itSMF New Zealand 2014 Keynote: Rob England, "to protect and serve"


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The motto "to protect and serve" is a good one for IT. There seems to be this expectation that IT exists only to create new IT in response to the demands of the business. It's not true.
The Finance department doesn't exist solely to find the money for whatever the business needs ("serve"). The Finance department also exists to look after the health and safety of the organisation's wealth ("protect"). Sometimes the Finance department will resist new initiatives simply because the organisation can't afford them. This then becomes a decision escalated to the Executive or the governors (the Board) to decide whether to proceed against the advice of the CFO.
In exactly the same way, the Information Technology department exists to protect the IT interests of the owners of the organisation whilst also serving IT's customers and users. The two don't always align.

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  • If we define “shadow IT” as IT that is owned by business units without the awareness or consent of the central IT function,
    Then Why the hell is it allowed?

    Shadow IT is ungoverned IT

    It is a failure of enterprise governance

  • I want to be very clear on this.

    We cannot pretend, we cannot ignore. This is BAD BEHAVIOUR
  • The governors must understand their responsibilities wrt IT
    And they must understand the risk to the organisation
    Then it is their informed decision
  • How to decide properly
    With a service portfolio
    Not a project portfolio
    Take into account the effect on BAU
  • Putting the organisation at risk
    IT must speak up
  • Not slow food
    Or slow business
    Slow IT:
    deliberately provocative
    Really mean SLOWER IT
    at a rate that IT can sustain delivery
    And the org can absorb delivery

    If we don’t slow it down the world will slow it down for us
  • Slow down the flow of demand into projects

    Slow down our decisions on new and changed services

    (we could also use some slowing down in delivery too, which is a related discussion)

    And the quid pro quo?
  • What does the business get in return?
    More successful projects
    Safer organisational change
  • Speed up our ability to deliver
  • Tension between protecting the existing investment in information and technology assets,
    and serving change, the new
    A balancing act

    Protect: integrity, compliance, efficiency, service
    Service: change, competition, innovation
  • itSMF New Zealand 2014 Keynote: Rob England, "to protect and serve"

    1. 1. To Protect and Serve Rob England v2
    2. 2. To protect and serve Picture ©
    3. 3. Colleagues RealITRealIT Aggregators/suppliers Manufacturers Customers Consumers shrinking never going away REALLY bad governance if this is allowed to happen
    4. 4. Custodian of information technology • Information • Systems • Capability
    5. 5. Finance Picture ©
    6. 6. Old vs new • ROI • CIA • risk • new value • competition • growth
    7. 7. “Shadow finance” “Shadow hiring” “Shadow branding” “Shadow sales”
    8. 8. Shadow IT is dereliction of duty by the governors of the organisation
    9. 9. Governance of IT Picture ©
    10. 10. Service portfolio Demand Projects Catalogue Retire serve protect
    11. 11. IT is reaching a limit Picture ©
    12. 12. CIOs have a choice… try to fulfill all the demands placed on them while spending less and less money, or to focus on being “fit for purpose”— providing the capabilities their company needs most, in line with its most essential ways of creating value Booz and Co.
    13. 13. Slow IT Picture ©
    14. 14. Service portfolio Demand Projects Catalogue Retire
    15. 15. Fast IT Picture ©
    16. 16. Service portfolio Demand Projects Catalogue Retire serveprotect
    17. 17. To protect and serve Picture ©
    18. 18. To Protect and Serve Rob England