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ITIL : Stability vs Responsiveness

Which is Better: Stability or Responsiveness?

Is it better to have stability or responsiveness, and why can’t you have both, anyway? In the terms of IT, stability means uptime and infrastructure: it means how little your user experiences program or system failure. And while this is very important, it might limit the ability of your organization to be responsive: being able to change with the IT market and address new or unforeseen requirements and challenges as they come about:

While we have a north pole, we have a south pole as well. The south pole in this balance equation is being over responsive. Responsiveness is the ability of an organization to respond to changing IT environment, like upgrading to a newer technology without impacting the IT services offered to the customer. For example, if a bank decides to transition from mainframe technology to a java based engine, with all the existing and additional features, a responsive organization will be in a good position to carry out the transformation.

That’s the Wrong Question

So which is more important? Well, that’s not quite the right question to ask. In reality, they are both important, and finding the balance between the two is the key. Too much of a focus on stability and an organization won’t be able to deal with changing business requirements. Too much of a focus on responsiveness and an organization is likely to over-spend on changes and not be able to support existing systems or applications. Achieving balance means stabilizing between changes for a period of time (allowing for changes to come and not dramatically affect stability). This allows for both a strong, stable platform for IT while still having responsiveness the business requires.

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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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