IT departments are struggling to maintain legacy systems, provide required services, and fund new initiatives.
Technologies, (once thought revolutionary), that free employees from their desktops, enable a virtual workforce, and provide information—any where, any time, and any place—are now considered basic services and candidates for outsourcing.
IT professionals, once primarily viewed as technologists, find themselves in the unfamiliar territory of having to justify their role in today’s less technical, more traditional business landscape.
IT budgets, once bolstered by the excitement of change, are under scrutiny by executives who demand value from the millions spent.
The Birth of IT - Information Technology Mainframe to PC World Wide Web Y2K Automate Business Process Network People to Data Deploy Best-of-Breed Applications Move Business to the Web Remote Workforce Identity Management Collaboration Optimize IT Virtualization Business Intelligence Content Management Business Continuation IM Social Networking Unified Communications Digital Asset Management Portfolio Management Security and Risk Management Software as a Service SOA E-Mail Macintosh Laptops Cell Phones 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 Intel 4004 IBM PC Lotus 1-2-3 Window 3.0 WordPerfect NetScape Remote Access Napster DBase LINUX Local Area Networks Wide Area Networks PDA’s
Impact of Technology on the World Before Christopher Columbus After Christopher Columbus Before the Internet After the Internet
Impact of Technology on People A Google search on “information overload” yields 1,640,000 results.
A traditional IT department operates as a monopoly with captive customers who are required to use corporate standards and internal IT services.
Successful businesses, provide their customers the right products and services.
Thinking like a business forces an IT department to transform itself into a service organization that offers core services and is managed as a business and marketed as though the customer has a choice.
IT professionals need to integrate the world of business into their world of technology.
Smart businesses realize their success is directly tied to customer success.
This is not a process of alignment but an integration - requires an investment of limited IT resources to improve efficiency, increase productivity, and enable revenue generation.
IT professionals need to understand their customers’ needs (the business is the customer), incorporate feedback, and agree on a set of business-oriented metrics managed by IT departments and customers.
Measuring Success - Efficiency vs. Effectiveness
IT departments rely on efficiency metrics to communicate status and success.
Efficiency metrics are easier to measure as they are derived from known data sources and generally presented as factual.
Common IT efficiency metrics include uptime, capacity, project progress, bugs logged, and expense against budget.
Effective metrics define impacts and outcomes such as market growth, marketing efficiency, customer trends, and product profitability.
IT professionals who are comfortable communicating in technical language need to communicate in business terms that transcend return on investment predictions .
This requires an understanding of the customer’s business, goals, and what makes their specialties unique.
This understanding goes beyond traditional requirements documents; it must be an ongoing, interactive, and iterative process that improves over time.
IT proposals that have traditionally focused on cost and impact on infrastructure need to focus on changes and improvements to the customer’s business - establish project success criteria - focus on higher level outcomes.
Businesses with experienced, efficient, flexible, integrated and innovative IT departments will have a distinct advantage when implementing new business ideas. Businesses that rely on their IT departments to only optimize and reduce cost, are at a disadvantage.
The future requires IT to be connected with the business, efficient and flexible, ready to implement new business ideas.
Recommendations – cont. Operational Efficiency vs. Opportunity Effectiveness