How mature – or sentient – is your ICT?

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Sentient IT

Most people working with IT operational development are familiar with Gartner maturity models. You know, those 5 level things where you end up from chaotic, ad-hoc state of level 1 to the blessed 5th level where business sings praise to IT and the world is ready. Most real companies end up somewhere between 2 or 3, depending on the wording of the stages and the mood of the assessor.

Having said all that, there is a lot of good in those models as well. They usually talk about the IT vision, explaining what good looks like. They usually even describe the path and the steps to get there. The problem is, the last stage (often called with lofty terms such as “Optimized”, “Best practice” or “Value”) often sounds completely utopian.

…Only it’s not utopian anymore – thanks to advances in IT event management and analysis.

Sentient IT is a movement focused around real time IT environment data, direct and proactive connection to end user satisfaction and artificial intelligence. It has the potential to change the vision for IT operations completely. I introduced the topic in a previous post some time ago. The key idea is that the whole of traditional IT function can be replaced.Instead of people, there are analytics, machine learning based decision making and a lot of environment data. End result is a company where technology and tools only rarely break down, and even when they do, the fix is already on its way. Sounds good? For us too!

Here are some thoughts on the Sentient IT maturity model and the steps needed to achieve the end state:

Sentient IT Maturity ModelFigure 1: Stages of Sentient IT / Source: Applixure Oy

To be or not to be sentient – where’s the problem?

If this is so great, why hasn’t anyone done this before? The answer, as so often, lies in data. In order for anyone to even get to level 3 in the model, IT department needs to produce data that is correct, actionable and produced in real time. This rarely used to happen, as tools were dependent on people for input or at least interpretation. Now, with the onset of cloud-based, light to deploy toolsets for real-time IT environment monitoring and ability to gauge the feelings of different end user groups immediately, it is possible to collect the required data to assess every noticed quirk in the system and react to it.

How will all that data then produce results across the IT organization? See the attached diagram for details across 7 most prominent IT operational functions:

Sentient IT models

Figure 2: Sentient IT stages of development across IT functions / Source: Applixure Oy

In summary, focusing on analytics, decision automation and data will drive efficiency in various areas of IT. The value of the sentient IT transformation is not directly a cost game. It is rather a change that will have repercussions all the way to the customer interface. When you can track the impact all the way to business processes and services, the customers will start to notice. That’s when the real benefits start coming in.

Assess your capabilities using the sentient IT maturity model now, as your competition may be acting on this already! For more information on how to collect better data of your IT environment, contact Applixure. If you want to start your transformation towards Sentient IT – contact Taival Advisory.

Reko Lehti, Executive Partner at Taival

Reko has a continuous love affair with all things technological. His 15 years in consulting and technology leadership roles have fueled his passion for new business models and enterprise architecture. When not scaling the digital hurdles with Taival customers, he enjoys rock climbing in all of its forms.

Reko Lehti is an Advisor to Applixure.

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