I recently read the Ivanti-commissioned IDG Connect research report that you can download entitled The CIO’s Conundrum: Can IT Move from ‘Keep the Lights On’ to Creative Thinking?  

A key takeaway from the report is excerpted here:

IT teams have dual expectations placed upon them. They can’t let go of the everyday, systemic controls but they’re also expected to be forces for ideation and creativity. This is the ‘yin and yang’ of modern IT operations. The ability to defend on the security/governance/operations front while attacking on the opportunity/innovation flank is characteristic of successful business technology teams today.

Dual Expectations, Dual Delivery

The report’s introduction states that “IT must act as the great all-around player today.” This, coupled with the “dual expectations” conundrum got me thinking of some famous professional athletes who were gifted at two or more sports before settling on the one where they became legendary. Consider these three retired superstars:

  • Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway was a standout in both baseball and football at Stanford University.
  • Danny Ainge of the Boston Celtics and BYU is the only person in U.S. history to be named a high school All American in three sports (football, basketball, and baseball).
  • Abby Wambach, U.S. Women’s Soccer player, was a two-time Olympic gold medalist, FIFA Women’s World Cup champion, and six-time winner of the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year award. She also played basketball in high school.

Martin Rogers, writing about Wambach for USA TODAY Sports (July 3, 2015) reported that her success in soccer wouldn’t have been possible without her basketball experience.

He quoted Wambach: “Playing basketball had a significant impact on the way I play the game of soccer. I am a taller player in soccer, in basketball I was a power forward and I would go up and rebound the ball. So learning the timing of your jump, learning the trajectory of the ball coming off the rim, all those things play a massive role.”

Doing the “Everyday” Well Can Spark Creativity

I’d like to think that IT’s focus on doing the “everyday” well can spark a natural progression to ideation and creativity.

Here are a couple of real-life IT Service Management (ITSM) use case examples with Ivanti Service Manager, powered by Heat:

1. A Strategic Initiative for Patient Safety

A leading healthcare organization in the central U.S. has embraced ITSM as a strategic initiative for patient safety. Rather than looking at IT as a collection of applications, servers, storage, and networks, IT is aligning its service portfolio with such business functions as electronic medical records (EMR), laboratory services, and payroll services.

What’s more, IT’s success with ITSM has attracted the attention of other groups in the organization looking to optimize their own service delivery. Human Resources was the first department to recognize the value and uses Ivanti to track employee inquiries and requests about payroll and benefits.

The Nursing department is exploring using Ivanti to manage requests for the nursing float pool used to fill last-minute staffing shortages. Ivanti would organize and automate a process that’s managed manually today by fielding incoming emails. Accurate tracking of requests and turnaround times would help nurse supervisors better anticipate staffing needs.

The success with ITSM at this healthcare organization is rooted in a foundation of people, process, and tools—with the primary objective to enhance patient safety. IT engaged senior management early, and it changed the conversation and how they perceived the department. The department went from being the IT guys in the basement to a true partner in patient safety.

2. A Catalyst for Change Across All Departments

So far, Ivanti Service Manager has enabled a UK-based global manufacturer of precision engineered and power transmission products to evolve IT and take control of its processes and global estate. It’s also delivered productivity gains, unified the organization’s infrastructure, and acted as a catalyst for empowering process-driven change across all departments.

The first noticeable effect was the opening of multi-channel communications for Incidents.

Previously users had felt restrained by detailing issues through a portal only, without allowing phone, email, or face-to-face interactions when needed. When things go wrong, depending on the severity of the issue, many users prefer to communicate directly rather than just through a portal that lacks immediate re-assurance without indicating likely cause or effect. Ivanti Service Manager opens communications options while still allowing self-service, building internal perceptions of increased service levels.

The management of service requests under the new platform now helps with onboarding and offboarding of employees. Requests for new (or removal of) accounts, software apps, and hardware options are entered as Service Requests and approvals automated across the business.

“Can We Re-balance ‘Business as Usual’ versus Creativity—Even Just a Little?”

The IDG Connect research report concludes with this statement:

“In this survey, what became crystal clear was the counterbalancing of maintaining essential IT services with the desire to be bold and to act as a creativity dynamo. Realistically, this will be the status quo for at least the medium-term but smart companies might at least try to move the dial a little, setting aside some budget, time, and people for the critical task of having a progressive IT department that has, for at least a sizeable part of its remit, the duty to come up with ideas and translate those ideas to creative reality.”

Take some time to learn more about how ITSM solutions from Ivanti can help you “move the dial a little” towards greater creativity and success.