Updated: Jan 14, 2019
There are two sides to Information Technology (and no, it’s not Information on one side and Technology on the other…).
The side that powers your organisation
There is the engineering side that most people think about when you talk about IT (computers, hardware, software, internet access, networks, core systems like accounting software or client databases).
The utility aspect that we take for granted, the nuts and bolts that make our businesses function and keep them stable and steady (at least most of the time…). The foundation that you can’t do without, that people outside IT don’t really understand but that you know you can’t switch off because you depend on it like water or electricity.
It’s the side that tends to take up most (if not all) of your efforts and energy and suck up your IT budget.
It’s the side that you are challenged to optimise, scale up or down, make energy-efficient.
It’s the side that, if you deliver it well, will meet expectations and get IT a pat on the back for doing its job.
It’s the side that makes IT a cost centre.
The side that empowers your organisation
And then there is the transformation side of IT, the one that is there to truly connect the dots between spending money on IT change and getting value back for it. The intelligence that can actually help transform your organisation and help it grow, adapt to change and head into the direction it needs to go.
It’s the side that is easy to overlook, easy to treat as a second priority, to invest less in, to make less mission critical, the one that will be the first to get hit by the budget cuts.
It’s the side that can be difficult to articulate and explain to others, and is often challenging to sell across an organisation.
It’s also the side that demands the most commitment, leadership and risk-taking. It’s the side that, if you deliver it well, will exceed expectations and get IT a seat at the senior leadership table.
It’s the side that makes IT a value centre.
What about your organisation?
Amongst IT Key Metrics measured across a wide cross-industry sample, Gartner reported that on average businesses spend 67% of their IT budget to run the business vs. 33% to grow & transform it.
What about your organisation? Are you spending most of your IT money on running the utility or on creating new business value?