Can You Optimize IT Without Innovating?

Optimizing infrastructure and cost is an IT imperative, but paradigm shifts in the role of IT in the organization have changed the formula for what constitutes optimized infrastructure.    In geometric terms, traditional optimization can be thought of as a straight line, representing the balance between cost and performance, one at each end.  The cost side has dealt with hardware, software, staff and environment.  Performance has addressed the balance of resources and demand along with the processes – for service management, provisioning, infrastructure monitoring, database management, compliance/risk, etc –  to govern and control them.  With this approach, IT has been able to deliver improved performance, support broader use of technology to better achieve business goals, and reduce human error that has the potential to decimate a business.

The new IT reality changes the geometry of optimization, adding a third point to create a triangle. Balancing cost and performance is no longer sufficient for IT success.  Agility adds a new goal and substantially more complexity.  The organization requires IT offerings that perform to customer expectations, drive cost out of the service and are agile enough to recognize and capitalize on technology disrupters and support rapid change.

One key to agility is innovation.  And, while innovation in support of new business service offerings is a fairly obvious requirement, innovation in support of the other two vertices of the triangle may not be.  Efforts for improving performance and reducing cost face a level of diminishing returns – there is only so much IT can do with traditional tools and approaches.  But innovative IT operations management opens up new ways to deliver optimized infrastructure.  ITOM innovations can deliver next level optimization capabilities such as adaptive automation and actionable intelligence.  These both increase the ability of IT to meet performance and cost goals, even though the infrastructure may be regularly morphing to support an agile business.

IT should ask the question – how are we innovating our efforts to optimize cost and performance?

What are your thoughts – how is your IT innovating?

These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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Jay Lipovich

Jay Lipovich

G. Jay Lipovich is a Principal Product Manager for mainframe systems management and cost optimization at BMC Software. He has many years’ experience in the design and development of strategies and solutions for infrastructure and data management. This includes design strategy and performance evaluation for a mainframe hardware vendor; infrastructure performance consulting for industry and US government agencies; and design and development of strategies and solutions for infrastructure management solutions. He has published numerous articles in trade journals defining approaches to infrastructure performance management and cost optimization. Mr. Lipovich is ITIL Foundation and CDE certified.