Thursday, 28 August 2008

Results: your top 3 priorities for 2008/09

I'd like to thank everybody for their input. I asked 50 Enterprise Architects what were their top priorities for 2008/2009. Although it must be said, not the largest statistical sample, the results perhaps aren't so suprising:

1) reducing IT cost base through consolidation/virtualisation
2) deploying new architectures (primarily SOA)
3) implementing an IT chargeback model

With the global market in so much turmoil, the price of oil consistently rising, and businesses under pressure financially, it's not suprising that cost issues dominate the top priorities for the EA community. IT leaders must continually seek to recognise the value that they provide to the business, and deliver cost/effective solutions to their business divisions. In the top priorities we see reflected a need to reduce costs, but also to ensure cost is proportionately allocated to lines of business. Finally, we see that new architectures are a key part of the IT agenda, delivering greater flexibility, agility and scalability.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

innovation vs outsourcing

I returned from a customer visit recently, where the operational IT landscape is outsourced completely to IBM. In line with industry trends, the outsourcer was engaged to contain costs of running an IT department. Again, the perception of IT as a cost centre led to a strategic outsourcing decision. This perception and subsequent decision must be reversed if innovation and value-based IT services are to be delivered, services which align to the customer needs, services which provide agility to dynamics of business.

In this case, the topic of innovation was discussed. The customer wanted greater insight into the future of their IT function, to allow greater control over IT budgets and drive optimization projects leading to improved cost/efficiency.

Of course, this is in the customer's interest. But is it in the outsourcer's best interest to allow such optimization to occur? It is unusual to find such elements written into the outsourcing contracts today, but perhaps as CIOs become better equipped to manage strategic outsourcer relationships - they can place themselves more firmly in the driving seat.