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INFOTECH: Narrowing the Gap Between Business Needs and IT Delivery


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IT is a business enabling tool that provides a service which allows business to realise its growth and expansion goals. However, most organisations today are not able to adequately align business and IT objectives. This results in a gap between what business expects and what IT delivers. “It is therefore very important to align a company’s business and IT objectives and have an ongoing dialogue between the two to clarify business needs,” says EOH Global Monitoring Services GM Rudi Barnard. “This ongoing dialogue will enable IT to determine which IT services to offer and how to effectively allocate IT resources to maximise business value. Furthermore, when business needs change, IT should adapt and modify the service offering and IT resources appropriately,” says Barnard.

The way to align business and IT objectives is for business to use a disciplined service level management process which will assist in identifying which specific IT services are required and what service levels are needed to support those business objectives. “IT management can then translate the business services needed into the underlying IT capabilities that support these services,” says Barnard. This alignment will allow business to report in real-time on the availability and performance of its business, and for IT to report in real-time on all the components contributing to business services. Alignment will also enable IT support to execute real-time root cause analysis and isolate the IT component causing outages or poor performance, and repair the disruption and restore business service.

The benefits of business and IT alignment are vast and include the mitigation of risk. As companies have enterprise level monitoring available, working in a service orientated manner, they can derive trends and understanding of how each component impacts on another. The company will eventually be able to identify the risks involved when it experiences service performance degradation or outages. This will also enable quicker, more informed decision making within the organisation.

Alignment of business and IT objectives will also reduce time and cost wastages by helping to identify the areas responsible for service degradation and resolving problems quickly. The automation of mundane maintenance tasks and improved uptime and response will result in a decrease in revenue loss and an improved brand perception. Proactive application monitoring, using trends, key performance indicators and service dependencies, will enable companies to start predicting when an outage will occur, and resulting in less incidents occurring.

Additional benefits of business and IT alignment include application optimisation. “Instead of just monitoring applications, which provides information about areas for possible optimisation, application optimisation resolves any possible problems and optimises the application, allowing companies to reduce capital spend on maintenance and allocate these funds to new initiatives,” says Barnard.

Alignment of business and IT objectives will also enable improvement of internal application lifecycles. The improvement of the internal application lifecycles of development, testing, going live and maintenance will enable companies to make accurate decisions on whether or not to take new functionality into production. “This decision will be based on the impact of the entire service and not only on an individual application or platform,” concludes Barnard.

EOH Global Monitoring Services (GMS) provides visibility and control of enterprise applications through the delivery of application, operational and service level information, while aligning business and IT objectives and priorities.

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