Strategic CIO // Team Building & Staffing
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8/25/2014
09:06 AM
Lorna Garey
Lorna Garey
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IT Needs A Dose Of Its Own Medicine

You're all over collecting and mining information to help the business get lean and mean. Why not shine that light inward?

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Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
9/2/2014 | 10:17:01 AM
Re: IT Needs A Dose Of Its Own Medicine
Try replacing "IT" with "sales" in that thought -- a salesperson might argue that numbers alone can never tell the whole story. And, maybe that's so. But it won't stop a sales director from firing a salesperson who can't make his numbers, even if customers & coworkers think he's a great guy.

Same for manufacturing. Doesn't matter how nice it is that Company A makes its widgets in the US in a carbon-neutral factory; if it can't do so efficiently and deliver profits, the operation will be outsourced. Sure, maybe the company can quantify a marketing advantage to putting "Made in the USA" on the package. But it better be able to show that this advantage offsets added costs.

Like it or not, we're all in a metrics-driven world. 
zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
8/31/2014 | 11:20:41 AM
Re: IT Needs A Dose Of Its Own Medicine
I'll definitely agree that this is a conversation worth having, but I'm not sure I agree with the sense of urgency Mr. Pick seems to have about it, and the exact approach he recommends. Of course, the very idea is that we can't rely on "qualitative" analysis because it's too subjective, and that's true... nevertheless,  it's hard to see how you could completely remove that from IT. The example brought up involves storage and proving why it's worth the added cost of keeping it in-house...but due to the very security (security being one of the main benefits of in-housing anything) measuring problems discussed, the numbers alone can never tell the whole story.

It's essentially fair to say that IT managers might want to avoid this analysis because it goes against their biases. However, you could also say CFOs or whom-have-you want analysis like this just to confirm their biases and bypass IT. It's basically the same conversation we've had going since forever, and it is worth discussing, but maybe a middle ground is needed instead of one or the other. I do like the idea that some of you have put forth about IT using this kind of analysis to their advantage, though. There is something to be said for putting your money (literally) where your mouth is.
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
8/30/2014 | 3:16:34 PM
IT has problems that can be solved by itself
In present times, IT must show why it is relevant to companies and quantify its importance to businesses.  This is akin to the evolutional survival for the fittest. More and more inventive technologies keep popping up and bestowing new opportunities and possibilities to business. If IT doesn't adapt or better yet,show why it is needed, cloud is here and is likely going to expunge it from business. 
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/28/2014 | 7:48:41 PM
Re: Great Post
@eamon: I understand the fear factor you mention, although I suspect that better metrics could actually have the opposite effect for CIOs. Increastingly, I hear the refrain of "proving the business value of IT." What better way to do this than to provide metrics that show where and how IT has managed its expenditures and delivered good ROI to the business?
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
8/25/2014 | 2:23:49 PM
Re: Great Post
Good point about consistency. The same criteria need to be used across the organization. IT shouldn't be measured any more or less critically than any other part of the business, especially other internal "service provider" type of groups.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
8/25/2014 | 11:32:47 AM
Re: Great Post
Thanks @eamon - there are definitely a few ways to benchmark. I think the important thing is to pick one that makes sense to the business, not just IT, and use it consistently.
eamonwalsh80
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eamonwalsh80,
User Rank: Strategist
8/25/2014 | 11:02:02 AM
Great Post
Much needed post. Legacy IT bosses, once they get to helm the big data initiatives have traditionally either resisted the data mined for their own spot, simply for the threat that might pose to their chair; or they have used the search light to justify more value by working with or for other solutions. Tools like Haven(goo.gl/HFdxfV) can be extremely handy when it comes to mining relevant stats beyond your own customer base, but even feedback from stakeholders on your own. That needs to be viewed as a benchmark to uphold standards of internal IT and their services as well. 
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