Today’s CIOs need to make better IT investment decisions. That’s a given.
But, according to Hitachi Data System’s recent survey, 93% of the IT decision-makers surveyed do not know where to strategically invest in technology. What’s driving this disconnect between the need and the reality?
A few reasons include:
- Current technology investments are based on opinions
- CIOs are taking a backseat to business decisions and priorities
- IT leaders lack the insights they need to think strategically
The first step in bridging this disconnect is to capture and understand total IT costs. 75% of IT decisions-makers in the Hitachi Data System’s survey said they are unable to make fully informed decisions due to a lack of clarity around the business strategy and data. W. Edwards Deming said it best, “Without data you’re just another person with an opinion.” IT leaders cannot make fact-based technology decisions without data – and more importantly – without the right data. It’s tough to make any technology decisions, let alone strategic ones, without a comprehensive view of IT data that includes both product and service costs. The right IT Financial Management (ITFM) solution gives IT leaders the costing detail they need to make smarter technology investment decisions. Without this ongoing and easy to understand breakdown of costs, IT leaders are left with an opinionated guess at not only where to invest but also whether or not their investments are aligned to the technology priorities.
The second step is for IT leaders to take a proactive approach. General Electric CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, shared some sound advice for CIOs at a recent event, “I think for the CIOs, you just have been too passive for too long. You are just not conceptualizing how important you are in your company. I would say you have to be an active leader, demanding your seat at the table because your company needs you.” Ensuring that IT is aligned to the corporate objectives is imperative to success. It’s impossible to build that alignment and a business-valued IT organization without a “seat at the table” and a voice in the corporate objectives process.
Finally, to make better technology investments, IT leaders must think strategically. In a 2014 report, Start Here: Know “Why” Before You Buy an ITFM Tool, Gartner* stated that, “As CIOs become more strategically aligned to the business’ goals and objectives, they focus on maximizing revenue impact, optimizing IT cost structures, and minimizing technology-related risk to the business.” Having the mindset (aka, focus) enables CIOs to think more strategically and, as a result, make better technology investments. This is easier said than done, but by successfully executing on the first and second steps included in this post, the third and final step should be a seamless part of any technology investment transformation.
What are your thoughts on what’s driving the disconnect? Share any insights on Twitter at @ComSciByUpland.
*Gartner: Start Here: Know “Why” Before You Buy an ITFM Tool; Robert Naegle and Jim McGittigan; June 11, 2014