An Effective IT Operations Improvement Strategy You Can Implement in 2020

The onset of the new year provides an opportunity to reflect on the past, identify gains and pains, and plan for the future. For reflection, we can refer to recent posts in which we dissected various aspects of IT operations such as improving operational stability, monitoring efficiency and the advent and implications of AIOps.

As we look toward the future, let’s explore some IT operations improvement strategies to consider in 2020. Let’s start by stepping back and looking at the big picture. We’ll dive into our strategic options (where we want to be) and consider the tactical aspects (how we get there).

Effects of Digital Transformation on IT Operations Management

The overwhelming IT operations management trend to consider is the digital transformation of modern business. Every aspect of how business is conducted today – day-to-day operations, the delivery of services and products – is increasingly based on the ability of the IT organization to meet and exceed business expectations.

What are these business expectations? It all boils down to understanding wants and needs. And who exactly has these wants and needs? Anyone that depends on the services the business delivers. This may include end-users, customers or people that deliver business services (i.e., employees).

As a result, any IT operations improvement strategy must be subordinate to supporting a relentless focus on satisfying the needs of customers and employees. With this understanding of where we want to be, let’s flesh out the steps to an IT operations improvement strategy.

Key Steps to an IT Operations Improvement Strategy

IT Operations Improvement Step 1: Dynamism & Responsiveness

At the top of the wish list, the strategy must support the dynamic nature of today’s IT operations. The infrastructure that supports the delivery of services is in a constant state of flux. Resources are spun up as demand increases, and constantly optimized to balance load versus expense.

Also driving the need for speed are the frequent requests for enhancements and rapid delivery cycles to support constant innovation and new business ideas.

This requires increased responsiveness from the IT operations team, meaning it must thoroughly understand the need and wants of customers and employees before it goes about fulfilling them. Steps 2, 3 and 4 help you address these needs.

IT Operations Improvement Step Step 2: Inclusivity

IT operations teams need to set initiatives in place to engage more with the business consumers of IT services. This means bolstering the business-IT relationship by moving to an operations managed services model that is inclusive of business users in making IT decisions. Business and IT teams need to be together at every stage of the delivery cycle – from the conception of ideas, to the plans to deliver, to the deployment to scale and, finally, to the evolution of further capabilities.

IT Operations Improvement Step 3: Agility

IT operations teams need to take steps that turbocharge the delivery of new business scenarios. This involves adopting a mindset that accepts constant change while supporting incremental delivery of business capabilities. Large, monolithic systems and deliveries simply cannot meet the requirements, expectations and agility demanded by business users. It’s necessary to adapt to a model based on a new paradigm packaged as building blocks that can be continuously refined to reflect business needs.

IT Operations Improvement Step 4: People, Processes & Tools

Fortunately, some things don’t change. The heart of any IT operations improvement strategy will always be to maintain the core requirements associated with supporting the needs of the business. As 2020 unfolds, this involves continuing to take steps to ensure that:

  • You have the right staffing in place with the right skill set and headcount to be effective.
  • You have designed, tested and implemented processes, such as automation in operations management, that support the inclusivity of business stakeholders and accelerated product delivery cycles.
  • You have tools that support the increasingly dynamic nature of IT operations as your team goes about supporting the introduction and delivery of today’s business needs.

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