See things clearly
Over at Forbes.com, Dan Woods argues that,
“In every dimension, CIOs are facing an increased pace of change at the same time they are losing control over the computing environment. The number of assets they must manage is exploding. Consumerization, virtualization, cloud computing, software as a service, mobility are all increasing the complexity of the job of managing IT by orders of magnitude.”
In “The Coming Crisis of IT Management”, he continues
“The vast majority of CIOs are not ready to handle the challenge of managing today’s IT environment...The coming crisis of IT management is that both CEOs and CIOs will underestimate the change at hand and attempt to address it with insufficient efforts.”
In a follow up blog, Woods predicts that IT departments will struggle with the ‘pace of change’ and ‘increased complexity’. He also believes that the traditionally ‘informal’ way of managing IT means that most CIOs don’t have the necessary training in ‘sophisticated techniques’ to manage IT like a business. And if they do, ‘they lack the tools to implement them.’
“But how do you go from the current state of being overwhelmed to being master of new and accelerating forms of complexity?”
In his answer to that question, although he concludes that it ‘won’t be easy’, he proposes eight steps which provide a ‘reasonable way forward’ so that the CIO can begin to ‘overcome the crisis in IT Management’.
Having considered the steps, there is no doubt that they make sense. However, the problem for the majority of CIOs is how to implement that advice.
Here at OBASHI we believe that IT exists for one reason – to support the flow of data between business assets. [more]
As I read through the eight steps, it struck me that if Dan’s approach made sense to you, then the OBASHI methodology and software would be a powerful way to help you implement some or all of these eight steps in your organisation.
Step 1: Establish an inventory of assets under IT management
OBASHI models and documents the people, process and technology of the organisation and puts them in business context, which I’m sure you’ll agree is much more valuable than simply having another asset register. If it’s still just an asset register then the gap between the business and IT remains. OBASHI integrates business and IT.
Step 2: Triage [prioritise] all of the IT challenges based on business impact and focus on the most important
With OBASHI you see clearly how each flow of data traverses the assets of the organisation in support of business activities. It is straightforward to analyse which flows are most important to the business. And you can calculate or estimate the financial value of each flow - which means you can understand ‘the business value provided by each component of the technology infrastructure.’ Not only that, you can share it in a diagrammatic form which is easy for non-technical people to understand.
Step 4: Obtain resources needed for more comprehensive and active management
Clarity is the key to the ‘realistic story’ for senior management. OBASHI Business & IT diagrams (B&ITs) and Dataflow Analysis Views (DAVs) are simple maps that show how the business works. B&ITs give you the ‘big picture. DAVs join-the-dots and connect silos.
They have been specifically designed so that both tech and the non-tech managers can sit around the table together and easily understand them. The easier the discussion, the greater is the likelihood of ‘progress.’
Step 6: Deepen understanding of the business. Evaluate new technology based on its ability to implement business strategy. Say no quickly to ideas that are not promising
With OBASHI ‘What-ifs’ you see the impact of change. Build ‘future-state’ B&ITs and compare them with the ‘as-is’ state. This helps you make better, more informed, decisions on what is best for the business.
Steps 7 & 8 are more to do with how you use the understanding and clarity gained from the first 6 steps and by using OBASHI, so I guess are a little more open to interpretation, which is not for us to comment upon at this stage.
In conclusion, Dan Woods says,
‘Mastering the complexity and distributed control of the current IT landscape will take years at most companies.’
It’s not easy to disagree with that view. But I believe that OBASHI will make it a much quicker and easier process.
Luckily, so do forward thinking CIOs like those at the Civil Nuclear Constabulatory.
But more on that another time...
[ Update: See Governance, OBASHI and the UK CNC for more on why the Civil Nuclear Constabulatory is using OBASHI ]
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