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How to Reach Digital Business Goals with IT-as-a-Service

Senior executive expectations have been raised for traditional IT organizations that broker cloud computing services for their internal business stakeholders. Besides, there's a belief that the lack of dimension maturity can slow digital service innovation outcomes.

As a result, International Data Corporation (IDC) now predicts that by 2016, 65 percent of global competitive strategies will require real-time IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) solutions.

The ability of CIOs and their  IT organizations to grasp how business wants cloud computing services that serve actual business needs -- not traditional IT components -- is significantly altering the ways in which service management is achieving success.

Quest for Competitive Strategic Advantage

New business technologies are fundamentally altering how IT organizations function, how business is conducted, and how enterprises compete in the marketplace. IDC believes that this environment requires IT to deliver services that are focused on realizing the highest-level strategic objectives.

The ability of IT to immediately achieve a maturing business focus within its strategic planning and execution process is a key imperative. In this latest study, IDC has explored a planning framework that enables CIOs to attain digital business transformation goals.

"Creating a mature, strategic business alignment between IT and its customers requires a clearly defined end-state vision, an empowering IT culture capable of initiating rapid change, and an increasing focus on the financial costs and benefits -- as measured from a consumption basis, versus the traditional cost-budget basis," said Bill Keyworth, vice president of research at IDC.

IDC also believes that a method of assessing service innovation maturity is needed as a planning tool to help prioritize and evaluate the progress of an IT organization rising to meet the progressive Line of Business leader demands.

Additional findings from the IDC study include:

Without question, maturing the IT business dimension requires the active participation of top IT management. It's equally important to ensure all stakeholders and beneficiaries of IT within the enterprise are kept abreast of the business dimension maturity process.

Moreover, IT service innovation demands a multifaceted approach that seeks to ensure that all five maturity dimensions are simultaneously addressed, continually focusing on the least mature process -- or, the bottleneck that's holding up all other maturity dimensions.

Rather than tackle IT business-facing objectives through massive project implementations, IDC recommends companies take a "theory of constraints" approach, frequently used within ITaaS to quickly identify, analyze, and resolve any impediment to IT-business alignment.

Furthermore, according to the IDC assessment, IT organizations that achieve long-term success will be characterized by a service-centric culture that tracks effectiveness through an outside-in perspective, rigorous IT competitive analysis, and business-oriented metrics.