|Innovating The Next Big Thing||May 19, 2013|
• Leadership & Vision
• Innovation at HP
• HP Buzz
• Ecosystem: HP Partners & Customers
• Competitive Landscape: HP Rivals
• On the Go: Mobile & Wireless Solutions
• Enterprise Solutions
• Digital Arts & Entertainment
• Fine Print: Imaging & Printing
• Analyst Insights
• Enterprise Insights
• Network & Information Security
• Enterprise Mobility
Next Innovator Group
HP.com Quick Links
• The HP Blog Hub
HP User Groups
• Ghost City
Feedjit Live Web Stats
Ovum: Operating IT in harmony with how the business works
Jun 22, 2012 – Roy Illsley
As the IT environment becomes increasingly more complex, one challenge faced by many CIOs is understanding how all the different technologies relate to one another. The demand for increased velocity of business in terms of both process and development has created the condition where IT is no longer a back-office function, but is front and center in the new digital economy. However, all of this still relies on the employees and the culture of the organization, and it is the merger of the new technologies, new ways of working, and new skills that are the keystone of any IT architecture. An upcoming Ovum report, “IT Architecture: How Technology Reference Architecture Can Save a Thousand Words”, will consider how and why a software reference architecture can help, and will introduce a reference architecture that organizations can use to define IT strategy and link IT strategy to business strategy.
A flexible technology architecture is required
An organization must deploy IT infrastructure and business processes that enable the automation core capabilities, so that it can then be more flexible and therefore more responsive to business requirements. However, there has been, and still is, a tendency for individual departments to requisition IT solutions, resulting in local IT services that duplicate what is already available elsewhere, be it centrally or in another department. Individual IT solutions are not a problem for organizations on their own, but together they can create inflexibility that results in IT becoming an inhibitor of changing business requirements because core capabilities cannot be automated across these operational silos.
To enable this agility, the organization must have an IT function that can quickly develop and deploy new solutions to enable and support business initiatives. However, when a new initiative is started, although the IT department is able to plan a suitable solution, it is often not able to deliver it quickly enough for the business to realize the benefit. Sometimes there is a vicious circle where the business applies pressure to get a faster result, and the quality and the reliability of the solution suffer.
Operating IT in harmony with how the business works
Information, or more accurately information flow, is the lifeblood of any organization, which is underpinned by the cultural and operational behaviors. It is these beliefs and cultural norms that IT must understand and ensure that the technology supports. For example, in one organization it may be accepted practice for employees to assume full responsibility for any data they have access to and to be able to move it between different devices, such as an iPad, smartphone, or laptop, while in another organization data may be strictly controlled and only accessible on corporate-owned and managed devices. These operational norms provide the foundations from which IT can construct an information architecture.
Just as organizational culture drives expectations, so the lines of reporting and regional differences that exist in many organizations can make any architecture rigid and inherently brittle. The technology architecture must therefore blend these cultural norms, organizational structures, and regional variations. One approach to addressing this conundrum is to look for synergies and patterns that enable IT and the business to share a common objective. For example, if an organization operates under a regulatory environment, this can be used as the framework that fits with the expected behaviors, and therefore drive the required operating environment.
IT strategy formation needs a reference architecture
There is much debate about whether it is a framework or process that best describes the elements required to develop an effective IT strategy. Ovum believes that a framework provides a clearer picture to organizations about the elements needed and their inter-relationships, whereas a process implies that by following it (the process) organizations will produce a standard ready-made out-of-the-box IT strategy. However, the truth is that strategies require many different, yet connected, elements to be combined, and no two strategies are the same. It is the way these elements are combined that differentiates one IT strategy from another, but they are constructed from the same building blocks. The analogy often used is that a strategy is like a child’s Lego construction, in that the same basic approach and equipment are used, but different results are produced. The fact remains there is no right or wrong strategy, they either work or they do not, and this is as much about execution as it is about planning. The two are, however, intrinsically connected.
The use of an IT architecture reference model provides all members of the organization with a common representation of the key elements involved in the delivery of IT for the organization. Another benefit of the model is that it represents how these elements relate to each other, which for senior management will indicate where any IT department can be separated. The reference model also forms part of the IT strategy by clearly articulating the relationship between technology, people, and process.
An architecture reference model is more than just a high-level block diagram, its real value is provided by the commentary that accompanies the diagram and the fact that an organization has had to think about its architecture to produce the diagram. It is this latter point that Ovum believes represents the biggest value to any organization because by formalizing architecture as a reference model, an organization is demonstrating a high level of maturity in terms of IT strategy thinking.
