Every organisation runs some form of on-premise, hybrid or cloud-based infrastructure and needs to ‘keep the lights on’. Running business as usual (BAU) operations is the backbone of every organisation whether it be incident, change or request management, there’s no avoiding it and typically, it’s the one thing no Board, CEO or CFO wants to hear about and no CIO or IT manager wants to do!
So, is BAU Operations a dying art?
For years, the management of IT has been moving away from reactive BAU support (break-fix) and has been moving to a more proactive support model. For some organisations the change is still happening, but for the vast majority, the change has already occurred.
Organisations who view their IT teams as the ‘nerdy staff who fix my laptop’ have missed the memo. An IT team still re-building laptops, changing hard drives, receiving password reset requests aren’t supporting their business to achieve the market leading status which every organisation is or should be trying to achieve. If IT is fixing problems rather than providing improved business operations, more efficient and effective business processes and analytics to validate more appropriate business decisions, they are adversely affecting the progress of the organisation.
There’s no disputing it, the vast majority of organisations rely on technology in one way or another, and unless its running optimally and enabling the business, it’s a headache and a cost.
There will always be a component of business as usual that exists, whether we like it or not, buying new hardware or making sure there’s enough disk space to run various infrastructure related software items will always be required. But should it be the focus? Well, the simple answer is no. But what does proactive operations in IT look like?
At a minimum, proactive IT operations should be ensuring that issues are avoided, rather than fixing them when they break. There’s no excuse for not having monitoring and alerting at a mature level in this day and age. An example could be ensuring that a network link is upgraded before it’s at capacity and ensuring quality of service (QoS) on every business grade link should be a no brainer! We were having these discussions 5-10 years ago.
All organisations no matter how large or small struggle investing time in innovation, quality control, governance, proactive care, supporting and engaging the business and list goes on… it’s the same old story. If I had a dollar for every CIO or IT manager who’s told me ‘I have no time or money to invest in being proactive, we have projects to deliver and fires to put out’, I’d be on a beach in Greece sipping on a Mojito for the rest of my days.
Well how did they get there? “The simple motto I share with my clients going through an IT transformation is “Develop an IT Strategy which aims for zero incidents.”
I know you may cringe at the thought of spending money on an IT Strategy rather than a project or some new shiny hardware, but what cost do you allocate every year to ensure the projects that you’re undertaking and the kit you’re procuring is going to reduce your incident count? I bet none. No doubt increasing staff members on your service desk over the last 5-10 years has been the result.
I once conducted a project, within an IT department who operated under the proviso that all activities must be tactical and then strategic; meaning fix things first and then work on what the future looks like. The irony was, without understanding what the future looks like, how can you validate that the project you’re undertaking or kit you’re procuring is going to enable you in the future? You can’t, and please don’t tell me that your 12-month roadmap with how many laptops you’re going to replace is your strategy, because it’s not.
An IT or Technology Strategy is the key enabler to drive and support the overall Business Strategy by ensuring that it operates with efficiency and aims for zero incidents.
It’s really not that hard: Invest in an IT Strategy to ensure technology will enable your business and drive you into the future.
Just don’t forget, developing a comprehensive long-term IT Strategy is not like changing the chain on your push bike, most engineers and IT managers have never done it, although I’m sure they’ve given it a go. Leave it to the professionals, we’ve done it many times before, and we’ve seen customer reap the benefits for years.
To request a free 15 minute consultation with Adrian in our consulting and advisory team please contact email@example.com.
Adrian Alatsas: Bio
Adrian is a Consultant within TDL’s Consulting and Advisory team. He is a passionate professional, with excellent interpersonal skills and a keen eye for innovation and process improvement. Adrian loves nothing better than working with clients on large scale transformations and ensuring that the technology within organisations is appropriate, fit for purpose and enables business progress.