"Whatever you want": Why the "Consumerization" of IT Services necessitates CIOs becoming Business Service Portfolio Managers

Having applied Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin'” to how CIOs are tackling the paradigm shift to Virtualization and Cloud technologies.  I am m now turning the amp right up to 11, to examine the impact that the “consumerization” of IT services, through the application of new technology drivers such as Cloud, Mobility and Business Social Networking, will have on business IT users.  All summed up perfectly by legendary British rockers Status Quo:

 “Whatever you want, Whatever you like, Whatever you say, You pay your money, You take your choice, Whatever you need, Whatever you use…”

The key message for CIOs coming out of the CA Technologies “Cloud Connected CIO” seminar series strongly echoed this theme: Start to transform your IT organizations now or at best face becoming marginalized or at worst be seen as an irrelevance.

Seminar delegates openly questioned the need to use internal IT, when they can get whatever they want faster and cheaper from Managed Service Providers (MSPs), all governed by service level agreements that gives them the ultimate power of switching MSP if not entirely satisfied with the service provided.

Undoubtedly Cloud computing is a major “consumerization” driver, enabling businesses of all sizes to take advantage of end-customer oriented cloud services including SaaS/On-Demand applications such as Salesforce.com, CA Clarity PPM On Demand or NetSuite. Consequently the business is no longer restricted to just the internal IT organization, and now has access to a much wider services marketplace.

 Indeed self-provisioning effectively means the business could bypass IT altogether should it desire. Even the traditional objections of “How secure is it really?” or “But integrations will be much harder, won’t they?” have been addressed to a point that IT organizations will have a hard time using them as effective defence mechanisms.

This consumer driven power shift fascinates me, as does its impact on the role of the CIO.  There are a number of parallels with the situation of the CIO I’d like to draw:

  • In the Consumer Goods sector, the consumer has long been king, demanding ever more choice at more affordable prices, consequently retailers and brand owners must continually strive to innovate around products and services in order to compete.
  • Similarly, internal IT is now in a competition to be the partner of choice for the business.  CIOs will need to run IT as a competitive business, ensuring the right services are delivered to enable business success (whether those services are internally provided or outsourced), and provide greater transparency on the value being delivered.
  • In my role at CA Technologies I work with organizations looking to optimize their product portfolios, ensuring they have the right mix of products to deliver long term sustained financial performance. This involves them being able to make the right investment decisions, striking the right balance between innovations that are technology driven and those that are a result of a “market pull”.

Fundamentally, there is not only the need to transform the role of CIO into becoming more of a business service portfolio manager, but also the need for IT to transform itself to become a Managed Service Provider that sources services internally and externally.  Central to success is giving the CIO access to accurate and up to date business service and investment level information, and ensuring they have an holistic view of the entire service portfolio, including new service ideas and requests, current service development initiatives, provisioned service catalogue performance and retired service history.

Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) is the key to bringing visibility and governance to this transformation process, in order to reduce costs and cycle times, and optimize the return on investment through aligning the service portfolio with business strategy and balancing resources and business risk.

Using a PPM solution, CIOs can collate current and future strategic goals and benchmark performance on an ongoing basis in real-time, therefore delivering the levels of accountability and traceability demanded by the business.

Whatever way you look at it, the Cloud and the other technology drivers are certainly changing the status quo and mandating the need to innovate around IT services.  PPM provides the platform for CIOs to deliver. For further inspiration visit: http://www.ca.com/us/project-portfolio-management.aspx

Article source: CA PPM Blog

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar