Can You Define The Business Value Of Your IT Organization? - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation
Commentary
11/20/2008
04:07 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
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Can You Define The Business Value Of Your IT Organization?

One approach is to compile an "IT Annual Report," an approach being taken by a growing number of CIOs. At this week's CA World, a panel discussion with three business-technology leaders revealed a wide range of ideas and approaches for creating an IT Annual Report that can articulate business value, foster a sense of teamwork, and underscore the need for key metrics.

One approach is to compile an "IT Annual Report," an approach being taken by a growing number of CIOs. At this week's CA World, a panel discussion with three business-technology leaders revealed a wide range of ideas and approaches for creating an IT Annual Report that can articulate business value, foster a sense of teamwork, and underscore the need for key metrics.The panelists made these recommendations about an IT annual report:

  • It should be comprehensive but brief: 28 pages was the norm.

  • Share it with many, but aim it at the CEO and LOB heads: What message about the business value of IT do you want them to have?

  • Don't whitewash problems: Be honest about the challenges as well as the triumphs.

  • Speak the language of business, not the language of technology.

  • Use graphics to highlight key metrics, but don't overdo the flashy charts and tables.

  • Focus on how IT has helped generate revenue, cut costs, increase customer intimacy, foster innovation, and optimize business processes.

  • Offer a look ahead: What are the top goals and objectives for the coming year?

    The panelists -- Ahmed Abdelmoteleb, CTO of GE Money; Rick Davidson, CIO of Manpower; and Antonio Di Caro, CTO of AXA Technolgies -- emphasized that while the IT Annual Report can be a centerpiece of how CIOs communicate the business value of their organizations, such reports cannot be the only piece.

    Davidson said the "IT Annual Report" cannot stand alone and must be an element within a broader "shake and break" strategy whereby the business-technology team takes the initiative to get out and shake hands and break bread with non-IT colleagues. The overall goal is to foster deeper understanding of business and market trends, gain insight into areas where collaboration will pay dividends, and build long-term relationships.

    Does your company create an IT Annual Report? If not, should it? Let me know at [email protected].

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