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5/20/2009
08:46 PM
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Touchy Feely IT Departments Use More Hardcore Automation Tools

Yes, I'm still sifting through data for our upcoming InformationWeek Analytics Service Assurance report, and here's tonight's bit of data magic for your consideration: IT organizations that collect customer feedback on a regular basis are also more likely to use automation tools to ensure consistent quality deployments for their organizations. My question for the studio audience is, "why?"

Yes, I'm still sifting through data for our upcoming InformationWeek Analytics Service Assurance report, and here's tonight's bit of data magic for your consideration: IT organizations that collect customer feedback on a regular basis are also more likely to use automation tools to ensure consistent quality deployments for their organizations. My question for the studio audience is, "why?"When I first started cross-tabbing data about process control with those who collect feedback, my first sarcastic instinct was, "sure, of course there's a correlation between people who are process-focused and those who collect customer data -- it's just the bureacrat instinct at work."

But as I dug into it and kept charting how much emphasis the two types of IT organizations (customer data collectors and non-collectors) put on process, I found a consistent pattern. These folks do more in the way of written documentation; they do more in the way of utilizing checklists; they rely more on workflow; and they also have more hardcore tech under their belt to ensure a consistent quality experience for their users.

chart

This certainly ain't touchy-feely stuff, folks. And it's not mere bureaucrat instinct at work. This is real, live, proven & effective configuration management. The instrument that we used specifically asked about application deployment (versus, for example, willy-nilly setup using CDs) and configuration management. And this stuff is what separates mature IT organizations from IT organizations that run around with their collective hair on fire.

So here's the question. Is it that people who run better process control have more time to engage in proactive activities like customer feedback? Or, is it that the type of person who is interested in process is also interested in measurement of the customer experience? Or something else entirely? While I have my own thoughts on the matter, I'd love to hear from you, either as a comment below or direct email. I'll credit you in our upcoming report.

Jonathan Feldman is an InformationWeek Analytics contributor who works with IT governance in North Carolina. Comment here or write to him at jf@feldman.org.

Read more about IT governance at governance.informationweek.com

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