One Body, Many Parts: Bridging Your Organization's Business Service Gap
February 21, 2014

Bob Johnson

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Just as a body is a single unit comprised of many different and unique parts, which – though different – all work towards the achievement of a single end, that is, the well-being of the body, so too are modern organizations comprised of many constituent units that are interdependent and connected and yet behave somewhat autonomously within the overall organizational ecosystem.

And just as with a body, it is imperative that the many parts operate in unison with each other to ensure optimal health and function, so too is it imperative that the various constituent elements in an organization are aligned and cooperate in an accord to achieve optimal performance.

One common source of organizational disconnect, which disrupts the performance of the whole, is the fundamental challenge in bridging the gap between IT Operations and the business itself. IT Operations oftentimes exists in a silo, segregated from the rest of the organization, believed to be working behind the scenes to keep the customer and employee facing services online and accessible.

It is easy for IT to operate in a vacuum in most organizations because they have little (if any) input on what would traditionally be considered the core business. There's an often-employed expression in (American) football that is along these lines: if you don't hear the name of an offensive lineman during the game, it's a good thing: it means he's doing his job. And in many cases, IT Operations is viewed similarly. While they're – in reality – involved in all phases, ensuring availability of critical business services, we're generally only cognizant of their presence if something has gone wrong and needs to be fixed.

One natural consequence of this segregation is that IT Ops does not generally have a business-centric view of the world. Their epistemological framework is all nuts and bolts, servers and applications, switches, routers and firewalls. They're not necessarily attuned to how core IT components ultimately resolve to critical business services that employees and customers depend upon. In short: there's a substantive and natural gap between IT Ops and the business itself, and this gap will inevitably manifest itself in outages or other negative consequences if it is not bridged.

So that's the problem. Then what's a step towards the solution? A discovery and mapping system that translates the "nuts and bolts" into a business service-centric and top-down view of the organization. With such a system, IT Ops would also be in a better position to perform its change impact analyses in support of the overall organizational ecosystem.

There is little doubt that a change impact analysis can be of great value to your organization in improving business service quality, and facilitating more efficient IT operations. The decision is really in choosing the right discovery and mapping system that would get the job done more quickly and accurately while making your life easier.

In short: many parts behaving as one body, will promote harmony and efficiency within your organization.

Bob Johnson is CMO at Neebula.

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