1. Describe the approach to IT service improvement taken at Celanese.
IT initiatives at Celanese were implemented based on their cost-cutting potential. With the recent turndown in the economy only projects that clearly supported the company’s strategic direction and convincingly demonstrated a 1-year payback would be approved. Celanese also had a very decentralized approach to IT overall with each department in each country running their own systems and implementing projects often without communicating. This led to not pursuing IT service improvement in a top-down, process-centric manner, so people like the Global IT Operations Manager bootstrapped and implemented unique – albeit ITIL-informed – solutions that addressed Celanese-specific problems.
2. Describe some of the factors that made Celanese IT’s movement towards ITIL difficult.
• There was a lack of commitment by senior leadership to focus on IT and when there was it leadership only focused on short term results. • Over the past several years they had focused on their customers application and in 2009 they did not have the budget due to the economic downturn. • The CIO was not onboard in supporting all the initiatives or was supporting them inconsistently as was quoted by the application manager on page 9. • Lack of communication between ITILers, OSM, and the vendors • Misconception on how long something should take vs how long it would actually take to implement. • Diffused IT structure ex. Standardizing the PCs used by the company took 5 years • Culture at Celanese where centralization was the enemy
3. IT operations at Celanese were undisciplined and poorly coordinated. Why did its CIO not support a process improvement initiative?
The CIO was hampered in coordinating and centralizing by several factors. Given the pervasive belief that ‘everything central was evil’, there was considerable resistance to reporting to a single CIO and developing a shared services IT organization. In 2001, the CIO role was thus limited to that of ‘individual contributor CIO. In this environment, the transition to a standardized IT infrastructure and an integrated IT organization was not smooth. The business case for every integration initiative had to be made on a case-by-case basis.
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