Are you getting value from your IT spend?

By September 29, 2014Value Realisation

No matter if your view of IT is as a cost centre or a potential strategic advantage, ensuring that you are receiving good value in your IT spend is critical. Reducing cost and improving service delivery through effective IT management and improved business alignment are key outcomes from undertaking an Independent IT review and health check.

  • We will assess your internal IT service delivery or external IT service provider to consider if improved services or technology architectures could provide efficiency or capability improvements.
  • We will review your technology roadmap, consider technology failure scenarios and insure that appropriate steps have been taken to mitigate those risks that are a real danger to the organisations wellbeing.
  • We will assess your business requirements, consider best practice, new technology architectures and service delivery models and provide actionable advice on how to improve your IT service levels and reduce cost.

Unfortunately information technology is not a one size fits all proposition, and over time, many organisations IT service delivery falls out of alignment with their business requirements. Although many organisations may strategically decide to not make their IT capabilities a source of competitive advantage, we are seeing more and more organisations where IT has become the ball and chain holding back business agility and the source of a competitive disadvantage. Although independent reviews are common across many areas of business, some technology managers are reluctant to invite external parties in to review their organisation and infrastructure. This reluctance can often be traced to a lack of management maturity within Technology, however we have reviewed the top 5 of the remaining reasons:

  1. “Reviews always lead to new infrastructure” – It is critical when you seek an external party to undertake an independent review that they are actually independent. Bringing in an equipment vendor to provide a “consult” is almost always provided by pre-sales resources that unsurprisingly are paid to sell their product, similarly a “consulting” organisation that provides implementation services or sells infrastructure are equally incapable of providing you true vendor agnostic advice.
  2. “Consultants don’t understand our business” – We believe that it is critical to develop a keen understanding of an organisations business requirements to be capable of offering technology advice. It is therefore vital that any consult seeks to include a business requirements discovery as part of the initial part of the project. This not only ensures that your business requirements are understood, but also means that a fresh set of eyes are used to review the issues without the blind spots that we all develop in our day to day business as usual activity.
  3. “We are already highly efficient and resource constrained” – By taking an external perspective and the experience across hundreds of organisations we have often seen ways of doing things differently that are part of the broader picture can provide efficiency gains through the deployment of new tools or techniques. However it is often identifying what not to do, through more appropriate alignment to actual required levels of service that provide the biggest cost and efficiency gains.
  4. “Consultants provide reports that never get read” – We believe that all advice should be actionable. Any recommendation that is not achievable within the constraints of the organisation is inappropriate and should be left to the text books rather than an assessment report.
  5. “Our outsourced IT service provider doesn’t think its required” – We believe there are three important technology areas that need to be reviewed periodically. Technology Strategy, Technology Operations and Technology service delivery. Each of these can (and do) fall out of alignment with business requirements, and each are inter-related. Many medium sized organisations have taken the approach to outsource their technology operations and/or service delivery, but have found that they no longer have the skills internally to provide appropriate levels of strategic direction. Unfortunately the easy answer of retaining your operations provider for assistance with your strategy roadmap is poor governance practice and leads to inevitable conflicts of interest. Many organisations that have outsourced IT capability undertake Independent reviews only prior to contract renewal, however best practice would suggest that the independent development or update of your IT strategic roadmap should be undertaken on a more regular basis.

The Beyond Technology Consulting vision is to provide our clients with “Actionable Advice” on how to create optimal technical solutions for your business. Each of our partner level consultant combines engineering and technical qualifications with a globally recognised MBA from a leading business school. Our consultants are practical people focussed on delivering tangible outcomes rather than grandiose “shelfware” reports that appear impressive but could never be implemented. Our methodologies, tools, and models are tried and tested to rapidly and reliably assist to develop our recommendations.

About Greg Spencer

Greg is a Founding Partner of Beyond Technology Consulting. Having held a number of senior executive positions in the past in a variety of technology industries; these roles included Information Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Vice President of Network & Operations and Chief Operations Officer. Greg’s engineering qualifications provides a sound technology base and he still retains solid technical credentials in IP and application network architectures today. With over fifteen years of industry technology management experience, Gregory is now part of the Beyond Technology Consulting team providing specialist telecommunications, business, program management and consulting skills.

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