Business Drivers for Cloud Transformation: lessons from COBIT 5
In my previous post, I introduced Cisco’s Strategic IT Roadmap (SITR) methodology, and explained how it can guide Shared IT Services departments on their journey to the hybrid cloud. I’ll now provide some more details on the first phase (out of three) of a SITR engagement, which consists of a series of detailed interviews and/or workshops held with the business stakeholders and end users. Leveraging the COBIT 5 framework, we’ll provide a balanced business view of how IT is perceived from the outside — and ascertain how technology creates value for your clients and what needs evolving.
In this post and in the context of cloud transformation, we look at eight of the most relevant drivers that COBIT 5 identifies in its 17-point list. This delivers a balanced scorecard that covers 4 key dimensions: financial, internal, customer-oriented and future-oriented. We’ll examine both where your organisation is now and how you would need to evolve.
1. A culture of partnership for business and IT innovation
A shared services organisation needs to build trust with its clients, and have a strong corporate culture behind it. This must be driven by deeply collaborative attitudes. We’ll look at multi-level partnerships and agree on key roles and responsibilities — helping to remove duplication and create unity of purpose within a Shared IT Capability Framework.
2. Managed business change programmes
Local IT Managers (in client departments) need to actively be supported to evolve their roles rather than feeling threatened by change. They themselves need to become change agents and business relationship managers within each agency. Innovation is often driven from the edge and must be supported at the centre, facilitated by IT Governance Committees to exchange information and leverage best practices. We’ll look at how well current operations support this kind of best practice change management.
3. User-orientated service culture
IT must become more service-orientated and clearly demonstrate its value to users. That involves monitoring KPIs for quality and time to resolution and improving existing processes, if and where needed. We’ll seek to clarify areas of responsibility between Shared IT and client department. We’ll also look at how we can diminish the overall cost and complexity of IT processes so they can become more user-focused, delivering demonstrable value.
4. Agile responses to a demanding business environment
IT has to be agile and offer a balanced answer to the needs of the business in terms of time to service, flexibility and interoperability. We’ll look at flexibility and layers of authorisation that get in the way of creating a responsive, fast, agile IT department.
5. Financial transparency and value for money
IT departments often adopt a one-size-fits-all approach and aren’t flexible enough to deliver differentiated services. This creates dissatisfaction and leads to the growth of dangerous ‘shadow IT’ deployments that sit outside the control of IT. We look at how IT services could be made affordable and offered as a secure utility — scalable, measured and on an easy pay-as-you-go basis. Could IT services be differentiated according to business needs? Can costing become more transparent? How could IT assets, resources and capabilities be optimised and automated to deliver against goals?
6. Managed business risk
An organisation needs to be empowered with secure and highly-available IT solutions — a data breach can cost millions and so can failing compliance and auditing. But security and service continuity also need to be balanced against business benefits and costs. We’ll examine creating the kind of open, multi-level communication channels between business, IT and Security Teams that makes actively managing risk achievable.
7. Operational and staff productivity
Today’s employees need to be empowered by a modern workspace. That means organisations need to move from a device-centric to user-centric model, powered by collaboration-enabling technologies and run within an environment of Continuous Service Improvement (CSI). We can help organisations to move at the pace that suits them, identifying quick wins such as BYOD, mobility and TelePresence initiatives, which will deliver the most positive impact for users.
8. Skilled and motivated people
To properly support an evolving IT environment, every employee needs to be empowered by a learning curriculum that is blended, easily accessible and collaborative. Proactive, forward-looking training that helps employees to re-skill and transition towards new roles and new technologies is critical to the success of the migration to Cloud. This is often the piece of the strategy that is missing. We’ll look at what training structures are currently in place and how these would need to be strengthened and adapted to ensure success.
This is just an example of how we are using COBIT 5 in order to structure the key business drivers that will enable us to define where IT can bring the most value – or in other words, enable us to build the IT Value Map to support the Cloud transformation. To know more about this second phase of SITR, please take a look at my next post.