The cost of operations

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I found an interesting article called “Delivering value to today’s digital enterprise – the state of IT service management” this week. Working within operations myself, it was interesting to see some statistics on the budget spent on IT maintenance in different companies.

56 percent of the companies surveyed spent less then 50% on their IT budget on maintaining uptime and availability; applying upgrades, fixes and patches; ensuring security compared to budget spent on project development or new initiatives. 36 percent spent more then 50 percent of their budget and 1 percent spent their entire budget on maintenance. Only 12 percent of the surveyed companies was able to decrease the amount of money spent on maintenance.

What can be learned from this? In my experience key factors to decrease the budget and time spent in operations is to involve operations in the development early in the process to ensure that you build systems and services that they can manage – that fit their environment. Make sure to standardize your platforms and applications as much as possible to decrease the amount skills and training required to manage the systems. This might seem obvious but I see project after project that fail to achieve this, pushing the costs of operations to absurdities.

Lack of a Service Management approach is hurting competitiveness as a business. Three out of four executives agree that the amount of time, money and resources spent on ongoing maintenance and management—versus new project development or new initiatives—is affecting the overall competitiveness of their organizations.

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