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ITIL and the Business Relationship Manager: Avoiding the Performance Trap!

Vaughan Merlyn notes that “the message here is that it's ok to leverage standards and framework such as ITIL and COBIT – but essential to do so with intelligence!”  The Business Relationship Manager (BRM) has, since the 2011 edition of the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), had a place and a process to follow. As blog author Vaughan Merlyn indicates, this is a good thing: The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) 2011 edition and the ISO/IEC 20000 standard for IT Service Management formalized the existence of the Business Relationship Manager (BRM) role and corresponding Business Relationship Management process as a new best practice and international IT Service Management standard requirement.  This is good – for professional BRMs around the world, for the IT profession in general, and for improving the business return on IT investments, as technology becomes ever more deeply embedded in business processes. But it also comes with some bad news: Merlyn doesn’t think the BRM role is capable of driving innovation with business leaders. Rather, it’s a tactical role despite the belief that the role is meant to “excite and delight their customers with the new business capabilities they are enabled by information and information technology.” The BRM role depends very much on where the business and IT are in the Business/IT Maturity Model that Merlyn employs within the article. The lower the level of maturity, the more tactical the BRM role is. However, as the business/IT maturity level increases, the BRM role can move to a more strategic position, allowing for a focus on “business effectiveness and transformation.” The difficulty becomes reaching the highest level of alignment between the two.

About Matthew Kabik

Matthew Kabik is the former Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He worked at Computer Aid, Inc. from 2008 to 2014 in the Harrisburg offices, where he was a copywriter, swordsman, social media consultant, and trainer before moving into editorial.

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