Discussion with BU Head – Consumption Management

i met a head of a business unit of a leading semiconductor manufacturing firm. during the course of discussions, it was only natural to end up talking about how his team uses the services that their IT provides to them.

one of the things that came out was the need for the business units to manage the consumption of IT services in a controlled manner.

businesses will have never ending demand for IT services. using demand management processes, the IT units have developed a way to manage these demands. use of portfolio management initiatives have helped IT in ensuring managing the demand and the supply side of IT. at the same time service catalogs provide a ‘menu’ of services the IT offers to the business.

what about helping business manage the consumption of IT services?

taking a leaf out of the way retail industry tracks the consumption data and use it for demand forecasting, similarly IT can also track consumption trends to improve its services and innovate to provide services that are actually more valued by the business users.

one rudimentary way is to track subscription to various IT services listed in the service catalog. based on the most popular subscription and combining it with the IT capacity management system will enable IT to have some handle to forcast the demand both, from IT services and from resource point of view. one can probably perform demand modelling also by using the consumption data.

tracking the consumption data will also depend on the metrics employed to track the usage. for e.g – for email, some of the most popular metrics used is number of mailboxes categorized by size. in some cases, it might make sense to move away from pay per use models just like the broadband internet access services have evolved from pay per use to bandwidth based packages.

for the business units, IT can enable them to track the IT service consumption by having transparency in the metrics and measurement data. just like service catalog enables the business units to subscribe to services, a real time (or near real time) or a scheduled report on SLA’s, service utilization metrics etc will also help the business units track and control the IT expenditure.

i might come back on this topic again sometime in near future…right now..time to catch my flight!

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