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COST SAVING TIPS:  IT Effectiveness

Measuring IT Effectiveness depends upon the company and the objective it has set for its IT group.  Depending upon the company, its culture, its size, its financial and market position, its future plans, the role and objectives of the IT function can vary dramatically. 

The position of its senior executive within the corporate organizational structure, is an indicator of the objectives and expected role of IT within the company.

Accordingly, in measuring the effectiveness of IT, one needs to clearly understand its role and objectives.  These can be quite different, ranging from the one or two person department of a small company to the senior executive leading several thousand IT professionals in a financial services firm.  Different yardsticks should be used in the evaluation criteria, at times also differing based upon industry.  It is totally wrong, and totally unprofessional, to measure large and small company IT groups by the same set of criteria.  However five criteria are fundamental and common to all:

1) Honesty:  The ability to be completely open and truthful on all matters.

2) Integrity: Conducting business in an objective professional fashion, and at arms length, with all company employees, vendors, customers, and external entities.

3) Reliability: The ability to deliver on each promise, the ability to realistically estimate and deliver upon that estimate.

4) Management: The ability to prevent surprises, to be in control and to display leadership..

5) Vision: The ability to successfully plan ahead within and beyond the current domain.

Note that Service Level, or Business and IT Strategy Alignment, or User Satisfaction, or Competency, are not listed above.  They as all others are second tier subsets to the above five criteria.  Given enough resources, most any one can acquire competency and improve upon strategies, service levels and user satisfaction; however the above five are fundamental.

Accordingly, a simple test is to evaluate your own IT group with respect to the above five attributes.

If they score well, and you are plagued by service level or application failure or other technical problems, then recognize that most likely it is external factors which are causing this situation.  Reducing your expectations to be consistent with your IT expenditures, or making further investments in IT related items, or partnering with other suppliers and vendors, may address your problems.

If they do not score well, and you are plagued by service level and other similar problems, then the problem is more fundamental and your company should improve the IT culture prior to investing in more resources or magic bullets.

If you are concerned about the perceived effectiveness of your IT group, and would desire an objective and impartial opinion, contact us. 

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Last modified: March 02, 2009