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Three steps to achieving business and IT nirvana in 2015

Vic Mankotia, Vice President, Solution Strategy, Asia Pacific & Japan, CA Technologies | Feb. 11, 2015
Vic Mankotia of CA Technology shares his views on how companies can better meet the needs of both internal and external stakeholders to achieve business and IT nirvana.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

One of my favourite television series from the 1980s was "MacGyver", whose main asset was his inventive use of common items to come up with clever solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems. From building a hot air balloon in mere minutes, to reviving his friend with a home-made defibrillator, MacGyver always had a solution despite being under immense pressure.

Although the series ended in 1992, we're starting to see organisations expecting their IT department to be modern day MacGyvers in providing IT services to them. Today, IT personnel are constantly under pressure to deliver IT services more efficiently, from streamlining processes, adopting new technologies, supporting BYOD, to creating a more secure environment.

While CIOs and IT professionals complain about the rising internal expectations, they can take heart that this means that IT is increasingly essential not only to business operations, but growth today.

In a recent CA survey by analyst firm, Vanson Bourne, of 1,425 IT and business leaders including 650 from Asia Pacific & Japan, it revealed that businesses recognise the role of IT as a strategic weapon rather than a cost centre. The same survey also differentiated the results between companies who are thriving (the "leaders") and those who are struggling (the "laggards") in today's application economy. What's interesting is that the same APJ survey went on to highlight that the long-standing trend towards outsourcing IT is reversing, with companies looking to increase in-house development by up to 10% to approximately 50% within two years and even acquire software start-ups to obtain critical expertise.

Achieving Nirvana (On the IT Front)
Now, more than ever before, IT and business work closely toward driving innovation. This alignment is what I refer to as the business & IT nirvana where, in theory, would enable IT to quickly deliver high-quality applications and services as customers demand them, provide expertise and assistance to the end-user community.

Despite this IT-business alignment, the Vanson Bourne survey found that no one is happy. In our conversations with customers from around the region, we found that while IT and the business are generally aligned around top priorities for enhancing business services, the majority of respondents cannot yet say that they have been very effective in delivering on the strategic management of IT.

All these data and points of view point toward the importance of how IT needs to cater to both external and internal stakeholders. What else are customers telling me?

IT Business Management Done Right
A common trait we've seen in application economy leaders who are effective in managing IT as a business is their ability to maintain a seamless alignment with business goals while satisfying internal end users and external customers. For example, IT departments in APJ application economy leader organizations were nearly four times more likely to be rated as "very effective" when compared to laggards across a spectrum of business management practices.


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