Recent research from Forrester has shown that only 30% of organisations have a well-defined and understood process for solving IT performance problems.
One of the reasons for this is that large IT departments are often split into teams that look after specific parts of the IT environment. On paper this segmented approach may appear to make sense, but it can often be frustrating for the end-user.
By breaking down the management of IT in this way, end-users calling in with problems invariably get passed around as each team tries to show the problem does not originate in their area.
The result of the blame game and finger pointing is that no one focuses on how IT is performing for end-users.
This is something that can be rectified. For too long IT departments have been managing the different parts of the infrastructure in isolation, providing no assessment of how performance is affecting business operations.
For example, if a call centre employee is experiencing a 30-second delay when accessing an application, then the infrastructure is not meeting the requirements of the end-user, customer or business.
IT directors need to talk to end-users about the service levels they require to perform their jobs effectively.
Adopting a service-centric approach does not have to mean a complete overhaul of the IT department. Simple measures to improve communication among IT staff and shift their focus to view problems as a business issue can improve IT performance.
Another step is to make all IT staff responsible for performance across the infrastructure rather than just their area. Knowing that simply passing the problem down the line does not absolve them from accountability should encourage the department to work as a team to tackle the problem.
Essentially this is all about managing IT as a service, so that everyone in the department is working towards the common goal of delivering excellent IT performance to all the users in their organisation.
l Mike Lucas is regional technology manager at integration specialist Compuware