IT organizations are constantly seeking ways to add more strategic value for their organizations and this holds true inside Intel IT. In my blog earlier this year “What does the CFO want from the CIO”, I discussed that one of the value-add benefits Intel’s CFO wants from IT is to see more product influence from the Intel IT organization. After hearing about this goal, I spent some time looking to learn about how Intel IT influences Intel’s product direction.
One of the key ways we work to meet this expectation is a through a formal program (we call it IT2IAG – IT to Intel Architecture Group) that actively partners with the Intel product engineers, architects and Intel Labs. Interestingly, the motto for this program is “We don’t make Intel products, we help make Intel products better!” As the IT department inside Intel - an in-house user of Intel technology and a Global 500 IT shop, Intel IT has an ability and an obligation to contribute to the definition and development of Intel platforms and solutions.
Intel’s CIO initiated the IT2IAG program in 2008 with goal of tapping into Intel IT’s enterprise expertise and creating an innovation-focused environment to positively help improve Intel’s enterprise roadmap. We share our lessons learned and key insights internally through regular engineer to engineer collaboration sessions and formal internal executive reviews (called Five by Five meetings). Since 2008, this program has coordinated nearly 150 projects and has another 50 in progress today.
These projects include six focus areas ranging from product definition to testing to deployment practices:
- Usage Models: Identify how technologies and products would likely be used in the enterprise, and the associated value and benefits of those usages
- Product Requirements: Identify required features, capabilities, functionality, and supportability with an emphasis on Enterprise and IT value
- Technology Evaluations: Conduct limited technology and product testing in a pre-production controlled environment
- Proof of Concepts: Conduct in-depth technology and product testing in a production environment with full support
- Deployed Capability Assessments: Drive new feature development, requirements, and usage models for early adopted technology and provide defect detection and reporting
- Strategic Discussions: Participate in discussions to help set the strategy for a particular technology, product or platform.
We also have chosen to share many of the key lessons learned and best practices gained through the IT2IAG program externally with industry peers through the IT@Intel program - using a variety of forums including face to face meetings, industry events, content publication and social media. By engaging our peers in these open discussions we also gain valuable feedback on how other IT shops are using technology to enhance business value in their organizations.
Some of the IT2IAG projects led to the publication of these papers this past year:
- Upgrading Data Center Network Architecture to 10 Gigabit Ethernet
- Accelerating Silicon Design with Intel Xeon Processor E7 4800 Product Family
- A Roadmap for connecting Smart phones to the Intel Wi-Fi* Network
- Validating the Reliability of Intel Solid-State Drives
- Preparing the Enterprise for the Impact of Alternative Form Factors
- Benefits of Enabling Employee-owned Smart Phones in the Enterprise
What non-traditional programs or processes does your IT group use to create value unique to your business?