Read the series introduction here

Trend #7 – Network Operations Integration

The convergence of formerly distinct network technology platforms – take telephony systems and LANs, for example – is precipitating a major networking operations transition, including alterations in IT organizational structure.

Gartner recommends network managers adopt an ITIL approach, creating an organization centered around processes that deliver IT services. To enhance end-to-end IT service delivery, consider greater integration of the Network Operations Center (NOC) with IT infrastructure operations.

This trend is driving complex IT organization changes, subordinating technology to processes, with the ultimate goal of seamless service delivery across all of IT.

Trend #8 – IT (and Network) Services

Gartner prediction: by 2012 as many as 30 percent of large enterprises will define core business-oriented IT services, along with formal service-level agreements for each service. The number of enterprises engaged in this analysis will rise from 15% in 2010.

As a result of this trend, IT is tasked with proving its enterprise value and with identifying metrics for service levels.

Because IT organizations increasingly define their services as processes, it’s not always obvious how to demonstrate the value of a process to the business.

Gartner proposes IT organizations tackle this perception gap in three phases.

Phase 1: Consider how the enterprise actually uses IT

Example: processing enterprise applications and computations; storing/retrieving essential data; and communicating among employees, suppliers and customers to make decisions and complete transactions.

Phase 2: Subdivide each category into sub-categories

Example: communications can be divided into telephony, messaging, conferencing, collaboration and data transfer, and presence.

Phase 3: Analyze each sub-category in terms of service-level requirements

Example: establish service-level uptimes by sub-category (such as data transfer) and for various enterprise sites (such as headquarters, field office, home).

Gartner cautions IT organizations: “Our key principle is to define services in the way the enterprise uses them, not necessarily what IT delivers as processes.”

Coming next: Our Ten Most Challenging trends series concludes with trends #9, Automation, and #10, Cloud computing.

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