» Send this article to a friend...
» Comments? Tell us what you think...
» More Analyst Insights articles...
Commentsblog comments powered by Disqus
Support This Site
• 5/12 Frontline Sentinel: Two-Factor Authentication for Social Media Sites
• 5/12 Print Service Providers Worldwide Accelerate Growth with the HP Indigo 10000 Digital Press
• 5/10 McAfee Blogs: RealTime for ePO – Optimized Endpoint Security
• 5/10 HP Announces Participation in Upcoming Investor Conferences
• 5/10 HP Vertica Announces First Annual Worldwide User Conference
• 5/10 HP to Present Live Audio Webcast of Second Quarter Earnings Conference Call
• 5/10 Ovum: Ovum comments: GB smart meter delay better late than never
• 5/10 Gartner Says India Has The Potential To Lead The World In The Nexus Of Social, Mobile, Cloud And Information But May Waste The Opportunity
• 5/9 Frontline Sentinel: NSA's Manual on Hacking the Internet
• 5/9 Frontline Sentinel: 8 charged in $45 million cybertheft bank heist
• 5/9 Gartner Highlights Three Key Foundational Elements for Demand-Driven Retail Success
• 5/9 iSuppli: Korean and American Versions of Galaxy S4 as Different as Kimchee and Coleslaw, IHS Teardown Reveals
• 5/9 eMarketer: eMarketer: Emerging Markets Drive Facebook User Growth
• 5/9 Connect: Influence HP - HP ISS Roadshow in August and September
• 5/9 Connect: Meet Stephanie Webster - Connect Member Relations Manager
• 5/9 Wireless Watch: Microsoft/Nokia alliance at crossroads as both ponder OS futures
• 5/9 Wireless Watch: Apple must rethink far more than the iOS user interface
• 5/9 Faultline: Quantenna gets closer to ST Micro, expect it to get “ascloseasthis”
• 5/9 Faultline: Microsoft volunteers to take Nook, as Barnes and Noble start to breakup
• 5/9 Canalys: Smart mobile device shipments exceed 300 million in Q1 2013 - Android powers 59% of smart phones, tablets and notebooks
• 5/8 McAfee Blogs: Cybercriminals Celebrate – It’s Mothers Day!!
• 5/8 Ovum: Government policy-makers need to create a level playing field for cloud services procurement
• 5/8 Gartner Says Smart Organizations Will Embrace Fast and Frequent Project Failure in Their Quest for Agility
• 5/7 McAfee Blogs: How Secure Are Your Social Accounts?
• 5/7 McAfee Blogs: The Password Problem. Is it Your Problem?
• 5/7 McAfee Blogs: Have you met McAfee’s SIEM?
• 5/7 McAfee Blogs: NCCDC 2013 – Red Team Recap
• 5/7 HP Security Lab Blog: HP TippingPoint announces Security Management System 3.6
• 5/7 McAfee Blogs: Yes, There are “Mother’s Day” Scams
• 5/7 Ovum: Analyst View: TPG looks to become Australia’s fourth MNO
• 5/7 Ovum: Analyst view: UK G-Cloud to champion public cloud
• 5/7 Gartner Says CIOs Will Need to Manage Both Technology and Business Innovation to Gain Competitive Advantage with Big Data
• 5/6 The Next Big Thing Blog: Tech Con ‘13
• 5/6 Data Central: Driving Change in the Energy Space
• 5/6 HP Gives SMBs Increased Mobility and Performance with New PC and Print Solutions
• 5/6 Spring '13 Commercial Printing and Personal Systems Launch – SMB
• 5/6 HP Improves Customers’ Data Center Efficiencies to Support Future Growth
• 5/6 Gartner Says Indian Public Cloud Services Market To Reach $443 Million In 2013
• 5/6 iSuppli: IHS Discusses How PCs Can Survive the Tablet Invasion, at the SID Touch Gesture Motion Event
• 5/6 McAfee Blogs: Emerging ‘Stack Pivoting’ Exploits Bypass Common Security
• 5/5 McAfee Blogs: Intel, McAfee Investing in Network Security; Strength through Acquisition
• 5/5 McAfee Blogs: Change Your Password Day – Get Onboard!
• 5/5 Frontline Sentinel: iFrame drive-by attack demo [Anatomy of Attack online]
• 5/5 The Next Big Thing Blog: Robots in space, more to come...
• 5/3 Frontline Sentinel: Basic Use of Maltego for Network Intelligence Gathering
• 5/3 iSuppli: Russian, Eastern European Video Surveillance Market to Double from 2012 to 2017