Tag cost-benefit

Tag cost-benefit

Ten Questions To Ask Your IT Department

Tags: , , , , , Business, CIO, Strategy
photo credit: Defence Images via photopin cc

photo credit: Defence Images via photopin cc

Following on from my previous blog about a near disaster, the following are ten questions to ask your IT department about how they run their finances, and may come in useful when planning an IT strategy.

IT managers hate finances. Ask any IT person what they think about accountants and accounting and you will probably get a very rude answer.  Let’s face it, technical people do not like to ask questions about money, they just want to get on with projects, solutions and technology.  In many firms the CIO or CTO is promoted to a level where they have control over significant spend but the promotion is often based on their technical knowledge as much as management capability.  Maybe 30 per cent of any spend in a firm can be concentrated directly and indirectly these days in IT or systems related service – so ignoring money is not an option. Not having strong governance over how money is spent on IT is a risk to the firms bottom line.

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The Real World of IT Financing – A True Story

Tags: , , , , , , , , Assess, Business, Strategy, Uncategorized
photo credit: Steve Snodgrass via photopin cc

photo credit: Steve Snodgrass via photopin cc

Inspired by recent projects being undertaken by cibsys, I started thinking about some war stories I have heard through the years. The following blog post looks at an example of what could and does go wrong if you don’t ask important questions about IT financials.

The outline of the story was to resolve an IT budget crisis, where the COO was forecasting 10% over, dealing with figures in excess of ten million. In other words, there was a pressing need for fast remedial action to prevent disaster.  The regional CIO was a brilliant technical lead with fantastic ideas, who delivered amazing software surrounded by like-minded technical staff.  The one lonely voice in his management team who was screaming to be heard was his business manager who could see the pending crisis of budget and funding but was not being listened to.  The reality was that the forecast was way off, there was no real spend tracking and that the ledgers actuals were so far behind the reality of spend that no one really knew what was being spent and where the money was going.   There was dire need for proper departmental financial controls and proper forecasting in addition to the basic ones in finance department.

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IT Strategy and User Behaviour

Tags: , , , , , , Assess, Data Centre, Strategy
photo credit: redjar via photopin cc

photo credit: redjar via photopin cc

Many CIOs will look at their IT Strategy as portfolio optimisation, choosing the most effective tools for each area of the business. However, an effective strategy with a holistic approach should also attempt to look at the way the tools are used and adapt the behaviour within the organisation.  In this blog entry I am going to look at a couple of examples of ways that behaviours can influence IT cost-effectiveness. Let us start with a topic that is driving up costs in all organizations worldwide – storage.  We are all guilty of poor storage management, myself included.  For a simple presentation for the team, how many of us add a photo to the cover page of our PowerPoint presentations? Do we really need that degree of prettiness to create an impact? Perhaps for an external presentation but for our own team? Not really.

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A New Version of Strategy4IT is Available

Tags: , , , , Strategy4IT


Cost Heat map Strategy4ITAs we welcome in 2013 we are pleased to announce that a new version of our IT strategy tool Strategy4IT is available, following its success in 2012. 

The new release comprises several new features:

  1.  See the benefit of our cost heatmaps, which show you clearly on one page where your biggest expenditure lies in simple colour coding.
  2.  Explore our rich user manual, assisting users through every step of the process.
  3. Improved workflow allowing easy navigation through the reporting process
  4. Bus fixes and improvements as suggested by our users

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10 Things to Think About for Your Data Centre Strategy

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , Advice, Business, CIO, Strategy
photo credit: torkildr via photopin cc

photo credit: torkildr via photopin cc

Working with a mixture of companies of all sizes I have seen everything from the demands of the immediate fail-over always on, fault tolerant architectures of the real time trading businesses to one mid-sized client who had the servers in a cupboard at the office and regularly used to lose their systems when the cleaners unplugged them to vacuum the floor (and I am not joking!)

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Budget Season – The Same Procedure as Every Year?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , Advance, Advice, CIO, Strategy, Strategy4IT, Uncategorized
photo credit: photosteve101 via photopin cc

photo credit: photosteve101 via photopin cc

Many many institutions large and small return from the summer break to a frantic quarter looking at the budget for the following year. Sometimes I am stunned at how unprepared departments and managers are for this annual event.

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Securing Funding for Your Strategy

Tags: , , , , , Assess, Business
photo credit: Images_of_Money via photopin cc

photo credit: Images_of_Money via photopin cc

We have talked a fair amount about the planning side of building a strategy, but what about the funding?

It is not much use having a wonderful vision without at least some execution capacity, and that means hard cash. Any CIO or Project Manager will know, extracting money from a tight fisted Board with conflicting priorities is never easy, and grandiose plans do not always convince. I believe there are a number of things that you can do to help this process along.

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Private Cloud – Is it Worth the Effort?

Tags: , , , , , Cloud, Data Centre, Strategy
photo credit: ell brown via photopin cc

photo credit: ell brown via photopin cc

There is a lot of discussion in the big companies out there of the benefits of creating their own private clouds using their own server farms; whether it is worthwhile versus the full move to use external shared Public Cloud environments. Of course, SMEs don’t have this dilemma: they do not own as much hardware, generally do not have the internal expertise to even consider a private version, and so just use externally available services with no other option. Cheaper, more scalable, more efficient – let us watch some of the leading medium-sized firms leverage the technology to jump ahead of their bigger, less nimble peers.

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