Who remembers the good old days of Operations Management? The days when your business IT infrastructure included a couple of servers, a few dozen desktop computers, and Microsoft Office. All your IT operations were on the ground and the cloud was simply up in the sky.
Leapfrog forward to today. Oh, how the landscape has changed. IT infrastructure looks completely different. With the advent and lightning-fast adoption of the cloud, and the explosion of apps, organizations have significantly more IT power driving their businesses, which is great. But as they say, with great power, comes great responsibility. And so it is with Operations Management.
Managing Ahead of the Moment
Complexity grows as software and hardware technology expands rapidly across organizations. Maintaining consistent processes and controls becomes extremely challenging. With the speed at which technology changes, it’s no wonder internal IT services teams struggle to keep up, let alone act strategically.
As IT infrastructure expands and diversifies, companies find proactive operations management increasingly necessary to not only maintain business continuity but also to minimize negative impacts from the changes that come from both business growth and unexpected challenges. Yet, be it shortcomings in headcount, skillset or knowledge, too many internal IT services groups continue managing operations in the moment or putting out fires, instead of managing ahead of the moment.
Staying in front of potential challenges takes more than documenting disaster recovery plans—though as Mother Nature has proven many times recently, this is an essential operational responsibility. Beyond planning for catastrophic events, today’s IT services leaders must set the tone for business efficiency and growth by how they manage and adapt to change associated with day-to-day and ongoing IT operations, such as:
- Effectively coordinating application integrations
- Cloud migrations
- System monitoring and optimization
Getting into a Preventive Mindset
For example, imagine your cloud services platform experienced a rare infrastructure problem. Is your team proactively monitoring these critical parts of your operational “engine” or do they perpetually find themselves in a reactive, fix-it-on-the-fly mode? If the latter, company leadership must take a hard look at the lost productivity, as well as the financial cost of knee-jerk operations management.
This is much like the value of preventive medicine or car maintenance. The responsibility of understanding the current condition of your IT and keeping those systems healthy and running optimally rests squarely on Operations Management. Complete visibility into your IT’s current state and ongoing management of those components makes all the difference—allowing you to anticipate and meet challenges in stride before they become big problems.
Ask Yourself the Tough Questions
When it comes to knowing whether your Operations Management has all the bases covered, consider some of the core responsibilities that fall under their domain:
- Architecture – Is your existing IT infrastructure—hardware components and software applications—integrated properly today and designed to scale with you later?
- Cloud Migration & Operations – Do you have the expertise in-house to make your transition from on-premise to the cloud seamless and secure?
- Managed Infrastructure – Is 24/7 monitoring standard practice across your IT infrastructure? If not, why?
- Change Management – Do you have the experienced IT resources needed to effectively vet IT investments or contribute knowledgeably to strategic decisions?
- Disaster Planning – Are you confident in your IT recovery processes and plans in case of emergency?
You’ve invested in great IT power. Make sure your Operations Management owns great responsibility for it. Asking these fundamental questions now helps you identify the most critical areas of need and align the best IT services resources to support your overall business strategy.0