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IT as a Service Authors: Ashish Nanjiani, Satyen Vyas, Mike Raia, Pat Romanski, John Savageau

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Integrate New Systems Gracefully with Request Management | @CloudExpo #API #Agile #Cloud

IT departments should be well prepared to handle user request challenges

Integrate New Systems Gracefully with Request Management

One of the many questions that companies face when introducing new enterprise systems either to provide new functionality or incorporate legacy systems from a merger or acquisition is "How do we identify and manage access rights?"

Not only do new access approval processes need to be established, but a common platform to define and execute processes, reliably document approvals and provide users with an acceptable user experience is often not in place to handle the additional workload. Corporate IT is also faced with the challenge responding quickly to changes in access rules or approval chains.

To ease the pain of integrating new systems into a unified corporate IT structure, required approval processes not only need to be established but executed through a common system. By adopting technology that can provide this capability quickly and effectively, IT teams can reduce the chance for unauthorized user access, inappropriate approvals, heavy reliance on IT for end-user support and lost documentation of process activity. Workflow automation addresses these key challenges and helps ensure the graceful integration of multiple systems.

IT departments should be well prepared to handle user request challenges since companies that respond quickly to address these issues can expect efficiency gains and a reduction in costs associated with integrated process management.

M&A Can Be Especially Tricky
from Harvard Business Review demonstrates that mergers and acquisitions have an unfavorable impact on profitability. They are strongly associated with lowered productivity, labor unrest, higher absenteeism, and poorer accident rates. Depending on which study one reads, 50% to 80% of all mergers and acquisitions turn out to be financially unsuccessful.

Research also indicates that senior executives rate "underestimating the importance and difficulty of integrating cultures" as a major cause of integration failures. This goes for integrating systems as well and often the impact of combining disparate enterprise applications between organizations can be a debilitating process.

Handling IT Requests Across the Enterprise
IT teams at large enterprises can often find their IT request processing methods to be diverse and disconnected. IT team groups across the enterprise often develop their own methods and interfaces for processing users' requests for IT equipment and service without following a standard template or system. This creates a redundancy of some processes and resources while some services and equipment aren't even available through online requests. Users can become confused about where to go for service and how to make their requests, and management likely wants a more organized and efficient method that effectively manages and utilizes staff and resources.

IT Access Request challenges can include:

  • Managing an increasing number of user requests for IT access and licenses.
  • A lack of audibility of requests to meet internal or external regulations.
  • Providing a common request interface across the enterprise.
  • Keeping request cycle times within an acceptable service level agreements.
  • Integration of request tools with the technology stack.
  • Rapidly developing a request system that meets organizational timelines, especially in M&A situations.

How Should IT Teams Manage Requests?
To meet the myriad needs of access request challenges resulting from an influx of new systems either by M&A, growth or changes in the organization, IT teams need to strongly consider a flexible request management or workflow automation platform. Focusing on out-of-the-box IT request software can limit the ability of IT teams to meet the unique needs of their organization, needs that can rapidly change due to growth.

However, a lean, scalable workflow automation system allows IT staff to rapidly build request solutions while providing a consistent request portal for employees around the office or around the globe.