IT Maturity

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State of evolution over time in a company’s use of IT, first as a means of reducing cost, then as a means of adding value, then as a means of innovation and value creation

Why ITIL® Can Be Dangerous to Business Relationship Management Health

While establishing robust Service Management discipline is essential 'table stakes' for an IT organization with low supply maturity (i.e., one that is not good at keeping the proverbial 'lights on and trains running on time') it does not address the most important and powerful capabilities for driving business value realization from information and IT. And while ITIL® can be an effective framework for establishing good Service Management discipline, the ITIL framework describes BRM from a mostly tactical and operational perspective—a woefully restricted flavor of BRM compared to that described by Business Relationship Management Institute (BRMI) and embodied in the APMG-International accredited Business Relationship Management Professional® and Certificate of Business Relationship Management® training and certification. BRMI's Business Relationship Maturity Model defines five levels of relationship maturity. ITIL focuses on reaching Level 3—Service Provider. This is certainly significantly better than an Ad Hoc or Order Taker relationship, but should not be the ultimate relationship ambition, and should not be the primary focus for the BRM.

The BRM and Shared Services

Some years ago it seemed that much of my management consulting work was helping large, complex corporations implement some form of global shared business services.  This was always challenging, disruptive, but ultimately fascinating work.  There were always significant benefits to be had (cost savings, service improvements, increased leverage and collaboration) and in some cases, figuring [...]

Key IT Roles for Driving Business Value

I've posted at length about the Business Relationship Manager (BRM) role as being key to driving business value from IT. But what other roles—typically under-served—work with the BRM in the pursuit of business value from IT? In this post, I am going to introduce three dimensions of value realization than are important to driving business [...]

The Disciplines of Business-IT Engagement

Engagement is a term often used when discussing the relationship between an IT organization and the business units it serves. It's interesting (and amusing!) to look at the many meanings ascribed to the verb, "engage" (from Dictionary.com). Most of these apply quite well to the context of business-IT engagement: Attract and hold by influence or [...]

ITIL and the Business Relationship Manager: Avoiding the Performance Trap!

I have good news, and I have bad news! The Good News... The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) 2011 edition and the ISO/IEC 20000 standard for IT Service Management formalized the existence of the Business Relationship Manager (BRM) role and corresponding Business Relationship Management process as a new best practice and international IT Service Management standard [...]

Design Thinking and Emerging IT Roles

This is the third and final part in a multi-part post inspired by Robert Pirsig's masterwork, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.  In Part 1 (titled "Reflections on 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' 38 Years Later ") I discussed the implications for IT professionals of Pirsig's musings on 'classic' versus 'romantic' worldviews, [...]

What's Really Meant By Business-IT Engagement and How Do You Achieve It?

This is another post triggered by a reader's question emailed to me.  Here's his question (some details have been omitted to preserve anonymity). I was searching for information around Business-IT engagement but have yet to really come across anything with substance.  I'm looking to better connect with the business unit managers to formulate an IT strategy. [...]