At BreakFree, we talk a lot about shifting to New IT. On the surface, it’s a simple term used to differentiate traditional, antiquated IT from the new enterprise IT operating model. But New IT is actually much more than that. In order to gain a better understanding of why BreakFree Solutions is driving IT organizations to break from the status quo and embrace advancement of IT operations, it’s important to first understand what New IT actually means.
When we say shift to New IT, we mean shifting IT away from focusing on procuring, operating, and depreciating assets. Traditional IT’s focus is on anticipating the technical infrastructure needs of the business and identifying the most cost effective way to procure and operate this infrastructure. They buy assets from a limited number of vendors, and then depreciate these assets over three to five years. This mindset has limited, if any focus on technology as a competitive advantage, and instead views it as a commodity required to do business. IT acts as the gatekeepers of infrastructure.
The goal of New IT is to act as brokers instead of gatekeepers by taking a service oriented approach to infrastructure. Cloud providers AWS and Azure have shown that service oriented approach elevates technology solutions from assets to a competitive advantage. New IT focuses on empowering business units to self-evaluate and select technology services. IT provides the business with the multiple solution alternatives and critical service cost and benefit information. Services could be a public cloud service, a custom service, a managed service from a cloud provider, or software as a service (SaaS).
This allows New IT to move away from depreciating and ensuring assets are long-lived. Instead, New IT focuses on providing services that are most impactful to the goals of the business, and then provides them in a brokerage model. This is what we mean by the term “service-oriented,” which is orientating the focus of IT away from management of depreciation of assets and towards providing services to the business.
New IT is also rooted in the successful consumption of a service. Offering the service is one aspect, but it’s another to understand how to get the business unit and different people within an organization to actually consume the service. If a service or solution isn’t going to be consumed because it lacks features, isn’t reacting at the speed business demands, or simply isn’t right for the business’ needs, that is extremely valuable information. Service consumption has to be measured, in addition to what drives service consumption. This is the customer-centric and service-oriented mindset.
It’s also imperative to get away from the idea that IT organizations are going to anticipate all of the services the business needs. It’s fundamentally backwards to think that IT can build a catalog of services that will represent needs based on their present understanding of the technology landscape. Instead, a way for the business to describe the services they need is critical even if that means understanding and acceptance that there is another software vendor or another competing SaaS platform that offers services better suited for the business. New IT’s only focus is to provide the cost benefit information that enables a business decision to be made and then relentlessly supporting the businesses decision.
At its core, the shift to New IT is making IT more service-oriented and offering business’ solutions in a brokerage model. In upcoming Insight posts, I’ll dive deeper into New IT, and how the solutions and services that BreakFree provides accelerate the adoption of the “New IT model” that today’s businesses demand.