back to article Cure IT ills with a holistic approach to management

When systems are implemented and managed in isolation, it can be difficult to get an end-to-end view of how they interact. That in turn makes it difficult to troubleshoot problems when they arise and to understand the impact potential changes are likely to have. We know from research conducted over several years that few …


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  1. Caff

    With the word "holistic" in the title I was suprised to find myself not playing bullshit bingo while reading the article.

    We have a pretty pro-active service management team in work and to be fair to them as annoying as they can be they do a decent job communicating to us what customers and clients want from us.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have been saying this for years. IT is usually the last to know but the first to go that little extra.

    King Arthur had a similar problem until he took the corners off the table.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So it became a table with rounded corners? There might be a legal problem with that these days.........

  3. Count Ludwig

    What did he say, actually?

    Most of the article is spent extolling something called "more coherent service management".

    My eyes start to glaze over but, ok I'll bite, so I go back and find the definition and I think this is where he laid it out:.

    Problem description: "When systems are implemented and managed in isolation, it can be difficult to get an end-to-end view of how they interact.."

    Solution: "What is clear is that by managing the major elements of infrastructure as a unit – across servers, storage, network devices and so on – the number of potentially conflicting variables and activities can be reduced,..."

    And caveat "However, technology-level integration on its own can deliver only so much; operational >>processes also need to be modified to achieve the full potential."

    So, um, my question is how are we supposed to do this?

    I mean I've got my own ideas of course but I was hoping for some wisdom from the guru.


    1. BlueGreen

      spot on!

      I'm a great one for organising because it so clearly works, so articles like this, though dry, are very attractive to me.

      But like The Count said this article is abstracted to the point of boiling off any useful analytic practices (the "what's wrong and why") and gives no useful advice on the solutions except "be holistic" and "joined up". Which is true, in the trivial sense. So there's nothing left.

      My Meh joins yours.

      1. J. Cook Silver badge

        Re: spot on!

        My guess is that he was outline the process, which can be summed up as "the IT owners of the applications need to work with the business to clearly define what the expectations are for a given application, and how IT is going to fulfill those expectations.

        At least, that's what the process is here, and it seems to work fairly well.

        1. Denarius

          Re: spot on!

          Never seen such a process for 20 years. PHBs and sales weasels define problem, solution and implementation so nothing works much or well and the poor users get more crap to deal with.

          And its all ITs fault. Sackings, finger wagging, more process and bonuses for the weasels.

          You'se guys must be in-house.

          1. Mermite

            Not only in-house

            I think I've heard tales of God himself coming to Earth to see the people. Such degradation would of course be too much to ask of the IT managers.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    And thats numberwang


    Also in other news I was speaking to Paris Hilton about this and she asked me how measuring computers told you how a user felt and suggested that we wire up whoever came up with this to the network so that we can measure there metrics and offer feedback were needed to the user.

    This also ignores the fact that non IT department heads always blame IT whenever they can even if not so. There staff slow to input data, sorry slow IT system today - sorry for the delay. Might ignore the fact they have done nothing for 5 minutes and there screen has locked forcing them to have to type extra like a password before they can do what they wanted - thats IT's fault apparently.

    I also suggest that the auther be placed in a room with a ZX81 kit and not be let out until he has built and programmed it to play chess in 1k of RAM, then and only then will I take such articles seriously. Sorry but thats probably not just me thinking that.

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  6. shrdlu
    Thumb Down


    Over the last few years I've spoken to senior managers in several middling-sized organisations. Without exception they said that they were trying to perform a cost/benefit analysis on their IT department. They wanted their IT Manager to justify his extortionate budget. (I've been here before. I insourced a service because its owners were perceived to be raking in cash. The owners sold us the company for a few percent above what they were charging us as an annual fee, I'm sure if we had more Chutzpah we could have had them pay us to take it away.)

    The senior managers I referred to above were not exactly lying, although what they said was certainly not true. They really expected a new IT Manager who would cut the spending on IT services without impacting services. They also believed that it was the IT Manager's job to measure the benefits his department generated and that failure to do so was probably an attempt to hide profligacy. My response was somewhat more tactful than Churchill's when faced with a similar situation: "The answer is in the plural, and they bounce!"

    The job of identifying the benefits produced by the IT department, as for every other department, belongs to the Chief Executive. Until CEOs take that on board then any attempt to measure return on investment is pointless.

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