What the business expects from IT is changing. As business execs become more enthusiastic about the importance to technology to their plans and goals, CIOs in conversations with Forrester are reporting that, even in these times of tight budgets, they are seeing a mushrooming of demand.
These CIOs find that the game is changing: It's no longer a matter of ‘selling technology's capabilities to their business peers' - it's now morphing into a ‘Supply & Demand' challenge. Transparency and value management - ensuring IT resources are deployed for the maximum return, will be necessary to surmount this challenge.
CIOs building ‘next generation IT' will need to ramp up demand and service management processes within IT to provide this transparency. Demand and service management fumble unless supported by effective portfolio and vendor management. All these processes are less effective without an architecture perspective - from three year perspectives on technology to application roadmaps to business capability maps:
• Demand management provides visibility of all types of business needs, communicating uniform value measurements, and making clear resource trade-offs - at business unit and enterprise level. Enterprise architecture (EA) will help shape business demand and IT's response, by developing ‘business technology strategy' for key business areas, and providing quick assessment and advice on business needs and opportunities.
• Service management in its fullest incarnation organises all of IT around services which support business functions and in which business execs can see value, such as a "field sales support service". Service management enables conversations on how well a service meet business needs and how should it evolve from a functionality as well as cost perspective. EA will make service management more effective by developing the portfolio of business services around business capabilities, and creating roadmaps which address business needs, expectations, and value.
• IT will integrate and enhance the management of its various portfolios - from projects to assets to services to provide transparency to current and anticipated spending and better leverage opportunities for savings and risk reduction. A business-focused EA function can take internal and external business forces, and technology and vendor trends and turn them into scenarios which IT must accommodate -- guiding portfolio management processes towards the best balance of risk and return.
• As IT focuses its efforts around strategic, value-building services, and manages the non-differentiating services as commodities, vendor management will work with Service Management to support outsourced provisioning of commodity services, with Portfolio Management to augment the set of assets available for use, and with Demand Management to provide variable capacity whenever business needs require it. EA-developed scenarios provide insight on what vendors should be part of the optimal set to support these needs.
What does this mean for CIOs? Architecture functions within IT organisations have been focused on supporting project delivery and low cost operations. CIOs transforming their organisations into ‘Next Generation IT" will find EA groups are aligned around different priorities, such as: