Delta Lloyd is a Belgium based financial organization operating since 1807 and currently has 700 people working only in its IT department worldwide. Everything the company delivers to customer has a mobile or desktop application allowing customers to reach out or use services through these applications. Employees of the company are supported by phones and tablets that they can use to access company business applications in a secure manner. Moreover, the company also use disruptive technologies like Big Data and SAS to understand their customers better.
The large infrastructure of the company already poses management challenges over which use of disruptive technologies like Cloud, IOT, and Big data further add security challenges and other complexities in the IT system. Also, there are multiple IT methodologies that have to be managed properly. A framework was needed for managing internal an external systems as well as the combination of any type of IT and development frameworks. Delta could either develop a propriety framework of its own or adapt to a suitable framework that already existed. The company decided to take the later path and adoption IT4IT framework.
The case study makes an objective assessment of the IT infrastructure of the company that was prior to adoption, explores the reasons behind Delta choosing the open source framework and discusses the outcomes of the their move. The case study also explores possibility of adopting it if ITIL framework is already in place (Enterprise Opinions Limite, 2016).
Gaps in IT service management
IT infrastructure of the company is large and complicated. It has around 4 million customers. Its IT system consists of 1200 servers, 4500 desktops and laptops, and 3500 VWPs. It has over 600 business applications running over this infrastructure including those from vendors like VMWare, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, HP, and Cisco.
A number of challenges were there in the company and the IT service management largely differed from the user expectations. The financial organizations required a huge number of functions to be managed for which a large number of applications were developed and provided by different supplier organizations including CRM, ERP, Big Data and so on. Also, a variety of technologies were used within the company such as SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, end-user computing, BYOD devices, telecom devices, and so on. The company was in the process of adoption of newer technologies like Big Data and cloud and at the same time needed to fulfil compliance and security requirement demanded in the financial sector. Delta Lloyd had three IT systems stacks including SAAS or Application, PAAS with Websphere, and IAAS including hosting & storage. Application stack included management of data, interface, access, and application configuration while Websphere also involved Applications management. Hosting & storage was provided for the entire stack of VM, Middleware, Application, configuration, data, interface, and access.
The company needed a new form of infrastructure that could take care of all the IT stacks, add new skills to the system that assist IT in ensuring that systems were stable and secure as well as support faster development of technologies allowing company to innovate to add a competitive advantage. Not just the infrastructure but company was also looking for a framework that helped in management of the complete IT life cycle. (HP Enterprise, 2017).
Adoption of IT4IT™
The company needed an integrated system of IT management for complete IT life cycle management using APIs instead of developing own framework (The Open Group, 2016). With the adoption of the integrated framework for IT management, a seamless flow could be achieved throughout the IT life cycle helping the company create a desired balance between these tradeoffs (The Open Group, 2015).
While managing IT infrastructure of a company, if an integrated system can be implemented, it would help the organization save on IT costs of up to 20%. The saved money can then be used for enhancing systems or introducing innovation. Besides cost saving, the company had some specific objectives to be achieved such as quality enhancement, increase in development speed, risk reduction, and improved monitoring and exception handling (The Open Group, 2016).
Delta had two options to get the integrated framework. One, it could develop a propriety framework. Second, it could adapt to an open source framework which the company did and added IT4IT framework to its IT management canvas. With current IT management practices, it was becoming difficult to manage things while disruptive technologies connected core infrastructure of the company to the networked world. If the company had to develop a completely new framework then it would require all components and technologies to be put together which could have been a costly affair to develop. Thus, the company agreed to adapt to the open source IT4IT framework because saw IT as a business system and thus, would help organization operate IT with focus on deliveries of services rather than only management of systems. (Allen, 2016). Thus, the company moved to adoption of IT4IT which provided an integrated view of IT systems and improved resource scalability (GARDNER, 2016).
Results of adopting IT4IT™
A prescriptive guidance is available with IT4IT for management of IT projects, processes and methodologies like agile or other structure project management frameworks. The data of different stages of the project life cycle is combined in a cohesive data model with IT4IT framework implemented (Graham, 2016).
The core idea behind IT4IT is to make an IT system run like a business such that it is not just implemented but also used for gaining the productive or commercial benefit for the organization. The framework allows monitoring of various actions, their analyses to come up with metrics and developing of capacities of processes, tools and people for making continuous improvements in the system (HP, 2016).
The value chain of IT4IT can help understand how each component of the IT lifecycle is taken care of including planning, building, delivery and running. The governance and risk control mechanisms are used so as to ensure that risks and costs are reduce (NS Tech, 2016). In this framework, the suppliers or project teams can be monitored to find out if they are recording incidences or not and if they are not they may be punished while those creating them could be rewarded positively. The metrics generated would help analyse system performance such that appropriate actions can be taken (Saran, 2015).
IT4IT framework can generate value at every stage of the IT life cycle beginning from strategy to portfolio, requirement, deployment, request, fulfilment, detection and punishment.
Value Stream Components of IT4IT
Strategy to Portfolio
The portfolio of project, system architecture and services would be present at a single place
Quality of the data would be enhanced
With roadmaps and KPIs, business communication can be improved
Requirement to deployment
Framework would provide support for the creation, modification, and sourcing of application development methodologies
Visibility into quality of service, cost of development and maintenance, scheduling and utility management
Availability of multiple control points
Request to fulfilment
creation of one catalogue that takes care of multiple suppliers
TCO ad subscriptions management
Detection to correction
Shared configuration model gives visibility throughout IT life cycle
Repair time reduction.
Adoption of IT4IT™ - Justification
ITIL is process driven and IT4IT is data driven, automation focused and process agnostic thus, both can actually be complimenting each other instead of competition for as understood by some of the IT professionals. IT4IT is a cohesive framework that can build a foundation beneath the set of best practices as defined in the ITIL framework. The combination of two frameworks can actually be very useful for IT management. A much clear picture of IT resources and infrastructure can be seen through the use of IT4IT considering every phase of the IT life cycle (TOGAF, 2016).
This report was prepared on the case of Delta Lloyd that recently adopted an open source IT4IT framework for managing its IT infrastructure that was facing several issues due to complexities involved. It was found that the company chose the open source IT4IT framework for specific reasons. The company had a large stack of IT systems and applications there were to be made lighter, Agile, and communicating to each other seamlessly. The objective was to adopt an integrated framework for IT management which provided performance and scalability benefits and thus, IT4IT was chosen for implementation. Further, it explored the values and outcome of adoption of IT4IT. With IT4IT framework, organization can track and analyse data so as to come up with interpretations that can help make improvements in the IT management practice. Lastly,, it was found that ITIL and IT4IT frameworks supported each other.
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