CXO

Video: Four ways to recession-proof your IT group

In a difficult economy, IT becomes invaluable for driving efficiency and cost savings. However, to become perpetually relevant, IT needs to be perceived as a value-generating, strategically active department. Here are four ways that IT can prove its worth and generate tangible business value.

In a difficult economy, IT becomes invaluable for driving efficiency and cost savings. However, to become perpetually relevant, IT needs to be perceived as a value-generating, strategically active department. This episode of Sanity Savers for IT executives explains four key concepts that can help your IT department prove its worth and generate tangible business value.

For those of you who prefer text over video, you can click the "Transcript" link underneath the video or you can read the original article from Ilya Bogorad that this episode was based on: Time to shine: Why the dismal economy can be good for IT leaders.

About

Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.

6 comments
jhoffmaster
jhoffmaster

Geeze, buzz-word city. This site really is for corporate people trying to be techies.

bkatzman
bkatzman

Yep. We can longer hide in our basements, have crazy hair and wear Godzilla t-shirts.. Not only do they want us to fix their stuff, but they want us to look/act like we're actually part of the company, not just a contractor. Sigh...

CG IT
CG IT

which generally reflect managements perception of IT. One is about the City of Los Angeles moving to Cloud Computing vs inhouse departments. Cost savings was the biggest benefit. The city would realize almost $16 million in cost savings by moving to Cloud Computing. $7 million of which the city is "soft savings" which is a nice word for getting rid of IT staff. here's the article: http://www.informationweek.com/news/government/cloud-saas/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=218501443 Another one is on TR in which a DB developer mentions the problems with DB administration. http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-12845-0.html?forumID=102&threadID=313800&start=0 The biggest problem all companies, large and small, have with IT is its costs. It's costs are proportionate to it's complexity with complex systems requiring a high priced workforce to maintain it. The Oracle article by ancroft.ltd highlights the problems with databases and as a result, the high costs associated with them. While bug fixes are necessary, he highlights a major problem with It department projects. To quote him: "I do believe that under UNIX and a with database tuned for specific queries Oracle offers the potential for faster performance but frankly I am foremost a developer ? and I expect my DBMS to serve me not the other way round. I am also not happy about reconfiguring an entire database just to make one particular query run better - what about all the other queries" While the article is about Oracle vs SQL , it also highlights a major problem with IT departments. By the time the product has all the bugs worked out of it, it's time for a whole new one. While many companies tout the return on investment angle, in all actuality, the life span of hardware and software has become worse than automobiles. The average american hangs on to their auto for about 6 years. In IT there is always a new product developers want to create or deploy. New hardware to be installed. As more companies like Microsoft and Google advertise that they can get rid of the high costs of networks by doing it all for a company, like the City of Los Angeles, the more IT developers and administrators will find their jobs being eliminated. Hardware vendors will find the business market dry up. How to be more strategic? I think using common business sense. The products and service offered have a considerable value by staying useful for a longer period.

john3347
john3347

"While many companies tout the return on investment angle, in all actuality, the life span of hardware and software has become worse than automobiles." Many in IT push for the newest thing for no real reason other than it is the "new thing". It is generally acceptable for an individual to buy a new car, a new computer, a new OS, a new application, etc. just because they want a new one if they can afford it, but business does not live by those rules. Business dies by those rules! Just because some new software has becomes available, is no reason to deploy it and revamp hardware and retrain personnel. All too often, in business, you are spending a dollar to save a dime when you fall into the "gotta have the new application" trap. It is IT's responsibility to advise management as to what will provide a REAL return on investment rather than to advise on what is the latest thing to hit the street. It is commonly on this point that the IT department builds the, often well deserved, reputation for being a huge expense to the company rather than a profit generator. If it ain't broke, don't fix it! (Just make sure it is running smooth.)

makkh
makkh

What mentioned by john3347 makes sense, however more toward ideal style where some assumptions have to be satisfied: 1. CIO must be a business-minded person with strong IT background. His/her core mindset must be rely on business point of view & not IT fancy stuff. 2. Board of CEOs takes IT dept advice into consideration (with rule 1 above applied) 3. No personal ego exist within any parties. 4. Don't attempt to act as pioneer in any new IT gadget without detailed studies. Apply the solution only with strong reason such approach will ease/minimize business load (reduce error chances done by users thus improve efficiency).

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