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The End of End-to-End: Why You Should Care

End-to-end is coming to an end. At least, that’s what Andy White thinks in an article for The ITSM Review. A controversial view? Consider the following ominous factors. The presence of shadow IT, restructuring of analytics, M&A transactions, converging technologies, cost of I&O, and new organizational roles all point to a radically changed “digital landscape” that puts traditional ways of doing business and IT to rest:

Welcome to the digital economy. An economy where cross-silo agility, integration, automation, data, mobility and compliance are key watchwords. An economy where we should revisit core questions like; ‘How are we doing the things we do?’ and perhaps more fundamentally, ‘Why are we doing the things we do?’

Where and what is the End?

The real question is about the ‘End.’ Where and what is the End? How does IT best facilitate transactions and with what kind of platform? In all, business has been moving steadily from an analog age to the digital age, and this transformation is yet to reach its ultimate conclusion. In plainer terms, what White suggests is that our machines are already better at making decisions than we humans (and faster). Therefore, isn’t it time the business stopped asking IT to “go fetch” using machines and for IT units to simply integrate into the business itself?

Where is IT?

What competitive advantage means in the age of digital real-time is that the machine knows before the exec. The role of the business moves from that of pioneering initiator to that of “first responder,” and IT acts as the nervous system to prompt that response. That brings us to the next important question: Without an End, where is IT? White breaks the answer down into three basic parts, based on the three main functions of IT:

  1. Core Applications and Services
  2. End User Service and Support
  3. Business Intelligence (BI)

1. The core applications and services come from the typical on-premise sources (physical / virtual) or the cloud (public / private) or can be outsourced and in some cases originate with shadow IT.

2. Oftentimes this area is a mess, because disparate service and support functions have not been properly joined up. The five customer types are served from various locations, and some of those locations are not even regulated within IT.

3. This is the interesting bit, because BI does not describe the location of the information, but rather the endpoint where it is utilized effectively by the business person via applications.

The takeaway from this analysis is that the business and IT are becoming a fluid union, and so the “End-to-End” becomes an End unto itself, a kind of digital singularity. Another way of understanding this change is to imagine the analog business as a person who must drink with a straw. Information is the drink and IT is the straw. Simply internalize IT, integrate the straw into the person (a functioning mouth, I suppose), and the digital IT-business hybrid feeds on information directly.

Read the full article at: http://www.theitsmreview.com/2015/02/the-end-to-end-is-nigh/

About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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