It may be instinctive to immediately think of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) when it comes to service and cloud-based enterprise software solutions. However, when your company is making an investment in IT financial and business management solutions, the service aspect of the relationship should go beyond uptime and availability. The best outcome results from a relationship where your expert advisor is just that: a true IT financial and business management (ITFBM) counselor to your entire enterprise.
As organizations mature and automate their IT management processes, the right set of software solutions is critical. A focused set of ITFBM solutions will increase accuracy and visibility into the total cost of ownership (TCO) of IT products and services, promote more responsible technology consumption behavior and enable accurate budgeting and forecasting to current and future business requirements. These are the components needed to ensure that technology investments, like Cloud Computing, align with your corporate business priorities.
When selecting Software-as-a-Service-delivered (SaaS) ITFBM solutions, the service provided is more than just delivery of the applications. ITFBM expertise services month over month through every production cycle has to be a critical component of the strategic plan to ensure your organization gets the best ROI, performance and value from ITFBM automation.
Go Beyond the Service Level Agreement (SLA). It is important to know how responsive your ITFBM vendor will be when issues arise, but it’s equally important to take a more global view of the relationship. The right partner will offer IT management expertise beyond any software application capabilities. Business needs shift, so you have to make sure your partner is there for the long haul; and can help you adapt the automated IT management solutions when business requirements change or offer better alternatives to achieve the strategic end goals.
Guidance is golden. You can give someone a scalpel, but even the best tool or technology will not make him or her qualified to be a surgeon. Surgery skills require years of knowledge-gathering, expertise, and training. The same holds true when investing in technology. Without the right expertise, it is impossible to realize full value from any technology solution. An ITFBM partner with depth and breadth of experience across a diverse client portfolio will be able to offer benchmarks, best-practices and insight to ensure the solution returns the right results. Lessons learned transcend individual experience, enabling companies to take advantage of the partner’s wide-range of perspectives to understand what has worked in similar situations.
Do more with your data. Data is the foundation of better technology business decisions, but without a commitment to analytics, collecting IT cost and utilization data is meaningless. An experienced ITFBM partner can look at processing of data and delivery of information to seek out better and more efficient methods of delivering strategic technology utilization information to both the IT team and technology consumers. This can include improvements to the user interface platform or mechanisms behind the scenes for transactional data transformation and to improve communication of key summary information.
Don’t fall in love on the first date. A great sales process may be an invigorating component of a new relationship, but it is the implementation and account teams that handle the ongoing client/vendor relationship. For example, a proactive account management team will have regular meetings and monitoring of checkpoints that allow the account manager to catch issues before they affect the clients and become major events. A true IT management partner committed to your success can answer key questions such as:
- How should you optimize the governance processes around the IT financial and business management automation?
- How should you apply automated ITFBM processes to your technology consumer base and what are the right technology performance and demand management metrics to measure and report to each key stakeholder in the technology value chain?
With an eye toward iterative operational and implementation efficiencies, the right partner will enable continual improvement of your automated IT management processes
We agree with Bessemer Venture Partners: The most important part of Software-as-a-Service isn’t software – it is service. How is your IT financial and business management provider committed to your success now and in the future?