"Is everything that IT is doing free?" This may sound like a stupid question; however, unless we do a better job of communicating the costs, compliance issues and details of what we are doing, IT is often treated like an unlimited resource. In today's world of BYOD, shadow IT and a technology spend that is growing outside of IT to levels where it is either competing with or surpassing the spend on technology inside IT, it is apparent that something has gone wrong.
One of the first things that has to change is developing a way to clearly communicate the costs of the services that IT is providing. There are many things that go into doing this, including defining your services, understanding all of the components and breaking out the costs. When people start to think about this, often eyes glaze over and it simply becomes too big of a problem.
One of the questions we have asked the nearly 1,000 people who have come to the complimentary Evergreen workshops over the past year has been "Are you currently doing chargeback or showback for the services that IT provides?" It has been apparent based on this poll of about 650 companies that this is an area where many are interested, but few are able to do this.
Many suggest that it's too hard, the data is elusive, or not trustworthy, and therefore the exercise is not worth it. Here is the kicker – by doing nothing, the folks in the CFO's organization are taking that same "poor" data or even worse data, and without understanding the many nuances that exist in IT, decisions are being made without IT getting to have a say in those decisions.
As we enter a world where IT will either become strategic or marginalized, one of the biggest things IT can do to align with the business is talk the talk of business. That means figuring out IT costs related to the core services that are critically related to the business. That means defining your services and making them easier to use.
At Evergreen we are excited about Technology Business Management Council (TBM) and will participate again this year at the annual TBM Conference. TBM is a nonprofit organization led by CIOs to create and promote best practices for running IT as a business, working together to make sure IT becomes a key to innovation at their companies. We have also partnered with Apptio, the clear leader in technology business management applications.
It's time to make cost transparency the standard that IT uses to communicate by. At Evergreen we have a proven methodology for taking the poor data you have today and moving you quickly to a point where you can start to make better decisions. Check out our IT Cost Transparency SmartStart Engagement - go from raw data to operational in two weeks, fixed price.
You may also want to read this post from Evergreen Consultant Phil Hellerman: IT Cost Transparency - Why the Service Portfolio is a Pre-Requisite for the Service Catalog.
About the Author
Jason Whitesides, Executive Vice President of Enterprise Solutions - Evergreen Systems
As the EVP of Enterprise Solutions, Jason is charged with evaluating the solutions that Evergreen provides to make sure we are bringing value to our customers. Additionally, he is responsible for innovation and works with our key customers, practice managers and senior consultants to develop programs and initiatives that will lead transformation of IT. Jason also manages all pre-sales technical solutions support at Evergreen.
Jason has more than 20 years’ experience in IT. He has been with Evergreen since it merged with net.works (NDW) in 2008. He is an alumnus of Brigham Young University where he majored in Electrical Engineering.
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