IT service

Don’t throw away your IT Operating Model!

Many years ago, I remember a regular debate which raged about whether an organisation could be “ITIL Compliant”. This term was often overused and was met with cries of derision from ITIL purists (myself included), that you couldn’t be ITIL “compliant” because it was a framework that you adopted and adapted to meet the needs of your organisation.

We’re now witnessing a similar issue with the “we’re going to become a ….(insert latest phrase or buzzword!)…. house” phrase becoming more and more prevalent. Words typically inserted in the gap in my sentence above are SIAM (Service Integration & Management), DevOps, Agile, Cloud, etc, etc.

I’ll comment specifically here on SIAM. You don’t DO SIAM, you adopt a SIAM IT operating model, align with its suggested way of working, and you borrow generally accepted good practices around how SIAM should work from successful SIAM operating models. There isn’t yet a definitive “standard” for SIAM, so all you can do is adapt your operating model accordingly.

When I use the phrase “IT Operating Model”, this is a catch-all for numerous constituent parts which make a Technology department work. These include:

  • The Process model, which contains our beloved ITIL processes, but encapsulates demand, project delivery, commercial, finance and other areas, not generally considered to be part of IT Service Management. The process model also includes roles and responsibilities and a RACI chart at a minimum.
  • The Organisation model, which describes roles and responsibilities, and contains the organisation chart for the retained organisation and describes how and where outsourced partners fit in.
  • The Governance & Reporting model, which describes the spans of control and you will monitor, manage, measure and report upon these through defined metrics, KPIs, meetings, controls and approval mechanisms.
  • The Tooling model, which encapsulates not only the ITSM tool but the entire tooling landscape, which describes how IT’s underlying toolset, (e.g. systems management, event correlation, security monitoring, IT Service Management, Software Management, etc) all fit in together. I’ve written more on this topic in my “Why you really need a SIAM Tooling Strategy” white paper which you can download from here.

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So, as you scan the horizon for the latest trend that will transform the business of IT, fostering better IT-Business relations and make you a hero, don’t forget you’re not adopting it at the expense of everything else. You’re merely making adjustments, or in some cases, major changes, to one or more of the constituent parts of your operating model above, because none of the new ways of working in technology which is emerging will ever mean that we need to dispose of our IT Operating Model.

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