Service Management 

Managing the Information that Powers Your Apps

The information lifecycle in the application economy; How information is undergoing a digital transformation

Deploying apps isn’t the enterprise’s end goal. Rather, the end goal is successfully executing a business strategy. Traditionally, after the enterprise defines the strategy and its milestones, the IT organization is asked to deliver an information lifecycle that meets the needs of the business: an effective infrastructure (especially apps) as well as the information and services that will meet those strategic milestones.

In the first blog in this series, my co-author/blogger Darren Arcangel and I discussed the fact that in the app economy, success depends on managing the information that powers our apps. If the app user doesn’t get the right information and/or can’t easily complete a transaction, he or she can readily find alternative solutions.

As with any business service supported by IT, an enterprise needs an information lifecycle design that covers all aspects of the service, notably:

  • An app that supports business requirements, accompanied by its design lifecycle. The app’s design lifecycle is the complete lifetime of the app, from initial conception to final decommissioning.
  • Information to feed the app, which then generates additional information. The information lifecycle is defined as the process of planning, harvesting, organizing, retrieving, using, securing, distributing, changing and disposingof information.
  • A data management lifecycle, which looks at the way data is organized into tiers based on the data’s criticality, cost and speed. Policies are applied to help automate data as it migrates from one tier to the next.

You may be thinking, “We have a well thought out IT service management (ITSM) strategy supported by ITIL 2011. Doesn’t that strategy cover the business strategy and information lifecycle strategy outlined above?” As we mentioned in our first blog, the lessons of the past don’t always apply in the application economy.

The ITSM strategy differs from the business and information lifecycle strategies in that most infrastructure services are built to support the business of IT, not the strategy of the larger enterprise, which demands effective processing of information captured by applications. Companies that understand and leverage this difference will be industry leaders.

A key way that the app economy has changed ITIL and the information lifecycle is that managing information is key to delivering successful apps. As a result, ITSM strategy owners now need to be actively engaged from the beginning in identifying and developing new business services.

Because the enterprise is reliant on IT operations, failure to involve IT from the get-go results in inadequate support of the services/apps in live use or—even worse—major roadblocks during testing when the business discovers that the service/app doesn’t support the business strategy.

ITSM strategy owners also need to ensure that their business unit counterparts are fully aware of the current IT infrastructure’s capabilities and of the impact that changes to the information lifecycle will have on the infrastructure. ITSM strategy owners who accomplish these actions will help lead their companies to success in the app economy.

Next steps

In the next blog we’ll talk about the value of capturing data and the challenges it presents, such as privacy concerns, optimization of data, cost efficiency, regulatory compliance, and big data.  How have you adapted the information lifecycle to meet your needs in the application economy? Let us know.

Rob Zuurdeeg is a Principal Technical Information Manager at CA Technologies. He has consulted on…


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