While the CIO focuses on IT Systems, the CTO role is to innovate with technology. Gartner developed a Hype Cycle Methodology for emerging technology that allows to discover the trends, and provide the governance structure on the enterprise level around adoption of disruptive technologies.
At the same time the CTO is evaluating the existing Technology Portfolio, and manages it in order to limit the duplication proliferation in terms of separate licenses for the same product or service, and diversity of products with the same functionality. It promotes cost saving and cost avoidance.
Technology also poses some risks. Every new product and vendor, including a supply chain, should go through the assessment process from accessibility, vendor support lifecycle, and cybersecurity viewpoints.
One way to manage all of these is by establishing an IT Asset Management capability. IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) provides an example reference model. The idea is to define the lifecycle of the IT asset, and manage every change in an integrated manner.
To reach that goal several things should happen:
- The enterprise should publish the IT Asset Management policy.
- The ITAM solution platform should be selected and made operational.
- All ITAM functions should use the same ITAM solution platform in order to avoid integration issues and data duplications.
- All technology products should be standardized in terms of the naming convention and the vendor lifecycle. The idea is to make everyone in the organization to use the same shared vocabulary.
- The Approved Technology List (the whitelist) should be established and published.
- Every server and device should be continuously monitored for compliance with the Approved Technology List.
A popular ITAM solution platform is ServiceNow.
One way to standardize the product names is to use Flexera Normalize application. It allows to replace different variations of the names for the same product version with the only one. In that case the IT Asset Inventory will be clean from duplication.
The get the vendor product lifecycle data, Flexera Technopedia database offers the single point of reference. It relies on the standard names from Flexera Normalize.
One way to ensure that the organization has a mature ITAM capability is to place an IT Help Desk request. If you are an employee with the device given by the organization, the IT Help Desk should know what is the name of your device, and what is installed, and what licenses you have – at the current moment.
Usually the Technology Portfolio is managed as part of the Enterprise Architecture Portfolio. It allows to track which applications are using which technology, and which capabilities are using which applications.
Technology Insertion should come from the projects and from the emerging technology governance. One way to attract potential investments is to establish enterprise platforms for experimentation and pilots, where projects can play before they buy.
The idea is to define the Target State of Technology Portfolio, and gradually modernize existing applications toward it. The best way is to use Application Portfolio Management together with Technology Modernization and Data Management. A good example is a move to the cloud. If it is not well planned, the IT projects will create the same complexity in the cloud as it was before. The same with adoption of RPA or blockchain. The cost saving is not easy to get without cost modeling and strategic planning.
While Business is driving the needs for IT support, disruptive technologies also became the driver that challenge the traditional business processes and offer remarkable benefits to the organization, if applied correctly.