To Innovate or Keep the Lights On: A Tricky Question

The biggest challenge in creating an appropriate balance between driving new innovation into your organization and keeping the lights on is to understand what is the baseline of your efforts today and settling a goal to improve.

The biggest challenge in creating an appropriate balance between driving new innovation into your organization and keeping the lights on is to understand what is the baseline of your efforts today and settling a goal to improve. For companies like Intermountain Healthcare, providing the world’s greatest care at the lowest appropriate cost is their mission. This means they are looking to add improved services while efficiently driving out cost. The role of IT is a fulcrum in this balancing act.


According to Ryan Smith, industry luminary and Assistant VP of Information Systems, Intermountain Healthcare, IT needs to understand the various sources of demand and take a holistic approach in order to see transformation across their whole organization.


“It is tricky today for our customers historically to know how to contact (us), how to make requests, how to let us know that they’re having issues.”


By viewing this as an opportunity for transformative change, Intermountain Healthcare has begun their journey to modify their current ratio of 75% maintenance/25% innovation to a better balance for their resources and investments.


We believe CA Clarity PPM will help us … to get more of a 50 percent lights-on in terms of our overall effort, from a resourcing perspective, to having 50 percent of time spent for strategy, innovation, or project-related work. Clarity helps us do that by having a full comprehensive view of all of the different things,(and) activities, that our IT staff are working on. Likewise, it helps us to prioritize those activities, such that we don’t end up having lot of tasks and different requests that typically get buried in lights-on kinds of project work that inflates that side. We can actually show that either we shouldn’t be working on those or, if they’re strategic, we know how to account from them better by virtue of how we’re implementing Clarity.”


One trick up Smith’s sleeve is having a self service portal that acts as a way to capture demand spanning the status of project requests to problems and incidents so his team can categorize work into innovation and keep the lights on activities.


As Smith points out:


“Likewise, we’ve done a lot in terms of unified demand management working with CA Technologies to really make a triangle, if you will, out of our PPM solution with Clarity, out of our Service Desk Manage implementation, and Service Catalog. So, that Service Catalog now stands out in front and can send requests based off of standard services over to Service Desk Manager or back into Clarity for new strategic innovative project related work, as a single pane of glass back to our customers.”


This illustrates another trick to balancing demand, provide transparency to requests and incidents together in a single view so they can be properly categorized and true costs can be understood.


Watch this video with Ryan Smith to learn more about how you can capture a broad range of demand and balance your work efforts so that you can drive innovation and keep the lights on. And visit the Innovation Luminaries site for more thought leaders in innovation.

Written by

Mary Cauwels

As Director of Product Marketing, Mary is responsible for coordinating go-to-market activities for IT Service…

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  • James Holland

    This is great. Hooray for Disney’s imagineers!

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