There are several reasons to centralize IT projects in your organization. In this blog, I’ll take about what those reasons are.
If you’re creating a project management office in your company, you should be sure to centralize your IT projects. Here’s why:
First, is manageability. There are examples galore of different business units or departments pursuing solutions to similar problems without any knowledge that a similar solution search is underway.
Often, these business units will by different systems that do the same thing regardless of whether or not they knew of the other system. For whatever reason, the units must have a good business reason for the added expense. That is one reason why it is important to have a forum to make these decisions, because we all know, aside from open source, software is expensive.
Second, no one likes to have things chucked over the wall at them: “By the way, we just bought this software package for $2 million and you need to support it. Have a nice day.” Issues of supportability (do you have the right skill sets to support the system?), security, scalability (is the business unit taking into consideration the future growth of the system?), flexibility (not all requirements are known up front, how are changes in requirements or business processes addressed?). The more proprietary the system, the more specialized and expensive the resource to manage and maintain it. If the application is going to be outsourced, there are still security concerns that must be addressed by IT (i.e. SAS 70 or PCI compliance, service level agreements, issue escalation procedures, upgrade notifications, etc.) Outsourcing to a hosted application provider is a great alternative to bringing systems in house, but be careful that it is not just the business unit trying to work around IT versus finding the best solution for the company. If the company later decides to bring the application/system in house, make sure that the data is yours and at the end of the contract term, all data will be provided to you in a specific format and that there is a transition period to make sure the new system is up to date with the data
Third, strategic alignment: Should we spend $1 million on a photo management solution for the graphics department or should we use that money to get a cross-sell module for the call center that will positively impact revenue? If you make the decision at the department level, you may be making the best decision for your department, but not the company. That’s why the decision needs to be elevated.