Many IT organizations have been focused for years on putting solutions in place with a large emphasis on the processes that needed to be performed. The result was often a landscape consisting of many best of breed tools supporting a particular functional area. Some of these tools operated more or less stand-alone, but many tools required to be integrated with several other tools resulting in a spiderweb of integrations. Combine this with the shining absence of a true centrally managed Master Data Management solution forcing many solutions to start maintaining their own version of this reference data, often with a slight twist and unclear mastership.
In comes the single platform solution which can do it all! Is this the silver bullet we have all been waiting for? It might! Read on…
You may start a program to move away from modular point solutions by creating a roadmap to migrate them one by one to a shared platform solution. But that doesn’t automatically give you a truly integrated solution. Projects are often delivered under high pressure. Have you seen many projects where there was time allocated to significantly improve data quality? More likely the data quality initiatives are postponed until after the project and the project only lift and shifts the data as is from the old to the new solution. Not only does this bring across many data quality issues, the data models of old and new solutions often differ which makes the old data fit poorly.
There is a huge risk that you end up with an amalgamation of point solutions on a common shared platform making at best use of the same reference data. Ouch…, that was not the initial vision.
IT4IT is not about the processes. It is a reference architecture which revolves around the functional model and the information model with an important place for the service model.
Whatever the first step on your IT4IT journey is going to be, let it lay the foundation of the information model as defined within IT4IT. Ensure the core data entities, their relations and most important attributes are known. And whatever data is put in by the project, ensure it adheres to the 3 C’s:
- Complete: not missing out on subsets of the data
- Correct: whatever is there, it needs to be of good quality
- Current: each data element needs a periodic review to ensure it is still up to date.
To guarantee the 3 C’s it is essential to establish data ownership (responsible for the data) and data stewardship (perform activities to guarantee the 3 C’s for a subset of the data).
If we expect our most strategic decisions to be made on this data, it’s really not too much to ask.
Only then your future IT4IT initiatives can be seamlessly connected to whatever the first initiative is thereby building a closed loop IT4IT automation pipeline in the longer run. That’s when the IT4IT value streams really start to deliver value!
On your way to faster, better, cheaper IT Service delivery using IT4IT!
Author: Jan Willem Boere, Senior Consultant