Want to get competitive advantage in your business – its available and its through a simple process – doing IT right. In the Canadian Telecom market Bell Canada is taking a beating because its IT systems are in turmoil in comparison to its chief competitors – Rogers and Telus. Bells systems are silos based on markets. They can barely talk to each other. So all Rogers or Telus have to do is bundle some special offer across their mobile with their TV or home phone service – the latest fad is free calling to your five top phone numbers anywhere in Canada (mobile or home phone). Bell is hard pressed to match because of prices but also systems integration problems. And already the competition is hatching variations on this scheme.
As IT technology continues to rush forward, graduates in computer science in North America continue to decline, offshoring continues to take its cost of both a transition toll and ever increasing outsourcing expenses, companies that are disciplined in managing the full array of their IT resources are able to garner better positions in their markets like Rogers and Telus over Bell.
Now companies with good IT design and implementation skills will, like say WalMart in the BI arena wrest huge market advanatges over many years. But let me suggest an old fashion opportunity, super automating IT Operations. In fact, this is what has got HP to pay $1.6B revenues for Opsware. HP had already started using Opsware in consolidating 85 data centers down to 6 and reducing its IT operating staff by 50% while increasing system relaibility, service and availability.
BMC, IBM, and CA are all making bigger investments in their IT Operations software. The whole idea is to automate out rote tasks and devote staff to the hard knuckle IT problems. Or alternately transfer monies saved in IT operations into IT design and development or other product opportunities. And there is growing evidence, that old fashion best practices can return on investment.
For example companies that are adopting the new ITIL-IT Infrastucture Library 3 set of best practices find they are in better position to optimize using IT Ops Automation software or implement SOA and ESB solutions more effectively. The synergy of best practices is starting to get a consensus of advocates.