Oscar Wilde once said that "The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing." I shudder to think what young Oscar would have said about I&O organizations that don’t know what it costs to deliver individual IT services let alone the value they deliver to the business. Just knowing that it costs “x” annually to “run IT” is no longer enough.
This might appear a little random at first but I was reminded of something I wrote two years ago when informed last week of a CIO fired because they couldn't articulate the value their IT team delivered to the business.
So ask yourself, “what value does IT deliver to the business?” Not in generic terms like business process-enablement and technology-supported efficiencies. What does the money we invest in IT each year actually deliver to the business in terms of value? More importantly, which IT services deliver the most value and which deliver little or no value?
Hold on a minute though. Do you actually know what “value” is from a business perspective? I’m not talking about the value I&O believes its IT services deliver; I’m talking about what the business thinks.
Am I moving too fast? Let’s take stock of the status quo.
“I remember when I lost my mind” … oops that’s Gnarls Barkley. I should have started with … I remember when software asset management (SAM) was on my radar as an IT service management (ITSM) practitioner. It was circa 2003, and my then employer was scared to death of the implications of non-compliance. We did some ground work but IMO it somewhat “died a death” when we realized that we had no idea where all the purchase records were – let’s assume they are all compliant now. Since then I have viewed SAM as just being on the to-do list for far too many organizations, never quite making it into the realms of actual “doing.” Sad but true.
Thankfully, however, my first three months at Forrester is changing this opinion – as 30% to 40% of my client inquiries relate to IT asset management (ITAM) and SAM (if you are interested the other 60% to 70% relate to ITIL adoption, process improvement, and ITSM tool selection – there’s a lot of tool replacement going on). SAM is rising from the ashes of its compliance era, in many ways this time “it’s all about the Benjamins.”