“I’ve not had an office in years!” declares probably the most jovial man you’ll ever find at a conference called The Service Desk & IT Support Show.
That’s Tony Price of HPE, HP’s spun off enterprise business, who’s charged with helping businesses implement what he certainly believes is the best new interoperability standard, ever.
Of course, Price is just one of millions of people around the UK and beyond who no longer have to be at their desks in order to be present and effective.
That’s just one reason that HPE has added its IT business architecture IP into a global standards melting pot hosted by The Open Group, and now joined by Microsoft, IBM, Accenture, PWC and Shell.
The IT4IT standard went live in October and it’s part of Price’s job to make sure this drive towards interoperable IT infrastructure happens.
The Open Group has now added a certification for people working in IT who might want to make their lives easier just as the cloud, apps and idiots falling for phishing attacks adds ever more layers of complexity.
“The IT industry is ridiculously immature,” Price told NS Tech at the show. “You don’t build a house without an architect, but there’s is no industry standard for all of the IT elements in your business today.”
Cheaper, faster, safer
He points to the increasing challenges posed to those people whose ‘job it is to do IT’. And it’s getting ever more complicated to establish who’s head that ultimately falls on.
“Ultimately, we need to get better at being cheaper, faster and safer, rather than just using the things we’ve cobbled together.”
The basic principles, which fold in lots of established ideas including the Information Technology Infrastructure Library standard, focus on fast deployment of IT and quick fixes to problems.
If it’s adopted widely, Price argues, that’ll mean easier rationalisation of tools being used in your business, plus common data models, so plugging and playing becomes just that.
HPE is implementing the standard within its own organisation, as well as with clients across financial services, government and FMCG.
Given that it has put its own IP into this, it’s no wonder it’s championing this over other potential fixes to this huge challenge. But the range of other high-profile members speaks something to the fact that these companies are all now willing to sacrifice their business secrets in order to survive.
Price said IT4IT is the thing that’s needed to transform IT from a “cost centre to a value centre”.
Of course, it’s the IT architects that’ll have to train and then implement any new processes. And that also means companies will have to be willing and able to re-engineer systems, which is probably not the most exciting prospect on a Friday.
“It’s not going to cost you millions. But the demands on IT infrastructure are getting exponentially more complex and something has to be done.”