by Guido Marchetti, Cloud Lead, MJ Flood Technology.
If you are a business leader, a CIO or indeed any C-level executive that deals with technology in your company, I want you to take a moment to really think about this. “How are you measuring your IT department?” and “is it fair?” What do I mean by this? Well, that’s quite simple really, we’ve seen a change in how we deploy our IT systems in this modern world, but have we started to change our view of IT in line with it?
Let me expand this for you. In the past, most IT directors and their teams were measured on one metric and one only. UPTIME!! Uptime is the period of time when a computer, system, etc. is being used without any problems. This was all that businesses cared about, whether or not the system was available. This metric was born in a world where hardware and software were king, and we deployed advanced site to site connections with our San’s and virtual machines replicating between the pair in an attempt to achieve the target uptime (if indeed defined).
In today’s world we are seeing the same solutions, but some are using cloud now for failover. It is becoming more and more common for people to shift services and applications to cloud based services, where SLA’s are 99.9% which is roughly 8 hours of planned downtime a year (so I am told by industry experts ????).
Therein lies the clue, if cloud is being utilized and adopted like we are seeing more and more, reliability is being shifted to the service provider. So how can businesses measure IT fairly? That is also simple, it should be measured by business impact.
By moving the posts for your IT team to measure impact within the business, you give them a totally new focus and lease of life. They can stop worrying about the plumbing and instead focus on the way technology can change the business, it’s processing and ultimately drive more productivity. This also changes the perceived value of your IT team. If you are worried about uptime you probably still view your IT as a necessary evil.
If you however, look at your IT as a business enabler, then you are already measuring them on impact. You are the market leaders in adoption, you tend not to wait to see others do it, you see the value and move fast. You are seeing the benefits already of modern technologies and they will continue to get better, at which point everyone else is playing catch up.
If you are still stuck in the old way of thinking, then perhaps you should consider a mindset change. If you don’t, you may find that your IT strategy is tainted with fear, largely due to the IT team not feeling supported by the business and avoiding modern technologies. This is because now the lights being on isn’t in their direct control anymore. Companies suffering from this mentality are late adopters of modern technologies and tend not to see advantages until everyone else has already started using them.
Too often in my job, I meet IT managers and teams who are worried about cloud adoption, saying that the business measures me on uptime. I don’t trust the cloud to do that! Don’t restrict your IT team and throw money at old technologies. Empower your IT team and reset their success dial, measure them on business impact and you will reap the rewards.
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