Information Increases Effectiveness and Efficiency
There are countless definitions of IT governance and its tasks. We base our consideration of the tasks and objectives of IT governance on the following: IT governance ensures that IT supports the corporate strategy and goals.
In this context, IT means both all applications and also the entire IT application infrastructure, as well as the organisation of IT, the processes for IT usage and the provision of IT services. IT governance therefore involves a complex range of tasks.
How can IT Information Management (ITIM) provide support? In which areas can the introduction of ITIM be expected to quickly lead to an increase in effectiveness and efficiency? How can ITIM contribute to IT Risk Management?
More specifically, we want to see where up-to-date, sufficient and reliable information can improve the area of IT governance.
IT organisations aim to optimise IT operations as well as complete projects on time, to quality specifications and in budget. IT Information Management is an essential element for optimisation of IT operations and IT projects, as well as for increasing IT efficiency. But IT Information Management is also an important component when it comes to improving the effectiveness of IT, in other words to work on ensuring that IT does the right thing and that the right decisions can be made quickly.
Why does Information Management have so much potential? IT infrastructure and applications are becoming increasingly complex. Many parts of IT no longer completely understand the technical connections. Very little of it is sufficiently documented, meaning that planning and coordination of changes requires the involvement of numerous experts. Knowledge exists in people’s heads. Simple changes already require extensive coordination of many individuals. Even if IT is partially agile, new or amended business requirements are slow to be implemented.
Faster, Better and Cheaper! Increase Efficiency.
The efficiency of IT often suffers from 1. inadequate processes, 2. wasted resources (material and personnel) and 3. wastage caused by incidents and the processing of incidents (in this view troubleshooting is wastage).
Efficiency Through Processes & Clear Responsibilities
Information about processes aid the identification and rectification of weak points. Precise process descriptions support all participants, help optimise the process and create clear areas of responsibility. Knowledge is generated about what is done and how often, how it is done by whom and why it is done in the first place. So-called “ping-pong” processes and holding patterns are avoided. Knowledge is generated about where automation could be useful.
Efficiency Through Flexible Use of IT Experts
Good IT resources are in short supply and expensive. Despite this, a significant portion of their time is spent on tasks that don’t actually require an expert. They submit requests and get lost in bureaucracy, work on trivial matters, or search for information. Comprehensive, easily accessible information supports the better organisation of work. Resources can be used flexibly for various tasks. Everyone does exactly what is needed and what they are best at.
Efficiency Through Avoidance of Waste
In “The DevOps Handbook,” Kim, Humble, Debois and Willis describe the three most important principles that IT can learn from “Lean Principles.” These are the Principle of Flow, the Principle of Feedback and the Principle of Learning and Experimentation.
Many passages make it clear that without reliable information there is no knowledge of what is required. This means that planning, for example Capacity Management, is only possible to a limited extent. This relates not only to resources such as computer centres (computing, storage, network bandwidth), but also to licences and user accounts as well as personnel planning and development.
The simple solution is often said to be the Cloud. But as is often the case, the seemingly simple solution is neither simple nor cheap. Without information about utilization of resources and requirements, cloud migrations are like a lottery, you don’t know what the result will be.
Make the Right Decisions! Increase Effectiveness.
How can innovative Information Management improve the effectiveness of IT? How can it contribute to better (and faster) decisions? When looking at individual scenarios and at the same time also examining fundamental problems that arise from a lack of information, it soon becomes clear that a few small changes can improve the effectiveness of IT.
The key: Knowledge about the business of IT.
Business strategies and processes change dynamically, the connections become more complex and often very little of it is well documented. This lack of an information base means that IT has a lacks understanding of business strategies and also the resulting business requirements. In many cases, IT cannot correctly assess and prioritise the risks that arise in IT. IT employees have insufficient knowledge of their clients and their clients’ goals. From an IT perspective, management often has overlapping or contradictory demands. IT misunderstands requirements and develops standards or solutions that are not coordinated with the business.
The development of a high-quality information basis that suits the requirements means that all these obstacles can be eliminated. IT increases effectiveness.
IT Projects With High Information Requirements
Current and interesting examples of projects with an urgent need for information are: Agile projects and DevOps, cloud migration, service transition, IT integration and IT separation.
Agile Projects and DevOps
Agile methods and documentation are not a contradiction. Quite the opposite: Information Management is the counterpart to traditional documentation in modern IT. Information Management makes documentation faster, better and easier. This means that Information Management is a perfect component of agile projects. Developers are freed up and at the same time the requirements of other stakeholders such as auditors, IT operations and also IT governance are fulfilled.
These days, the use of cloud services is a strategic IT goal for almost every company. However, despite the fact that the market offers a variety of solutions for every conceivable requirement, in almost all companies cloud transformation lags behind its self-set goals. There are many reasons for this, and they differ greatly in their details. Looking at recent studies, it becomes apparent over and over again that the lack of information available to corporate IT is one of the main reasons. Inadequate information means that false assumptions are made and unrealistic goals formulated.
Offshoring of sections of the IT service is currently being discussed in almost every company. However, in service transition a good basis of information is required to answer many operational questions. Strategic questions require an even more comprehensive knowledge of your IT. Do you know exactly what your service providers are doing? Have you remained in control of the important information and could you insource the service again if required, or transfer it to another service provider?
IT Integration / IT Separation
Post-merger IT integration and IT separations have become commonplace in the operations of most companies. Many of these incidences take a long time to do or are never completed. A reliable basis of information is the key to becoming faster and more efficient. How high is the cost for the integration of two badly documented IT organizations? How quickly can you support and execute a spin-off with IT?
When it comes to your IT: “Information is effectiveness and efficiency.” To make strategic decisions and to become faster, better and more flexible, you need knowledge about your business processes, in particular your IT. To build up this knowledge you need to be able to access all the important information in a clear and reliable form – this is precisely what Information Management achieves.