The Enterprise CIO Forum (ECF) is a community for CIOs, CTOs and IT leaders in large enterprises. It is a venue for discussing ways to leverage technology to drive mission focused outcomes and the many related factors associated with improved IT support to enterprise success. The content of the forum is driven by enterprise technologists sharing tips, techniques and strategies for making the most of IT. It is a very mission focused site that is easy to join, just register at http://enterprisecioforum.com and dive right in.
Recently the forum has focused in on topics like the importance of IT financial management in order to accomplish enterprise missions. In a post titled “IT Financial Management and the Business of IT” Doug Goddard of TCSF underscores the importance of managing the business of IT itself. This piece provided great context from a professional who has helped serve enterprise missions by aligning IT strategically with organizational objectives. Some of the pieces key takeaways:
The most mature organizations see IT as a business partner, from a financial management perspective. IT is a key contributor to corporate strategy. These organizations deploy value added financial management activities, like service investment analysis, to evaluate the best way to provision services, internal, shared or external. They setup mature IT charging systems, internal and external, and deploy automated tools to gather and charge actual resource usage. They also engage in extensive service valuation, to determine if IT services are adding to the bottom line and by how much.
That struck me as particularly relevant in today’s environment, especially the environment in government, where things like return on investment are much harder (or at times impossible) to calculate. Government enterprises can learn from pieces like Doug’s and from the running commentary from enterprise thought leaders in the comments to his piece.
Another great piece at the forum was titled: ”Top 5 steps for timely data center disaster recovery.” This post by HP’s E.G. Nadhan provides a great framework for enabling recovery from disaster in the datacenter. They are:
Instantiation. Architecture and design of an IT environment to which production information can be continuously replicated.
Replication. Ongoing transmission of key transactional data in an encrypted manner to the replicated environment.
Configuration. Identification of the resources to be stood up in the replicated environment should disaster strike.
Restoration. Just like the human body has a natural sequence to being restored to life, there is a well-defined sequence in which the replicated environment is restored.
Communication. What the business users are waiting for — the system is up! – a message delivered through unified communications.
The government has long put thought into disaster recovery and most agencies have put plans in place. But not all agencies practice their plans and I imagine all could use fresh thinking on the best way to prepare for crisis. This piece and the comments around it can give a snapshot of current industry thinking on this concept.