Why IT Operations Management is Important to the Public Sector

This post is an excerpt from our recent research brief, Gaining Visibility and Control: How Service Operations Management Can Put You on an Improved Path to Customer Service. To download the full piece, head here.

First, to explain what IT operations management is, we turned to Bob Osborn, ServiceNow’s Chief Technology Officer for Federal.

“Operations management, simply put, is the ability to understand and catalog all of the assets within your environment and then have tools and processes in place, which allows you to collectively manage them,” Osborn said. “That’s whether that environment is on the premises or in the cloud. Essentially, it is being able to understand and catalog all the assets in your environment and then manage those according to the priorities of your organization.”

For years, obtaining control and a detailed understanding of the data center have been challenging for IT workers. Common point solutions have only exacerbated the problem by configuring resources independently and without the governance of change control. Moving applications to the cloud adds further complications because changes can occur much faster and in greater volumes. Accurate configuration information about infrastructure — physical, virtual and cloud-based — ensures confident IT service delivery. It is also crucial for preventing outages and service quality degradation.

This is where IT operations management helps.

To better understand the public sector’s challenges and needs when it comes to IT operations management, GovLoop surveyed 341 public-sector professionals.

We were interested in discovering general awareness of IT operations management, how many public-sector workers consider it essential to successful IT, why they find it successful and what barriers they face in implementing a solid IT operations management strategy.

So how can IT operations management help government workers more efficiently deliver services and prioritize issues?

First, Osborn noted, it is truly important that officials at any organization, whether public or private, understand all the items and assets that make up their IT. If you don’t know it’s there, you can’t effectively manage it, Osborn said.

“Many organizations fall into the trap of buying management tools or putting processes in place trying to get the arm’s length configuration management or positioning of different environments without fully understanding what they already have and what state is it in,” Osborn said. “So when it comes to trying to understand what needs to be updated or replaced or if there’s a vulnerability associated with those assets, it’s difficult to find out if you even have it or if you are on the right version.”


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