Many large companies are in the process of modernising the current IT and many SMEs are in the process of developing an IT organisation. Due to the exponential introduction of technology in digital change, numerous tools have been rolled out, which are now mostly used without a superior sense in the company. Now the question is: What forms of IT organization are there for companies? There is a demarcation between IT organizational forms and IT organizational models. For completeness, I also recommend reading the other article.

Reading tip: IT organizational forms

Classic IT organizational model

A classic IT organizational model is often equated with ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library). This is constantly being expanded and redefined. The idea of ITIL is the continuous improvement of the service. This means that IT sees itself as a service provider. ITIL consists of four processes:

  • Incident Management
  • Problem Management
  • Change Management
  • Release Management

Incident management fixes the disruption of a service and prevents a service from being compromised. This is currently covered by a helpdesk with first, secound and third level support. The goal of problem management is to find the cause of incidents and to fix them sustainably or to approach them proactively before they even occur. Change management makes changes to existing IT and implements new functions. Release management is responsible for ensuring that these changes are integrated into the system. Of course, there is much more to say about ITIL and I only give a small overview. For more, you should attend an ITIL training or watch on Youtube.

Itil
ITIL procesis as a picture (Source: Open Source from Wikipedia by M. Zielke)

Agile IT organizational model

In agile organization, Scrum is often preferred in IT. However, Scrum is designed for only one team. Thus, this paragraph does not explain scrum, but the scaling of scrum. I would like to explain a best practice, i.e. Scrum of Scrums. If you want to get to know other models, read my article on scaling Scrum.

Reading Tip: Scaling Scrum

The idea is that you form numerous scrum teams in your IT that have a Scrum Master. Each Scrum Master is formed into another Scrum of Scrums team with also a Scrum Master of the Scrum Master. Depending on the number of teams, this then has different levels. The plain after Scrum of Scums would then be Scrum of Scrums of Scrums. You can also introduce roles such as a Chief Scrum Master.

scrum of scrums
Scrum of Scrum (Source: Scrum Alliance)

Of course, there is also the possibility to scale this via the product owners such as in the LeSS framework. To do this, they can appoint a Chief Product Owner, who heads a board of product owners who make holistic decisions about the limits of each software component. It’s actually up to you, because it’s up to you to decide how you cut the teams’ tasks. You can cut them by skills (e.g. frontend / backend) or the individual software components (product A and product B).

Reading tip: What is an IT organization

Bimodal IT Organizational Model

In the end, you could also establish a bimodal IT. Especially in large organizations, an agile change takes place and this inevitably results in bimodal IT. This means that some areas are highly agile and other areas are less agile to classic.

Gartner has also studied this approach and believes that such bimdodal IT can even bring significant benefits. For example, IT driven IT can be used for stable areas and more agile IT for other, more complex areas. According to Gartner, both areas exist side by side. I explained his exact idea in another article.

Reading Tip: BiModale IT

Conclusion

No matter how you organize your IT, there are numerous models and certainly these three are not the only ones. In most companies there will probably be bimodal IT, as each area of a company is very individual. Thus, there are faster and more complex areas, which are rather agile and stable areas for, for example, accounting or operations, which is rather very well illustrated with ITIL. I have never experienced a direct separation as Gartner describes it, and such a separation is also strongly criticized. It seems as always: the best of both worlds leads to the greatest success.

Reading Tip: IT Organization 2020

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I blog about the impact of digitalization on our working environment. For this purpose, I present content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday work. I am a manager in an SME myself and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the chair of IT Management.

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