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The missing link in digital transformation

Ruud Koot
Manager of Change

Most CIOs and IT managers are busy rebuilding their IT organization, introducing new ways of working such as Agile Development, Continuous Delivery and DevOps. Unfortunately, few are doing so based on a well thought-out and future-proof IT management architecture. There is a lack of coherence between the many innovations and initiatives and a proliferation of IT management tools in a short period of time.

Reason: there is no real plan that links everything together. As a result, the business is still not being delivered quickly and professionally and no insight is given into the actual costs, risks and added value of IT. Digital transformation requires a clear IT management vision and an integrated approach across the entire IT chain, not ad hoc deployment of promising tools.

The Open Group's IT4IT reference model is increasingly being used by companies such as Shell, ING and ABN AMRO to optimise and extensively automate the IT delivery process. IT4IT is a structured model that maps and organizes the entire IT value chain coherently, from portfolio to development and delivery. So without prescribing tools, with a lot of freedom to design a blueprint that fits the typical characteristics of the organisation.

No matter how tempting the temptation is to get started immediately and take on a variety of initiatives such as CI/CD pipeline, monitoring, test management, discovery, self-service portals, AIOps and so on: don't do it! There is a good chance that IT spaghetti will be on the table again. Take your time for a careful IT4IT assessment to clarify the gap between the current and desired situation in terms of tools, processes, data and even the change capacity of employees. Which IT management initiatives are already running and do they still fit the plans? Sometimes it is necessary to bundle initiatives or even discontinue them. In addition, an IT4IT assessment reveals possible pitfalls and also shows where the low fruit hangs. First pick that as proof that the chosen direction is the right one. Think big, act small and ensure quick success! That tastes like more. Develop a blueprint and accompanying roadmap that is understood and embraced by all stakeholders and employees. And that also gives room for new insights and small adjustments during the realisation. Flexibility within certain frameworks remains important.

The time invested in such an IT4IT assessment and the design of a widely supported and thorough blueprint will be recouped twice during construction. It provides grip and an excellent reference point for decisions. Avoid IT tool spaghetti, but focus on consolidating and rationalizing the various tools into an integrated IT delivery process. Include the business and DevOps teams in this change and avoid a false start. If you start innovating too quickly, you will soon be back in the renovation.

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