January 8, 2014

    As IT professionals, I'm sure you have felt under-appreciated at times by the business that you are supporting. A great way to avoid that lonely feeling is to prove the value of IT to the business. It's important the budgets aren't wasted in times when costs are continually being squeezed. There is more pressure than ever to demonstrate the value of technology.

    How can you prove the value of IT to business? An important first step is to begin the journey toward chargeback. The ability to measure costs is key, but having the ability to measure the business results that come from the use of IT services (private cloud environments, for example) will drive better business conversations with IT management.

    "Unless IT can prove IT is providing cost-effective and relevant business support, it will lose the sponsorship of various lines of business and become irrelevant," Bob Tarzey, Quocirca.

    Focusing on business goals and understanding how the use of IT services contribute to business results provides the best basis for planning of future services.

    The majority of CIOs believe the IT department can increase the value it delivers to the organization by improving cost measurement, according to a recent survey by the Service Desk Institute.

    Some 82% of respondents said that improved reporting of activities and metrics from IT, enabling the business to gain a clear understanding of IT’s output and results, was significantly important towards achieving this goal.

    The study showed that 93% of CIOs believe better collaboration with business units to improve understanding of their goals and how they deliver value is necessary for delivering real value. Some 69% want clearer communication from executives about business plans and objectives.

    The Demonstrating business value report also found that only a quarter of CIOs (27%) said senior executives view IT as contributing to strategic business goals such as growth or diversification, while 30% view it as a necessary trading expense that needs to be tightly controlled. Some 43% view IT only as a means to increase efficiency.

    Half of IT teams either have no formal reporting mechanism for IT performance (17%) or focus on metrics such as downtime (33%) rather than anything more strategic.

    Nearly all respondents (98%) said IT can play a bigger role in supporting the goals of the business as a whole.

    For more information on the study, read ComputerWeekly's report on proving the value of IT and visit our website.

    Category: capacity-planning