Every IT organization is familiar with the natural boundaries for communication and cooperation that arise from organizing IT around technology specialties, which are often referred to as technology silos. In the past, there was good reason to organize IT in this fashion, with few drawbacks, since technologies were rarely interdependent and not often business critical.
Today, technologies are massively interdependent and businesses can no longer function without the aide of interdependent technologies. The drawbacks to technology silos are magnified in this new “enterprise” environment. However, there are still good reasons for specialization around technology to some degree. The challenge then has become how to keep the strong technical expertise, but to minimize the drawbacks of the technology silos.
Focusing IT on delivery of IT services to business customers and end-users is an excellent way to maintain the technology silo organization and at the same time provide a customer driven set of goals that span all the interdependent technologies that together comprise a customer facing service.
Services are a way to organizationally recognize the interdependencies of technologies and to ensure that all resources within IT are working towards value creating customer facing goals. This concept can be taken even further by identifying services within IT that are not directly customer facing but instead, support customer facing services and focusing IT activities on delivering these services in support of customer facing services.