that IT can become a service-oriented business. We have to fix those basics. And that goes into the end-user-facing processes. So, if we can mature into the management and request fulfillment, then that will help us to fix those basics. But I don't just mean taking the ITIL framework out of the books. I think we need to use some of those other tools and techniques that are available to us that we don't use as often as we should do.

So, looking at value stream mapping with Lean or using some of the Six Sigma tools like statistical analysis to identify waste [is] really helpful to allow IT to optimize the processes that we're putting together.

Now, I believe most of the organizations I've worked with -- and I've probably done about 30 IT service management transformations -- incident management and request fulfillment are key demands from the business and today we're probably talking about 30% of incidents and 70% of requests more or less, but we need to fix those. How can we improve the effectiveness of onboarding an end user? To me, these are the basics. If we can't do those, you're never going to earn the right to deliver the services.

But we can't just focus on firefighting. Those things need to be fixed, but we must focus on the end-to-end IT services that in turn improve the business processes and subsequently the customer outcomes. Too often, IT thinks of technology and it doesn't think of the customer outcome that we're trying to fix.

So, there's a bit of fixing the basics … but once we've done that, we've got to quickly move into those more strategic services, and I'm going to talk about some strategic processes later.

We also have to look at the operational costs and the enhancement cost. So, how do we balance keeping the lights on versus innovation or enhancement? A lot of organizations have this ratio of 70% of [spending] is on keeping the lights on or operations, and only 30% is on innovation or enhancements -- and that's an optimistic ratio. Sometimes I've been in organizations where it's 10 and 90 from the innovation perspective, so we really do need to improve this.

Questions about this webcast presentation on IT service management processes? Email [email protected].

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