Brian Bowman

Brian Bowman

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According to a new IBRS study, spend on enterprise solutions is set to increase in 2019-2020. Both IT and line of business buyers need to consider how they manage procurement of these new solutions – and how they can make integration easy for their business.

According to the report, there are three degrees of integration an organisation can opt for: the pre-integrated enterprise, the core services and satellite apps enterprise and the business service mesh.

Understanding the kind of company you want to be is important, says Julie Ember, SaaS transition specialist at TechnologyOne, as that will help inform the decision about what business application environment fits your needs.

“Do you want to be in the business of IT, or focus on delivering your core business?” asks Ember.

“This is important because if an organisation does not, or cannot, build a large, highly skilled IT group, then they need to choose an application environment that can be easily supported – something like Software as a Service where the vendor manages the delivery and upkeep of the applications,” she says.

It is also important to determine if the business needs niche, best-of-breed applications to deliver core business processes, or if it is able to align with off-the-shelf enterprise software, she adds.

“An enterprise software strategy will provide a simplified application architecture with minimal integration, which not only makes implementations quicker, but also ensures the latest enhancements are easy to adopt.”

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IBRS iQ is a database of Client inquiries and is designed to get you talking to our Advisors about these topics in the context of your organisation in order to provide tailored advice for your needs.
 

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Compiling and publishing IT policies and procedures (ITPP) is an important part of IT governance in order to ensure proper use of the computer network and security of vital data. But however detailed and well-designed these ITPP are their publication in itself is only the start. Ensuring that they are understood, accepted and adhered to is an on-going challenge which must not be underestimated.

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In the current climate of cost reduction, implementation of a managed print service can reduce costs while providing efficiencies and business benefits to both printer vendors and to their clients. Cost savings and a reduction in the environmental impact of printing can be realised by user organisations while printer vendors can profit through changing their business model from strictly hardware and consumables supply to one that is more service orientated.

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The structure of the IT function will more often than not be influenced by the structure of the organisation it serves. There is no one right way to organise IT within an organisation. Rather there are a variety of models, each with their own benefits and disadvantages. Whatever model is implemented however, it is important to ensure that decisions on the optimum structure for IT are driven by business rather than political imperatives, and that the CIO has significant input.


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While it is commonly accepted that the success of an IT department is very much dependent upon its people, processes and the relationship between IT management, IT staff and their clients, an important relationship which is often overlooked is that between CIOs and the executives to whom they directly report. It is critical to the delivery of an efficient IT service within an organisation that a strong and mutually beneficial relationship is established between the CIO and their manager. CIOs must work continually towards maintaining this relationship.

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The tendency to promote highly skilled and successful technical people to managerial positions as a form of recognition and/or reward, if not thoroughly thought through, can have the effect of weakening both the managerial and technical streams of the IT department Before making such a promotion the ability of the technical people to make the transition successfully must be considered and the necessary skills and techniques to be successful managers imparted through training and education. Continuous mentoring through the provision of advice and support, particularly in the early days, is essential to a successful transition.

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Conclusion: IT departments that do not effectively engage with users, at all levels, within an organisation will fail to actively promote both their services and the value they can add and, as a result, will find themselves disadvantaged during times of cost cutting.

A lack of understanding by the user of the role, the position and the contribution of IT within an organisation can lead to significant issues between IT and users.

Open communication, and an understanding and respect for each other’s roles, vision, goals and objectives can go a long way to resolving these issues.


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Conclusion: Properly managing a project portfolio and determining which projects can safely be delayed during the current difficult economic environment is a complex task. For example organisations which have been considering the selection and implementation of an enterprise document/records management system (EDRMS), but are nervous about the significant costs associated with such an implementation, should look carefully at the downsides of not having such a system.

The costs of implementing EDRMS can be high. However they can often be justified by the cost benefits that can be realised from a successful implementation, and productive use, of selective functions within a document management system, such as information capture, which can include payback periods of three to six months.


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Conclusion: During hard economic times it is not uncommon for IT to be instructed to consider a restructuring to better serve the organisation. However the temptation to reduce costs by relaxing governance, adjusting standards and reducing the service structure, even with the best of intentions, may result in inadequate service levels and where possible should be avoided.

Where business units within an organisation have enjoyed a fully collaborative and cooperative strategic planning and development relationship with IT it is important that Innovator CIOs continue to fulfil this role during the economic downturn. Reverting to a more defensive utility manager role will disadvantage IT when the turnaround comes and business and systems activity increases.


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Conclusion: Judging whether an organisation’s existing service management platform and processes are adequate and efficiently moving to an ITIL compliant service management platform is not a trivial task. An ITIL implementation can be likened to the implementation of an ERP and should be approached as such.

Implementation should be planned to provide quick wins with a longer term aim of complete process improvement.


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As we bid “adios” to Sol and his amigos it is appropriate to pause and reflect on the state of the telecommunications industry they leave behind in Australia.


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Conclusion: There are considerable efficiencies and cost savings to be realised through the implementation of robust IT asset lifecycle management processes in the desktop environment. Organisations which have not already done so should move to ensure the consolidation of these IT assets into a single repository, managed by the IT department through a set of well-defined processes. It is important to ensure the total support of the CEO and the acceptance and understanding of the requirement for formal IT asset management from the organisation.


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IT departments who start putting together their 2009-10 budgets early, plan carefully, fully engage with the user and understand, and show that they understand the implications of the economic downturn on the organisation will create better opportunities for the negotiation of a satisfactory outcome with their organisation’s senior management.

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