Why do IT operations have to change?

Frida Carling Business Lead, Solita

Published 06 Nov 2023

Reading time 4 min

Do you recognise the following situations? “Same ticket has jumped back and forth between parties for days now” or “The deployment took two weeks instead of minutes as it should” or “It takes weeks for a small table change in the data warehouse”. I am guessing you do, as these are all real-life examples. There is a struggle with slowness and quality with the traditional infrastructure and application services set-up, as they are no longer fit for purpose.

And it is expensive. According to research conducted by Deloitte shows that companies are spending 65% of their IT budgets on just keeping operations running. This figure does not take into account the cost of the inefficiencies taking time both from business focus and IT development work. 

Why is the traditional way of delivering IT services no longer accurate? First of all, the size and complexity of IT environments have increased tremendously during the past decade – and the development speed will continue to increase. There are several megatrends that affect complexity: the most important factors being digitalisation, data becoming more operational, cloudification and the emergence of microservices. The information security risks have risen and need to be taken seriously. As the impact of these trends on the IT environment is enormous, it also affects how the solutions should be managed and maintained. 

Having looked into the recent changes in the IT sphere, it is possible to pinpoint the main root causes of why traditional IT operations are no longer fit for purpose. Below are the three major reasons:

1. “Keeping the lights on”

When a solution is deployed to production a handover to operations is also given. This operations function is often outsourced and offshored and given the task of “keeping the lights on”. The customer gets what they have asked for; the solutions are looked after, everything is running, and incidents are solved, but not much more than that. This leads to that the solutions lifecycle is not being cared for and the solutions are not evolving at the pace the IT environment around them is evolving. 

2. Traditional procurement models

IT services are traditionally bought centrally with a high focus on lowering the unit price, often being the cost per hour – or worse, per ticket. The contracts are often designed in a way that does not incentivise the solution provider to improve the service. This comes down to the fact that you get what you measure. In many contracts the KPIs we measure do not measure service improvement, but rather how efficiently incidents are closed. And we can argue that closed does not always equal solved.

3. Operations in isolation

Finally, one challenge is that operations are kept in isolation from the rest of the business. Sometimes it is even described that the wanted state is that you don´t even know of their existence. This leads to a situation where the people operating the solution are so far from the business and lack understanding of the use of it, that they cannot support it in the best possible way. This becomes an even bigger issue in solutions where changes are rapid and business understanding is crucial in order to successfully operate. This is tangible for example in many data solutions where understanding the data and the data model is crucial or in large business-critical solutions with several dependencies on other systems. Why is it hard to change?

Traditional models have been de facto for a long time and sometimes it is easier to buy what you are used to. 

The ways of developing solutions have become more agile and IT services should too. 

This requires both changes from the provider’s delivery models, and also to the customer’s procurement models and ways of working.

We are here to support and guide our customers in this change providing modern, agile and holistic partnership and competence for IT operations and development, what we call Lifecycle services. Solita’s roots are in agile software & application development, integrations and data platforms and we are cloud native. We develop and maintain large, mission-critical solutions and offer holistic monitoring and governance solutions to a variety of services. 

Do you want to learn more about how we tackle the challenges mentioned in this blog, stay tuned for our next blog post!

Dare to renew how you approach IT operations? Let’s get in touch and start our journey together!

  1. Business