The next big Challenge: Innovation in IT Services

It has always been a failure of IT. to learn how to view the services it provides from a business perspective.

Too often IT feels as if it is the only department that "gets it". Of course the folks at Mckinsey and other consulting analyst firms haven’t exactly helped shape the necessary integration of IT into business by suggesting that IT "drive" the business (shuddering).

If IT doesn’t respond to true business constraints and use technology to diminish or remove those constraints it has no value at all. These diminishing effects either lower operational expense, decrease inventory or increase sales.

If IT can not learn the language of business (and no ITIL® is NOT the language of business) and present its services in that context, the business will eventually find leadership that can or outsource it to the sweetest talker.

This is a case where looking inward (at methods and frameworks that have originated in IT) will not work. After all nobody would be discussing "IT Alignment" if IT was truly integrated in to business operations. We nevr hear about the need for "Sales and Marketing Alignment" or "Business Operations Alignment". We only hear about IT alignment because IT is often "out of line" with business goals and objectives.

This gap is increased when execs feel that IT can not execute in either of the two realms it has authority over Projects and Operations). With a large percentage of IT project failure and poor existing IT service quality why would "the business" want to be "driven" by the lowest performing group in the entire organization?

There are plenty of organizations that have business driven IT. This requires a radical shift at the top (read CIO/CTO and CEO). It also requires consensus building in the entire IT organization to develop shared values and then deriving an appropriate play book.

This is the next big challenge!