A service management approach to IT can help align business and IT. Service management should integrate people, processes and technology into a well-designed system based on ITIL best practices and open standards. With service lifecycle management, organizations can deliver higher value to customers by ultimately managing IT services throughout the operational lifecycle. The result is lower risk to the enterprise with better control of the business and IT and continual service improvement.
Virtualization enables pooling and sharing of IT resources so assets are used efficiently and supply automatically meets demand. Virtualization can save money and deliver better IT services, often more quickly.
The cost of a security breach can be high, not only in terms of lost dollars, but in damaged reputation. A lifecycle approach to security can help prevent these negative consequences, as well as bring positive benefits, like streamlined processes and improved productivity. Companies should develop a security strategy to that includes testing and other steps to help keep applications secure.
SOA helps strategically transform IT processes, policies, software applications and infrastructure to support business and IT agility and increase competitiveness. An SOA delivers IT systems as a set of reusable services that can be assembled to create a composite application that automates business processes. Because business processes can then be modified quickly, companies can flexibly address competitive market conditions, rapid business and IT change, new regulatory and compliance requirements.
Business intelligence goes one step further. It helps transform data into meaningful intelligence to drive decision making and enhance profitability. For instance, information lifecycle management solutions and services can transform unstructured information into meaningful data that can help with compliance and decision making. Information management solutions can also automate the management of business-critical information across its lifecycle, and help reduce the cost of managing ever-increasing amounts of data.
A well-run IT infrastructure is critical to business success. By leveraging the power of service management, virtualization, security, SOA and BI, IT strategy can help IT accelerate better business outcomes and compete more effectively in 2008 and beyond.
Helping the Business Compete
CIOs have become business strategists, which means focusing on improving business processes with IT rather than just managing IT. And a key goal for every CIO is to reduce the cost of IT while improving business performance.
For the year ahead, “enabling business innovation” is cited as No. 1 for IT impact, according to CIO Magazine’s 2008 State of the CIO survey of top IT executives. The findings of this year’s annual survey* reveal the five top technology priorities: