Today's IT managers are not only heralding new technologies to help their companies achieve business goals, they're also keeping a very close eye on the bottom line—from staff costs, to trimming waste and inefficiencies and analyzing current systems' return-on-investment (ROI).
In every aspect of their role, tech leaders are now expected to possess financial acumen, but for many IT managers, it's a new job requirement that requires help. That's exactly why TechRepublic is launching a new weekly live forum on Thursday, July 22, that will provide real-time access to an IT financial expert.
Peter Hennigan, a senior manager in the IT Business Risk Management Practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers, will lead a live one-hour forum from Noon to 1 P.M. EST at TechRepublic. To join in, whether to post a question or learn from other members' questions, members just need to log in to TechRepublic at 12 P.M. EST to participate.
Hennigan will answer your financial questions on a wide range of issues during the forum—from asset management to budgeting, planning, and equipment financing. Other topics will include chargeback, ROI, sourcing issues, software asset management, and contract management. Members should note that this event will not focus on personal financial issues but purely on IT financial topics and scope.
Real-time financial help
TechRepublic members can post questions prior to the live forum by clicking here (you might want to bookmark the URL for easy access on Thursday) or e-mail questions before and during the forum to be shared with Hennigan during the event.
Hennigan brings over 20 years of combined industry and consulting experience to the forum, as he specializes in the business and financial management of IT. He is experienced in a broad range of IT business and financial management areas, including governance, planning, sourcing, budgeting, reporting, asset management, investment analysis, and performance management.
Prior to joining PricewaterhouseCoopers, Hennigan was a principal with a consulting firm focused on optimizing the business and financial management aspects of IT organizations. In that role his contributions included helping clients assess and execute sourcing alternatives, delivering post-merger cost reductions, and implementing IT business management processes.
Previously, he served in senior IT management positions for a Fortune 150 financial services company. Hennigan served as the company's first IT CFO and led the design and implementation of effective IT financial and business management processes. In other roles, he directed the business management of outsourcing deals and the integration of acquired companies' IT operations.
Hennigan graduated magna cum laude from Syracuse University with a B.S. in Engineering and an M.B.A. in Finance. He has written articles on IT financial and business operations for various publications including Inside Supply Management, Midrange Computing, Journal of IT Financial Management, and TechRepublic.
Good resources to tap
In addition to real-time access to PwC's Hennigan, TechRepublic members may also be interested in checking out a recent book, "Managing IT as a Business: A Survival Guide for CEOs," by Mark Lutchen, partner and practice leader at PwC.
Typically, information technology ranks high among most companies' top five expenditures, and yet IT continues to be one of the least understood and most poorly managed areas in business, according to Lutchen. While all executives recognize the importance of technology as a means of improving customer service and making work more efficient, few understand how to leverage IT strategically and how to use it as a driver of business success, he adds.
Lutchen's book provides executives with practical advice on how to unleash the full potential of this critical function so that companies can derive maximum benefit. It offers a proven plan for bridging the gap between CEOs and CIOs that has, until now, impeded their ability to work together in order to craft objectives, establish budget guidelines, and develop metrics for measuring IT value and success. In short, with this book as a guide, business leaders will learn how to manage IT as they would any other functional business unit.
Another valuable PwC resource is the white paper "IT Spend and Performance: Achieving Visibility and Transparency."
This paper focuses on the daunting responsibility facing IT leaders today—that is, can tech leaders realistically be expected to continuously and relentlessly reduce costs while still maintaining a technology infrastructure that meets the expanding needs of its users? When put that way, of course, the answer is no. However, this is not to say that most IT organizations can and should be run with greater efficiency. While there are many components involved in managing IT as a business, one key aspect is achieving a clear understanding of what it costs and what it delivers. For if IT spending and performance are not truly visible and transparent, the other benefits of technology can never be fully realized. This white paper provides guidance on how to achieve greater visibility and transparency of IT spending and performance across the enterprise.
Grab this tool set
To make sure you've got a good set of financial tools to work with, download this resource pack for financial management of IT. It includes five Hennigan articles offering advice on everything from leasing to IT investments.
The articles have been packaged into one convenient free download to help you put Hennigan's advice to use immediately.
Here's a quick preview of what the articles provide:
- "Portfolio management keeps IT aligned with business strategy" explains how to apply the principles of financial portfolio management to IT investments.
- "Weigh the benefits of leasing decisions to the enterprise and its units" aims at helping you understand all the risks that you should factor into the decision to finance IT hardware.
- "Apply this framework to establish a solid acquisition process" discusses how every acquisition of technology brings some degree of business risk and that being organized and prepared is the best way to control it. Learn the key elements to adequately assessing the risks involved, and discover why building a framework is the first step to take.
- "When it comes to IT investment, CIOs need to take the helm" describes why CIOs should couple a take-charge attitude with thoroughly analyzed IT investments to accomplish their major objectives.
- "Targeted communication drives the budget process" features tips from Hennigan to create a smooth budgeting process. The first step is preparing thorough financial planning tailored to communicate specifically and effectively to each business unit or stakeholder involved.
- "Follow this model for effective IT cost management" provides a dual-view method of cost analysis to allow CIOs to frame cost structures in terms of function and category.
To help you put the advice in these articles to work immediately, the download includes the following resource documents:
- IT chart of accounts spreadsheet
- Leasing term checklist
- Checklist for mapping ROI values
- IT cost center budget model spreadsheet
- Template for technical acquisitions