How to make life easier for IT (in the brave new digitally transformed world)

Post • 4 min read

7 May 2024

There’s an inescapable fact as digital transformation progresses: legacy IT operating models become unsustainable. 

The organisation’s growing digital demands are growing exponentially, and IT is struggling to keep up with the scale of operational and security requirements.

So how do you cut through the internal bureaucracy, ease the IT workload and get IT and product teams on the same page?

That’s what we look at in this article, so read on…👇 

Why is IT so overworked?

There are a few reasons why IT has gotten caught in this unsustainable (and often painful) position:

  • Legacy SLAs and processes – can’t keep up with the pace of product and feature development, and the infra partner is slow and manual
  • Not enough self-service – so it can’t meet the ‘give me services now’ demands
  • Costs are too high – and the promises made before cloud migration aren’t fully materialising
  • Confusing accountability – who’s supposed to do what across IT support, the CCoE and the infra partner?

How do you give IT a much-deserved breather?

So many IT leaders I speak to recognise these problems – and are frustrated by the growing friction between IT and agile product teams. What they don’t initially realise is that there are practical solutions.

We help companies take 2 solution pathways:

  1. Design a ‘built for agile’ IT support model – redefine what teams are responsible for and how they’re measured, staffed and related service levels
  2. Start with a tech-focused POC – that increases automation levels and takes pressure off IT

A caveat here: Yes, there are 2 pathways. But to truly eliminate ongoing IT ops headaches, you have to change the IT support model. POCs can be an effective starting point, but unless you bite the bullet and make those strategic changes, you will continue in the firefighting mentality with IT still struggling to keep up in some areas. 

How to design a ‘built for agile’ IT support model

The aim is to end up with centralised capabilities supported by an automation platform:

  • Platform engineering team – whose scope extends beyond tickets and availability to areas such as providing self-service automation, lifecycle management and cost optimisation. We generally recommend the team be split into 4 pillars: landing zone, database, FinOps, Kubernetes, VM Ops
  • Central automation platform – sits between IT and agile product teams, enabling a high degree of business self-service
  • Automation in IT operations – frees up capacity and includes automating provisioning, change management, change configuration and scheduled operations

We can help you define the target scopes, sizes, missions, KPIs, SLAs and roles for each pillar of the platform engineering team. We can also help you solve automation dilemmas to achieve the optimal self-service capabilities and efficiency gains.

It starts with a workshop with stakeholders to align on principles, requirements and options. Then we assess the gaps in the existing support model, create a business case and present options. From there, we define the approach and help execute the changes.

How to start with a tech-focused POC

If you have budget for cost savings and automation, the POC pathway gives you quick wins. It shows how automation can be used to serve agile product teams at previously unthinkable levels (and price points). 

Common areas we look at for POCs are:

  • Self-service provisioning – landing zones, databases, FinOps, Kubernetes, VM Ops
  • Service requests

If a major challenge relates to lack of capacity – like not enough people to send to all the Monday stand-ups – then self-service provisioning can be a good starting point. Even if you have automated landing zones, there are lots of opportunities across the other areas. For example, we can bring you to a point where users can request an environment to build microservices running on Kubernetes, with all the network and API requirements met. They just click and it’s done.

These POCs are great as starting points. But to reiterate what I said above…ultimately – for a sustainable and scalable way of working – you do need to move to a refined support model that enables you to deliver better services more efficiently. An added bonus: with those better services and greater efficiency, you can then justify bigger budgets.

Solutions are out there, so you don’t have to settle for the current frustrations

Read more about curing these Day 2 digital transformation challenges in this guide. And if you want to chat about the frustrations your IT teams are currently dealing with, contact me for a chat using the form below.

Get in Touch.

Let’s discuss how we can help with your cloud journey. Our experts are standing by to talk about your migration, modernisation, development and skills challenges.

Ilja Summala
Ilja’s passion and tech knowledge help customers transform how they manage infrastructure and develop apps in cloud.
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Group CTO