“Where does security fit in bi-modal IT departments?” asks Mary K. Pratt on CSO Online. She explores the question with IT leaders from a handful of organizations, opening her discussion by noting:
“The bi-modal idea has its benefits and its pitfalls but the determination seems to come down to the size of the enterprise. In the mid to smaller companies, there is not the luxury of splitting the security group out into subgroups. In the bigger companies the question becomes where do the security folks belong.”
Though the CIOs she speaks to take different approaches to managing bi-modal or two-speed IT, they generally agree on two points:
1) It’s best to perform both speeds or modes of IT–innovation and operations–in one centralized group, rather than two separate teams where the innovators “throw things over the wall” to operations as applications are developed.
In this structure, the same individuals work on both innovation initiatives and day-to-day operations tasks, though overall a greater share of time is spent on operations, and employees vary in how much time they spend on each type of work.
2) Security has become so important, as cyber threats have multiplied, that it must be baked into new projects, not added later as an afterthought. Ultimately though, security “should sit in operations.”
The link between employee happiness and business results is clear, according to recent research from the Russell Investment Group, Deloitte and others. Happy employees make for happy customers, leading to higher profitability and stock price.
Summarizing the studies in Forbes, Blake Morgan affirms that happy workers mean higher profits, noting “publicly traded companies in the Fortune ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ list have gained an average 10.8% a year since 1998” (versus 6.5% for the DJIA and 5.3% for the S&P 500 over the same period).
She further observes that “The same companies invest in employee happiness year after year. The rest continue to not invest. There’s a clear line between companies that get it and companies that don’t.”
Beneath the “deceptively smooth surface” of today’s technology world swim the “four sharks of disruption:” cloud computing, smart computing, mobility and IT consumerization, according to Forrester Research vice president Andrew Bartels.
In an article on ebizQ, Bartels explains that mobility will have the biggest impact on customer and employee engagement; the consumerization of IT on employee interaction with IT; smart computing on running the business; and cloud computing on running IT.
Three of these “sharks” share the waters (so to speak) of IT with enterprise request management (ERM), a strategy for extending the benefits and capabilities of service catalogs across all shared services delivery groups within an organization.
Mobility: at the front end of an ERM deployment is a web-based portal interface that can be used to order and track any type of service or equipment request, built using a tool like Kinetic Request. The portal enables users to place or check the status of a request from virtually any type of device, anywhere, at any time.
ERM utilizes a system of engagement (the web-based portal) to interact with underlying systems of record (enterprise and department applications like ERP, HRMS, ITSM, supply chain, accounting and other application suites) so that changes to the interface, and even to the underlying process automation logic, can be made without modifying the core code in enterprise applications.
That concept isn’t limited to request management, of course; it could be applied to limited, task-specific access to core applications for any of a variety of purposes in a mobile environment.
IT consumerization: as employees increasingly expect the same ease of use and intuitive interfaces from enterprise software that they get from consumer applications like Amazon.com, eBay, Facebook, and Google apps, IT will need to find ways to expose selected functions while shielding users from unnecessary underlying complexity.
ERM accomplishes this in the realm of service requests and fulfillment, replacing what is often a hodgepodge of paper-based processes and multiple, disparate departmental online forms with a single user-friendly UI. Between the portal interface and the underlying enterprise applications, it incorporates a task workflow automation software engine to securely communicate between the underlying systems, automating functions like scheduling, fulfillment and reporting while shielding the requestor from the complexity of the back-end process flow.