The Business of IT

The Business of ITHere is my take on what the key goals for CIOs and IT executives are.

  1. Improve business top-line and bottom-line
  2. Manage operations and reduce risk
  3. Stakeholder perception

Lets elaborate these.

Improve business top-line and bottom-line

How can the organization generate more revenues, identify additional sales channels, increase customer retention?

How can the business be more efficient, what processes can be optimized, identify and cut waste, automate when it makes sense?

What are the competitive, disruptive, emerging technologies that need to be considered?

Should we leverage newer technologies like cloud, engineered systems, and social media?

Amazon used software to create a new retail business model. Apple changed the music industry by allowing us to buy one song at a time instead of the packaged album. Walmart used technology to gain supply chain efficiency and thus offer lower prices as a competitive strategy. Ford created Modle T to transform cars from a luxury item to mass market and replace horse carts. Self-service print services and e-Commerce has changed how we get business cards without changing the product itself.

Manage IT operations and reduce risk

Smooth operations are important so there is sufficient time and trust left to provide new capabilities for business.

How frequently has key business functionality been impacted in the past?

How prepared are you for situations if things go wrong (employees leaving, natural disasters, technology failure)?

How confident are you that a new business application will work as expected?

Are the business resources being used efficiently and effectively?

Consider tools such as Business Continuity Planning, Process & Quality Governance, and Center of Excellence.

Stakeholder perception

Stakeholders may be customers (internal/external), suppliers, partners etc.

What do the stakeholders think of IT?

Does IT exceed expectations?

Does turn around time, cost, and maturity of IT improve over time?

Identify the top one to three improvements that are needed and make sure the improvements are permanent.

By Rohit Arora

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