“To survive today, organizations must be adept at making effective use of information technology (IT) to support business operations and administration. Only a few, however, truly innovate business products, services, processes, and business models, even though today’s technology landscape offers a host of innovation enablers.”
—Vaughan Merlyn, co-founder of the Business Relationship Management Institute
Over the last several years, Intel IT has been implementing the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework to transform our service delivery and enable us to align more effectively with the strategies and priorities of each of Intel’s lines of business (LOBs). In doing so, we can focus on high-priority activities that may potentially transform Intel’s entire business and boost the relevancy of IT. As the Chief of Staff for Product Development IT and the Director of Business Solutions Integration for Intel IT, I’m looking forward to meeting with others who have found the same value in using this practice or are considering starting that journey.
Intel IT at the Forefront of Business Relationship Management
“The day I’m representing Intel’s LOB more than my day job, I’ve arrived.”
—Intel IT Staff Member
From the top down, Intel IT fully understands the importance of business relationship management. In the last 18 months, we have transitioned from an organization loosely coupled to the business to one directly aligned with the business, literally sitting at the table to help make key business decisions.
In 2013, Intel’s CIO, Kim Stevenson, personally asked each LOB to include an IT general manager (GM) on their staff. This suggestion was met favorably by the LOBs, who saw tremendous value in connecting more formally and more closely with IT.
Intel IT has adopted a user-centered approach to delivering IT services that enables us to optimize our IT solutions, improve employee productivity, and increase business velocity. Our user-centered approach involves proactively engaging and partnering with Intel employees and business groups to learn about their needs for information, technology, and services, as well as desired experience. ITIL has been integral in placing the customer at the center, and our new Business Solutions Integration (BSI) service aligns with our user-centered IT strategy. It integrates business relationship management and business demand management, presenting the LOBs with a “One IT” view. Each LOB has a dedicated IT LOB GM, along with other dedicated IT staff that form that LOB’s core IT team: a business relationship manager, a principal engineer, and a finance controller.
With a single point of contact for IT, the LOBs can more easily request services. But more important, IT is attuned to the LOB’s strategies, priorities, and pain points. We’ve slashed the time it takes us to say “yes” or “no” to a business request from an average of 36 hours to 8 hours, and our level of support has improved dramatically, according to annual Partnership Excellence surveys.
Run, Grow, Transform
IT used to be thought of as the organization that kept the lights on and the business running, building tools when necessary. But here at Intel, while Intel IT does indeed keep the business running, our best value lies in proactively collaborating with our customers. Therefore, instead of only focusing exclusively on “Run” activities (such as providing network connectivity), we also actively pursue “Grow” and “Transform” activities.
In the “Grow” category, for example, we conduct proofs of concept (PoCs) and enterprise early adoption tests for emerging technologies. Even more valuable are our “Transform” activities, where we are directly involved in co-creating marketable products with our product groups and providing Intel with competitive advantage.
Our BSI service incorporates these higher-value activities through its integration with the IT2Intel program. I’ll explore each of these activities in more detail in future blogs. But briefly, our IT2Intel program enables us to accelerate Intel's growth in enterprise markets by leveraging Intel IT's expertise in partnership with Intel product groups.
Shifting with the Business
As an example of how our direct involvement with Intel’s LOBs shapes our work, consider the following graphic that shows the distribution of business requests from the various LOBs. In 2013, Intel’s Internet of Things Group (IoTG), represented by the dark blue block at the top of the left-hand graph, had very few requests for IT. But in 2014, the number of IoTG business requests grew significantly. Because we have a seat at the table, we were able to evolve with the business and meet the demands of this burgeoning sector of Intel’s market.
Our close alignment with Intel’s lines of business (LOBs) helps us shift our priorities to meet the growing demand from the Internet of Things Group (IoTG). http://brminstitute.org/
Through our close communication with the IoTG and early PoCs, we’ve deployed infrastructure based on the Intel® IoT Platform. We are leveraging that experience to help the group deliver solutions to Intel customers. This is just one example of how, through our BSI service, IT stays relevant and valuable to the entire enterprise.
I encourage you connect with me on the IT Peer Network and on Twitter @azmikephillips to share your thoughts and experiences relating to IT business relationship management and how it can metamorphose the role of IT from transactional to transformational.