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Advanced I.T. organizations make “aggressive” use of technologies that support a service-oriented mindset and are devoting more time to implementing industry best practices, according to research from Ovum Summit.

The Boston-based consulting firm interviewed 300 technology managers and identified six things that the most effective technology departments do, starting with making sure their I.T. projects are aligned with business needs.

In effect, the top I.T. people have shifted from acting as installers of hardware and software to defining themselves as business people who see a need and fulfill it. “The better I.T. organizations have crossed over to viewing I.T. as a service,” says Ovum vice president Mary Johnston Turner.

Overall, Ovum found, effective technology departments:

  • Use consolidation and virtualization technologies to become more flexible
  • Invest in service-oriented architecture (SOA) applications to promote software reuse
  • Adopt recommendations from the Information Technology Infrastructure Library, or ITIL, which is a set of best practices in corporate technology
  • Invest in automated technology management tools
  • Align business and I.T. in terms of governance and monitoring service levels
  • Take on new challenges ranging from development of end-of-life and recycling strategies for old hardware to experimentation with emerging social software tools, such as wikis, to improve productivity.

Read the full story on 6 Habits of Top I.T. Groups: A Consultant’s List