23 November, 2006

Does an IT ERP make sense?

Despite the fact that some software vendors companies such as ITM Software are considered to deliver such a solution, I would rather qualify this product as a Project and Portfolio Management solution such as Primavera, Artemis, Mercury and others.

Many companies have a wide range of non integrated solutions covering several aspects of IT Governance such as:

-Project Management
-Portfolio Management
-Time Management
-Service Management
-Enterprise Architecture
-System Management
-Security Management
-Asset Management
etc..

For each of these components some of them have associated processes but no real touch points between them and the visibility is quite difficult to get in terms of IT Service quality. Some companies passed certifications such as ISO 9000, ISO 27001, went through COBIT, and are ITIL based etc... But from my various observations, they do not have a consolidated or integrated view of their IT Services which would contribute to the improvement of Business IT Alignment.

Very often, top management including the CIO ask for IT to deliver Dashboards where we can have in real time indicators (KPIs) on the department performance and then be able to benchmark against competition.

Among existing solutions we have, IT Governance suites such as Mercury ITG or CA Clarity, Service Management platforms such as Peregrine Service Desk, Remedy, CA, HP, Asset management solutions, and finally Time Management product. In the system management landscape, Tivoli, CA Unicenter, and lots of various monitor solutions to manage networks. Fiinally, Enterprise Architecure is often covered by companies such as Telelogic (Popkin), Casewise, Metis solutions etc…

My experience would be to claim that first we need to re-engineer the process, have integrated flows between domains in order ro be able deliver these dashboards, finally avoid duplicated activities within an IT Department.

As no vendors today is able to deliver such an “IT ERP” (but probably HP, IBM and CA will be able to deliver this but nor before a couple of years…), an alternative would be to consider services around these platforms and then from a portal, orchestrate those services, provide results in various dashboards. Obviously if we had an integrated platform, that would be easier.

For the time being, mash-up applications are probably the only way to produce an IT ERP.

2 comments:

lambsland said...

I agree with your observations.

It is more important organizations establish and mature catalogs, policies, processes, metrics and benefits that make up IT ERP - BEFORE automation.

the IT Skeptic said...

The concept of IT ERP is extensively explored at Charles Betz's http://www.erp4it.com