Value value value value, business value, business outcomes, moments of truth, key metrics, IT value, commercial and operational value, business value, value….value. In case you hadn’t noticed…?!
When we in the IT industry aren’t ranting about the death of IT, ITIL, ITSM, Email, Service Desk and all that, we are still banging on and on constantly about value – and the need to deliver and demonstrate it. I’m a major offender here, having started using the V word and the ‘demonstrating value’ line really since the mid 90s. (I recently found a whole pile of stuff in my loft from 1997 which I could practically use today…)
I have a friend and colleague who has been ribbing me about my use of those terms for some time now – I point him now to the explosion of content on this subject like someone who has followed a band through their wilderness days and now they’ve gone global and I don’t wan’t to know them…
However to me it’s quite a simple concept – IT value is what is derived by customers and the business via the technology. So this will vary by organisation from the need to meet compliance or legal requirements, to getting products quickly to market, or to delivering commerical efficiency and profit.
In order to be able to achieve this and measure it in some way, we need to be able to separate out the commodity aspects of technology, from the business-specific aspects. (The commodity services should be delivered in the most cost effective way, whilst the value added services may need more focus on speed, business knowledge, risk reduction etc.)
[important]This is why in a service catalog we try to define (1) ‘Standard’ or ‘core’ IT Commodity Services – like PCs, mobile, comms, email etc and (2) ‘Business’ Services which either support internal users with their key functions or external customers with organisational-specific technology and services.[/important]
Value isn’t just about the financial aspects but this should be identified wherever possible. However the real nature of IT value is what it is that makes (particularly an internally retained) IT organisation special and speciifc to its customers, in terms of what it delivers and how it delivers it. So an internal or external IT organisation should be able to focus and demonstrate the value that they deliver to their business/organisation via their business and service knowledge and understanding.
In other words – it’s what retained IT organisations should have been doing for years – i.e. working for the companies or organisations that pay their salaries – not just ‘working in IT’… and measuring their delivery in business terms.
If they can’t do that – ie differentiate themselves and demonstrate this – then they are not adding value and therefore open to serious competition – and the risk of extinction.
So it really is: identify value – or become irrelevant quickly. And if you don’t know what that value is… [Tweet This]
[warning]Better get moving[/warning]
What is your defintion of IT value? – how do you define this for your organisation and customers?