How to Improve IT Value Measurement

Value measurement in IT is a tricky subject: first you have to determine just what is important to measure – and then how to measure it in a way that provides insight and value. This post by Brian G. Barnier lists a few ways to improve the measurement of IT value, starting with matching IT’s measurements of value with the businesses. After all, it’s business’ interest that IT is attempting to satisfy. Match growth, revenue, profit, and customer satisfaction using IT data to help the business understand how IT is helping achieve tangible results. Trying to map IT to business in regards to objectives can sometimes be tricky, as Barnier points out: Many enterprises try to map to business objectives, but fall into a trap when they don’t link to portfolio categories and measures. It’s somewhat like a person trying to earn more income from a retirement portfolio without ever specifically changing asset allocation strategy. In IT terms, CIOs will say their portfolio includes “build” and “run.” In retirement terms, this is like saying they want to “preserve capital” and “grow earnings.” These are broad-brush statements, not tied to practical business objectives for product flexibility, data integration or resilience. More specific statements can drive architecture, hardware and software acquisition, operations design, and resulting metrics. however, achieving this matching is an important step in making sure that IT and business are able to see the value being produced. The next tip is to be aware of, and support, the investment directions of the company. What areas can IT modify to better match where the business wants to be going in the future? This can be hastened by talking to beneficiaries in the company and asking how they are benefiting from a solution provided through IT. Finally, identifying all stakeholders: who else benefits from whatever solution IT has provided, what are their concerns and needs? IT can rapidly expand exactly what “value” looks like in a company if it turns out their solution not only helps the primary stakeholder (the group that requested the work), but also two or three other organisation groups.

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