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How to Enable the IT to BT Transformation

According to Forrester Research, as technology becomes integral to all types of commercial offerings and associated business strategy, the traditional model of IT as an independent and monolithic entity is clearly obsolete.

A proven Business Technology (BT) model will replace IT's legacy orientation -- with a focus on providing business value through process-governed services, measured in business-relevant terms.

Forrester believes that all business professionals should understand what is driving the shift from traditional IT -- as well as the key challenges around strategy, process, and culture when implementing BT practices.

So, how do you avoid the mistakes of the past, and pro-actively transform your IT capability to address today's apparent challenges? Forrester offers three key suggestions.

Deliver services and value, not hardware and software
IT's traditional focus on system components means that it has neglected to maximize business-relevant services for its internal customers. This piecemeal approach led to excessive complexity and redundancy.

In contrast, BT convergence is meant to align or better synchronize disparate processes and technologies into integrated services that provide value to the business user.

Organize around holistic processes and a lean culture, not silos
Instead of allowing low-level tactical responses to proliferate, BT relies on a broader view of IT processes in order to make decisions that maximize value for business users.

This process shift must often be accompanied by a culture change. Lean methodologies and behaviors shed the traditional IT use of one-off workarounds in favor of continuous aggregation, experimentation, and learning that keep sight of overall business objectives.

Measure performance with business-relevant metrics, not IT assets
BT also means stronger performance management systems. IT has traditionally focused on providing resources that sometimes don't have a clear impact on business outcomes.

As an example, server availability and capacity utilization, while important, are not relevant to business executives. By replacing technical benchmarks with metrics like alignment to business strategy and IT spend ratio, the BT model enables decision makers to objectively consider business cases for the inherent value they provide.