Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Layers of Reality

I was lucky enough to meet Mark Toomey, author of  Waltzing With The Elephant,whilst he was in the UK last week, to discuss ISO 38500 . It is significant that we met at the offices of a major management consultancy firm who can see real value in getting ISO 38500 in front of the Board.

Equally significant I suspect is that the Rob England, the ITskeptic seems to have finally cottoned on to what I've been telling him about the standard for ages. It is the Board's responsibility not the CIO's.

We are talking about getting the best business outcomes from investment in IT, we are talking about controlling the environment in which ITSM operates, not about the internal management of ITSM. Hence we constantly distinguish "Governance of IT" from "IT Governance"

I'm looking forward to a really exciting debate at Pink11, and hopefully at this year's itSMF UK conference as well. Because trust me, there are issues that need debating.

Lots of discussions we have within the IT world are really interesting for us IT geeks, but not meaningful in a wider context. Take agile development for an example. Yes there are lots of pros and cons, but what I care about is does it help deliver business centric solutions that are timely and cost effective over the whole life cycle of the service.

Or lets look at ITIL. Nothing in ITIL matters unless it produces a positive business result.  Do you want time to digest that?

In positing the IT governance layer encapsulated in ISO 38500 we are saying that good governance of IT adds value to the business. I suspect you are either slapping your forehead in annoyance because I've just stated something blindingly obvious, or you are cursing me because you see the standard as yet another barrier to achieving what you believe IT should be doing and which will add additional layers of bureaucracy.

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