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Exposing IT Value to the Business

The new battle cry of the CIO: Forward to excellent service delivery at minimal cost! As a vehicle for that mantra, the Service Portfolio is a way to set expectations about how technologies will be adopted, supported, and paid for.  Mark Harris of Government CIO Magazine shares some general knowledge for how this drive to deliver ties IT closer to the business.

Service Catalogues

The catalogue of IT services is the perfect way to display cost of IT services against value to the business. If such services deliver low value for high cost, this is a call for revision, remodeling, or discontinuation of a particular service. Of course, the creation of formalized service products requires quantifying non-traditional costs such as the power and cooling that run the data center and depreciation costs for active service elements.

DCIM Benefits

Cooling costs of a resilient data center alone are equal to half the total cost of acquisition. That is why the service catalogue must reflect more than the cost of acquisition and licensing, hence the need for Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) . Harris explains:

Fundamentally, it is impossible to accurately determine the true cost to deliver any service unless a comprehensive DCIM solution is deployed. DCIM provides a highly granular means to managing the lifecycle of assets that are in production. DCIM solutions can manage the costs associated with all aspects of assets in the data center, from initial provisioning to the ultimate decommissioning of these devices.

IT and Business Value

Harris describes the Service Catalogues as the objective contract of the specific type(s) and quality of services that will be provided to users, along with the costs and service level metrics to determine how well those services are being delivered against the contract. In sum, the Service Catalogue combined with a robust DCIM could be defined as the best way to align the value of IT with the value of business.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI’s Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master’s degree in communications at Penn State University.

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