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.

Peter Hennigan

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