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Troy DuMoulin, VP, Research & Development

Troy is a leading ITIL® IT Governance and Lean IT authority with a solid and rich background in Executive IT Management consulting. Troy holds the ITIL Expert certifications and has extensive experience in leading IT Service Management (ITSM) programs with a regional and global scope.

He is a frequent speaker at IT Management events and is a contributing author to multiple ITSM and Lean IT books, papers and official ITIL publications including ITIL’s Planning To Implement IT Service Management and Continual Service Improvement.

 

The Guide

"This blog is dedicated to making sense out of the shifting landscape of IT Management. Just when we thought we had a good handle on managing technology, the job we thought we knew is being threatened by strange acronym’s like ITIL, CMMI, COBIT, ect.. Suddenly the rules have changed and we are not sure why. The goal of this blog is to offer an element of sanity and logic to what can appear to be chaos."


Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

"In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitch Hiker’s Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopedia Galactic as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older more pedestrian work in two important respects.

First, it is slightly cheaper: and secondly it has the words DON’T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover."
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Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Road To IT Shangri-La

Enterprise Architecture as Strategy

It appears that I am on a book theme and since the holidays are close upon us and you may find time during this busy season to curl up by the fire with a good book I would like to recommend one of the best “Business” reads I have enjoyed this year.

Enterprise Architecture As Strategy” published by Harvard Business School and produced by MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research (CISR) is a very useful and insightful book for those of you who spend your time thinking about IT Service Management issues and opportunities at an executive or senior level. One of the reasons I found this book interesting is that it is written from a different perspective than the books and articles you typically see put out by the various groups that support and endorse IT Service Management and ITIL. In many ways this book has a stronger and more compelling message in terms of gaining IT executive buy in for Service Management than the ITIL books which approach the concept of IT strategy from the perspective of business value generation.

There are many key messages in this book but the one I would like to highlight for this article is what the authors refer to as “The Four Stages of Architecture Maturity”. If you have read many of my other posts you will begin to see that I have a thing for maturity models and discreet lists. The point of this maturity model is that there is an observable trend of how organizations are centralizing and standardizing their use of shared IT resources such as common Infrastructure, business applications, data, and general IT management practices.

The CISR analysis and research states that they observe most IT organizations progressing through a similar pattern of architectural maturity.

Four Stages of Architecture Maturity

1) Business Silo Architecture: (Locally Optimal Business Solutions) Where companies look to maximize individual business unit needs of functional silos

At this stage of maturity, most business units invest in their own unique IT solutions and are likely to have their own data center and managed infrastructure. Process and management practices, if they exist, are focused at the business unit silo.

2) Standardized Technology Architecture:(Enterprise-Wide Technology Standards)  Providing IT efficiencies though technology standardization and, in most cases increased centralization

At this stage of maturity IT organizations are moving to shared data centers and centralized IT infrastructure services such as email and telephony to achieve economies of scale and lower transaction costs. In addition you will also see investment in building increased application integration and data warehouses based on data source federation. In my experience it is at this point that you will also see companies establish a common Service Desk strategy and implement early stages of processes such as Incident, Request Fulfillment, Change and Problem Management. More advance companies at this stage will also move towards Service Catalog development and early implementation of Release and Deployment Management.

3) Optimized Core Architecture: Standardized Enterprise Processes/Data Company wide data and process standardization as appropriate for the operating model

While the second stage of maturity sees companies consolidate shared infrastructure and build complex data warehouses to aggregate business data with disparate data structures. Stage three sees the redevelopment of business applications from stand alone point solutions to modular application suites with common data structures, making the data warehouse model less required.  Based on this level of service integration the implementation of IT Service Design and Transition processes would be critical. For example, one can speculate that there would be an urgent need to implement the IT Service Strategy and Service Design processes such as Service Portfolio, Availability, Capacity, Release, Transition Planning, etc..

4) Business Modularity Architecture: (Standard Interfaces and Business Componentization) Reuse loosely coupled IT Enabled business process components (services) to preserve global standards while enabling local differences

The fourth and final stage of this model represents an IT Architecture maturity level where common IT Services and their supporting management practices and process are at a level of maturity that then can be re-used or re-deployed rapidly into new markets and customer opportunities. Consider that this is as similar to a franchise model where the business can leverage their mature IT Services and repeatable IT management practices for rapid growth, deployment and high value generation. (I know it sounds like IT Shangri-La, but one can hope can’t they?)

So in summary, if you are looking for that perfect Christmas gift to give to your executive to sell them on the benefits of IT Service Management considering rush shipping this book from Amazon into their hands. However, don’t forget to buy your own copy or at least read it first.

Troy’s and MIT’s thoughts, what are yours?

”Start with the end in mind” Seven Habits of Highly Successful People ~Stephen Covey

(2) Comments
Posted by Troy DuMoulin on 12/09 at 10:51 PM
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