Ann All spoke with John Longwell, vice president of research for Computer Economics, which just published its IT Management Best Practices 2011/2012 study. In it, Computer Economics examined the maturity levels and growth rates of 15 selected IT management practices, including the IT Infrastructure Library, IT project portfolio management and use of IT asset management systems.
All: You saw strong growth in several practices, including ITIL, use of IT asset management systems and project management offices (PMOs). Other than a desire to derive more value from IT investments, are there any factors that seem to be contributing to the growth in these three areas?
Longwell: All three of these practices represent a more mature focus on processes and procedures, and they have all shown strong growth over the last four years. It falls in line with the concept of IT service management. I should point out that in the short term, that picture is a little different. Asset management was the only one of the three practices that showed any growth year-over-year. Right now everyone is focused on short-term objectives and there is not a lot of room for big initiatives like ITIL. Strong asset management systems, on the other hand, can provide immediate returns.
All: Did any practices decline in popularity?
Longwell: Only slightly. Publishing IT performance metrics was down about 8 percent since 2008 in terms of the percentage of organizations practicing this. Perhaps as IT organizations were forced to reduce expenses, they realized the metrics were going to decline. Maybe it was just a low priority. At any rate, an 8 percent decline over four years is not that significant. Another practice that declined was active contributions to open source projects. That was down 7 percent, which again is not large. But this is a practice that never actually got off the ground.
All: You consider six of the 15 best practices you asked about to be mainstream, showing both high adoption and practice rates. Are these six practices something that all IT organizations should be doing?
Longwell: They are six practices that every IT manager should consider. They may not be appropriate for every environment, but I do think practices become widely adopted for a reason. And they continue to be practiced for a reason.
All: The use of IT steering committees was the most mature practice, with nearly 80 percent of respondents saying they have them and 60 percent saying they make full use of them. This one seems logical, as it’s a foundational practice that could overlap with some others like project portfolio management and strategic planning. Do the results suggest it’s a “need to have” and not a “nice to have” practice for most organizations?
Longwell: I think that is exactly what it is saying. This is another practice that experienced steady growth through the recession. Ensuring that IT investment and resources are being aligned with business priorities is always important and it becomes especially important when resources grow scarce.
Original Author : Ann All
Courtesy : http://www.itbusinessedge.com/