More than 170 IT finance managers and CFOs joined Gartner and the vendor community at the Gartner IT Financial, Procurement & Asset Management Summit in Orlando last week to share ideas, experiences and best practices in these key IT Management disciplines.
Helping organizations understand the financial impact of technology decisions requires greater transparency and accountability for technology investments – a key theme of the conference. Many presenters agreed on the need for companies to maximize the value of IT and keep escalating IT costs in check. But IT financial business management is less about cutting costs and more about having the visibility and data to make business decisions around technology to ensure technology investments are aligned to strategy, business challenges and outcomes.
Attendees learned how companies such as PPG Industries and Reed Elsevier are navigating IT management challenges and the strategies, solutions and best practices that help them to optimize their IT costs and build a stronger business case for further IT funding.
Gartner’s 2013 Analyst of the Year Kurt Potter addressed the need for IT financial business management processes to deliver on the mandate to run IT like a business, and urged CIOs to serve as the champion of their organization’s IT cost optimization initiative. He indicated that, when senior leadership champions the initiative, organizations can achieve the impact needed for success. Gartner analyst Jim McGittigan agreed, stressing that IT cost optimization must be a core IT management discipline.
So what can you do to accelerate IT financial management practices in your organization? Get started by identifying one to two key management processes to improve upon, such as managing demand.
For example, tiered storage is used to control costs. But increasing storage efficiency and ensuring appropriate levels of protection requires sustained insight into actual consumption. Using aggregated storage and cost data, organizations can understand if they are paying for higher levels of storage than is appropriate, enabling them to optimize the service delivery based on the management of the demand and better align the service.
Quite often during the Summit presentations, Gartner drove home the point that it offers a complete range of IT benchmark analytics to help IT organizations identify and assess IT services portfolio, applications development and support performance levels to create a baseline of unit costs for more informed decision-making.
While networking with the larger ITFiPAM community is one draw for this Gartner Summit, the real value is in uncovering the best practices to improve and optimize management processes and advance IT financial business management. Sentiment from the Vendor Showplace was that understanding the financial impact of technology decisions and increasing IT cost transparency is a rising priority in many organizations.
What are you doing to improve IT financial management in your organization?