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Troy DuMoulin, VP, Research & Development

Troy is a leading ITIL®, IT Governance & Lean IT authority with a solid and rich background in Executive IT Management consulting. Troy holds the ITIL Service Manager and 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 acronyms like ITIL, Lean, Agile, DevOps, 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."
~Douglas Adams

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Business Alignment or Business Integration?

Many books and papers have been written on the subject of IT and business alignment. While not to downplay this important topic, one needs to ask why we are having this conversation. You don’t see the equivalent concerns about HR and business alignment, Finance and business alignment or Engineering and business alignment. The very fact that these are relevant topics today tells us something about the current level of maturity of our industry.

Most IT organizations around the world are at the very early stages of a technology to service evolution. The challenge before us is how to convince both the IT Techie and the business customer that IT does not simply manage hardware and software.

As IT organizations evolve into a Service Delivery model it is important to understand where the industry has come from and how Technology Management differs in focus from Service Management. Over the last 20 years IT planning, strategy, recruitment, skills training, and incentive programs have focused on developing centers of technology excellence. We have hired and trained individuals to hone their technology skills in order to optimize and reduce cost around the use of new technology innovations. However, for the most part education around a business perspective has largely been ignored. Nowhere is this clearer than the fact that most computer science degrees until very recently have been purely technology-focused and have little to no focus on teaching general business acumen.

There is a growing awareness that there is no real separation between the business process and the technology that underpins it. How do you separate Accounts Payable from SAP? Or from a different perspective why is the engineering group that builds an oil platform and the IT department that works along side them to hook it up to the information network seen as having a different position in the business organization. One group is considered a business unit and the other something unique and separate. The answer of course has to be that they are both enabling business functions and not really different at all.

What are your thoughts? Does this make sense? Is there a compelling business case that places the IT organization in a unique role in the business model?

Troy

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so. ~Douglas Adams

Posted by Troy DuMoulin on 11/03 at 09:44 AM
  1. Hi Troy,

    I think you “hit the nail on the head” by adding your example of separating (or not) the business process, accounts payable, from the technolgoy, SAP.  You can’t separate it and that is causing confusion and yes, sometimes stress in particularly the Service Desk environment.  When a users call the Serivce Desk, their Single Point of Contact, are their Service Requests pertaining to SAP the technology or the business process it enables?

    If IT organizations and the business do not focus on an intentional pursuit of aligning together, technologies like SAP are going to force the issue.  Could this be a new use for the phrase “the tail wagging the dog?”

    By the way, there aren’t a large number of books or white papers about HR aligning with the business.  However, many HR organizations will argue that they are pursuing business alignment.  HR organizations are now offering more than the traditional human resources (staffing) services and are working with the business in pursuit of Business Organizational Development and Business Change Management.  Hmmm, perhaps we should consider the alignment of IT, HR, and the Business in pursuit IT’s evolution to a Service Delivery model.  What do you think?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/03  at  10:48 PM
  2. Hello Robin

    Excellent points, I love your concept of the new “the tail wagging the dog?” scenario.

    Unfortunately IT seems to have to lead in the dance more than not. Take the case of BCP and IT Service Continuity. Most IT organizations find themselves initiating this discussion instead of the other way around like it is supposed to be.

    Troy

    Posted by Troy DuMoulin  on  11/06  at  12:19 AM
  3. Oh my goodness, I love your blog and wish I would have found it earlier!  This topic was one I had started writing on in May.  You really have captured the importance, and the role of IT to redefine itself more realistically.

    I had blogged a similar topic (and title), finishing it today.. Basically on the notion that many components of ITIL have been made to be perceived as the impossible dream—unrealistic, and terribly unnecessary. :D

    http://blogs.sun.com/dmular_itil/entry/itil_transformation_integration_not_alignment

    Posted by Dawn Mular  on  11/20  at  06:42 AM
  4. Hello Dawn

    I have enjoyed your writings as well and appreciate your perspective. Many people who downplay the reality or benefits of the ITIL processes are in a different place as to the role of IT in relationship to the business. A post I uploaded last night called Not Ready for the CMDB alludes to this.

    Best Regards
    Troy

    Posted by Troy DuMoulin  on  11/20  at  09:59 AM
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