Make the Case for the Hybrid IT Operating Model

Break the link between the IT operating model and the business structure for a more effective IT department.

Your Challenge

  • There is increasing demand to optimize the structures of IT departments to deliver tangible business value in an increasingly dynamic business environment. Traditionally, rapid changes in business demands would have required a decentralized IT operating model with IT resources closer to the changing environment for early anticipation, and to accommodate change more readily.
  • However, alignment between the business and IT operating models may not provide the most appropriate outcome.
  • While business units may require decentralized decision making to respond to the rapid changes in their environment, the IT function that may be best suited to support the business in these conditions is a more centralized approach.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • The right IT organization for a dynamic environment is the one that fosters the greatest collaboration with the business.
  • The demand for integration across business units is driving increasing levels of standardization, formalization, and centralization of IT.
  • IT is most successful:
    • Under a hybrid operating model.
    • When the business decides which IT services are needed and an IT steering committee decides how the services should be delivered.
    • When systems are standardized.

Impact and Result

  • IT operating models do not necessarily align to their firm’s business model. Rapid changes in the business environment demand greater integration of business units, which in turn, requires more standardization, formalization, and centralization of IT. Hybrid IT models can respond to these demands more effectively than other models.
  • Info-Tech’s research suggests that there are several key business factors that drive greater centralization of IT. The main ones are reducing IT costs, improving IT services, and increasing the availability of skilled resources.
  • Firms with hybrid IT operating models were more likely to report that IT is successful than were firms with either decentralized or centralized IT operating models.


  • CEDA International Corporation
  • City of Avondale
  • City of Boulder
  • Fresenius Medical Care Australia Pty Ltd.
  • Saskatoon Health Region
  • United Educators

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Get to Action

  1. Understand IT operating models

    Achieve maximum gains from your current IT operating model.

  2. Get to the right IT operating model

    Determine the most appropriate IT operating model.

  3. Make the hybrid operating model work for you

    Understand what constitutes IT success under the hybrid operating model, the key components of the successful hybrid operating model, and business relationship management.

Guided implementation icon Guided Implementation

This guided implementation is a one call advisory process.

  • Call #1: Get to the right operating model

    Assess your organization’s current IT operating model and determine next steps to help better operate given your circumstances.

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