Taking Control of the IT Menu

    Slide Show

    How Redundant Applications Drive up the Cost of IT

    IT costs are ballooning due to redundant application portfolios.

    One of the reasons that restaurants have menus is to impose some order on what otherwise would be an unmanageable series of requests for something unique. As an industry then, it might behoove IT organizations to start looking to the food services industry for a model on how to go about delivering IT as a service, starting, of course, with a menu. 

    Naturally, the primary reason that IT is out of control in many organizations is because the IT organization is trying to service too many special requests. Applications were created and deployed with no regard to either how redundant they might be or what the total cost of managing them might be.

    The good news is that we are starting to see IT organizations think more about deploying IT service catalogs, also known as portals, to help provide a framework for managing IT. According to Eric Feldman, senior principal product marketing manager for CA Technologies, the fact that many cloud computing providers manage their IT services through catalogs has not been lost on internal IT departments that are seeking to emulate the best practices of companies that specialize in delivering repeatable IT services. To facilitate this evolution of IT services management, CA Technologies recently rolled out version 12.6 of the CA Service Catalog, which adds integration with other IT automation and provisioning tools from CA Technologies as part of an effort to further automate the delivery of IT services.

    Of course, defining a set of IT services is not the same thing as telling customers they can’t order off the menu. But it does create a framework for charging customers for extras and assorted ‘side dishes’ that make the true cost of delivering these services more apparent to not only a particular business executive, but to the rest of the management team.

    We all know that business executives can only focus on unnecessary costs when they are exposed in a plain and simple way. So if your IT organization wants to regain control of IT, the first logical place may be to start with creating a catalog of services, otherwise known as the menu.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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