Published by Logicalis Australia
Author: Adrian Alatsas
Every organisation runs some form of on-premises, hybrid, or cloud-based infrastructure and needs to ‘keep the lights on’. Running business as usual (BAU) operations is the backbone of every organisation, whether it be incident, change, or request management, there’s no avoiding it and typically, it’s the one thing no board, CEO, or CFO wants to hear about and no CIO or IT manager wants to do!
So, is BAU operations a dying art?
For years, the management of IT has been moving away from reactive BAU support (break-fix) and moving towards a more proactive support model. For some organisations the change is still happening; however, for the vast majority, the change has already occurred.
Organisations that view their IT teams as the ‘nerdy staff who fix my laptop’ have missed the memo. An IT team still re-building laptops, changing hard drives, and receiving password reset requests aren’t supporting their business to achieve the market-leading status that every organisation is, or should be, trying to achieve. If IT is fixing problems rather than improving business operations and driving efficient and effective business processes and analytics to validate more appropriate business decisions, they are adversely affecting the progress of the organisation.
There’s no disputing it, the vast majority of organisations rely on technology in one way or another, and unless it’s running optimally and enabling the business it’s a headache and a cost.
There will always be a component of BAU that exists, whether we like it or not. Buying new hardware or making sure there’s enough disk space to run various infrastructure-related software items will always be required. Should it be the focus? Well, the simple answer is no. But what do proactive operations in IT look like?
At a minimum, proactive IT operations (ITOps) should be ensuring that issues are avoided, rather than fixing them when they break. There’s no excuse for not having monitoring and alerting at a mature level in this day and age. Examples include ensuring that a network link is upgraded before it’s at capacity and or that there is Quality of Service (QoS) on every business-grade link.
All organisations, no matter how large or small, struggle with investing in innovation, quality control, governance, proactive care, supporting and engaging the business, and list goes on… it’s the same old story. If I had a dollar for every CIO or IT manager who’s told me ‘I have no time or money to invest in being proactive; we have projects to deliver and fires to put out’, I’d be on a beach in Greece sipping on a Mojito for the rest of my days.
The question is, how did they get there? I think it’s pretty simple, and with organisations that I’ve assisted with this type of transformation I use the following motto:
“Develop an IT strategy that aims for zero incidents.”
While you may cringe at the thought of spending money on an IT strategy rather than a project or some new shiny hardware, what cost do you allocate every year to ensure the projects that you’re undertaking and the kit you’re procuring is going to reduce your incident count? I bet none. No doubt increasing staff members on your service desk over the last 5-10 years been the result.
I once worked within an IT department that operated under the proviso that all activities must be tactical and then strategic; meaning fix things first and then work on what the future looks like. The irony was, without understanding what the future looked like, it was difficult to validate that the project being undertaken or the kit they were procuring was going to enable it in the future?
An IT or technology strategy is the key enabler to drive and support the overall business strategy by ensuring that it operates with efficiency, aims for zero incidents, and reduces the complexities and issues within your environment. It’s really not that difficult: invest in an IT strategy to ensure technology will enable your business and drive you into the future. We partner with top-tier vendors such as Microsoft to enable our customers’ IT goals. Reach out to our experts who can help you develop a strategy that’s built for success.
Just don’t forget, developing a comprehensive, long-term IT strategy is not like changing the chain on your push bike. Most engineers and IT managers have never done it, although I’m sure they’ve given it a go. Look to your trusted partners that have done it many times before to lead you down the right path. Reach out if you’d like more information.