Organizational structure is key and there are typically many to choose from but ultimately there are three dominant types:
Customer/Service – Ensuring alignment of business application functions to each customer organization while managing infrastructure and support discretely across the whole service. This model is typically used when there are multiple business units within the organization with differing requirements.
Lifecycle/Process – Providing plan, build, and run teams that are focused on high volume of changes. This supports organizations that are heavily change-focused and need to adapt quickly.
Capability/Technology – This type of organization is centered around providing technology as a service typically split between infrastructure and software. Business management and support are managed as discrete functions. This typically supports smaller and more stable environments.
By focusing on the principles discussed, IT can strengthen its relationship with the business and senior management and build its case for a seat in the boardroom. As the IT understanding of the business matures, IT can then demonstrate to the business how technology led initiatives can be used to implement the overall business strategy and move from an internal service organization focused on maintaining the IT infrastructure to an strategic business asset focusing on creating and delivering innovative services and products
This is not an easy journey and no silver bullet exists. However IT should organize itself to address both needs: to support business innovation and to provide a reliable and cost effective infrastructure. Any initiative to engage with the business at the more strategic level must start with IT — proving that IT is already cost effective and that it can help with innovation. This will provide a strong foundation to gain business buy-in as the role of IT continue to be questioned and transformed.
Chris Gallacher is a consultant at PA Consulting Group. Chris works within PA’s US IT consulting practice advising clients around IT service management principles and organizational design to help companies develop and deliver their IT portfolios while maximizing the value IT can provide to the business. Chris holds a Masters in Information Technology and is an ITIL v3 Expert.
Augusto Perazzo is a principal consultant at PA Consulting Group. Augusto works closely with Business and IT executives to define strategies and operating models, optimize processes and empower people, leveraging the power of information technology to design and deliver better services and products. Augusto has an MBA degree from USC Marshall Business School and holds ITIL and PMP certifications
Larry Scinto is a managing consultant with PA Consulting and has led numerous IT business transformation programs for G500 companies in the healthcare, financial services, technology and utilities industries. He is a certified ITIL practitioner and holds an MBA in general management from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College and a BE in Engineering from the Cooper Union.