In the August publication I discussed a planned review of our service delivery model and the introduction of ITIL methodologies to correct any areas where there are found to be shortcomings. Our first step on this path has been to employ an external organisation, with ITIL skills, to review and comment on our existing service processes (ITIL Maturity Assessment).
most businesses, regardless of size or industry, formal business
continuity and/or disaster recovery planning is consistently
under-funded and generally neglected by management. The business
risks associated with this attitude can be very high but are not
understood. Those plans that are in place simply don’t work.
This is not surprising since disaster recovery hasn''t been given
sufficient consideration, ensuring that plans are rarely tested (if
ever) and equally rarely updated to reflect changes in process,
technology or applications. In an emergency, there are many
continuity requirements within an organisation’s business and
services covering processes, facilities, and personnel. IT and a
range of business units across the whole organisation must work
together, both in planning for continuity and in its execution.
With a number of significant IT projects either completed or well under way we are now turning our attention to improving the quality of the service we deliver to the company. With our IT infrastructure becoming increasingly mission critical it is essential that we constantly review and ensure the provision of the appropriate level of IT resource to contribute to the organisation’s success and growth. The challenge is how to achieve this in the tight budgetary and technically complex and logistically distributed environment in which we operate.
IT cost recovery is an ongoing issue for CIO’s as they try to regain the cost of providing IT services to the business. As illustrated by IBRS in previous publications, while there are a number of alternative cost recovery methodologies available to organisations not all methodologies are suited to all companies. This month, I will share with you the processes we apply when back charging for IT services. The methodology we use could be considered fairly unique; I certainly have not come across any other company utilising similar techniques. While I am by no means claiming our methods are any better or worse than others, they do have the advantage of being fairly simple both to understand and to administer, and most importantly, they work for us.
IT cost recovery is viewed as a necessary part of establishing a clear service relationship with business units, but by itself it will not reduce costs or increase efficiency. In fact the worst cost recovery systems, with IT-centric cost algorithms, reinforce the image of IT as a techno-jungle with no concept of business value, dealing in “funny money” (what do I get for a CPU second?). Misinterpretation of fixed versus variable costs can also lead to faulty decision-making.
IT Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity have always been issues that have figured prominently on our list of priorities but continually get pushed to the back of the queue, replaced by other operational issues that assume greater importance and that can be seen to return some immediate benefit. It is not that the company does not recognise its importance, its more of a “laissez faire” attitude that “nothing has gone wrong so far so we will continue to take a short to medium term risk on anything happening in the future”. It is typical of the approach to risk in the company where construction risk is everything and other risk is considered insignificant.