“CIO’s must change the conversation. IT value is dead. Business outcomes are real and the only measure of IT worth.”
Stephanie Overby, CIO Magazine, May 15, 2011
In case you missed the cover story from the latest issue of CIO Magazine, the concept of aligning IT and the business is obsolete and counterproductive. What really matters are business outcomes such as improved profitability, customer satisfaction and making the organization more competitive. Have the ITIL folks got it all wrong? Will there be an ITIL v4 focused more on business outcomes?
Hardly. ITIL’s objectives have always been to integrate IT into the business by focusing on increased customer satisfaction, improved productivity, and reducing the overall cost of service management. What I think is driving this is the often misunderstood (and overused) concept of IT-business alignment. No CIO would purposely create and approve an IT project that is not aligned with the business. The real challenge has always been how to measure the degree of IT/business alignment. For example, few CIOs brag “I’ve really got IT and the business aligned.” Instead, a much more likely claim is, “our retail website experienced no downtime despite the significant increase in demand over the past several weeks.”
RightStar recently published a customer success story detailing the business outcomes PCN, a growing Philadelphia based IT services firm, achieved using BMC’s Service Desk Express (SDE). PCN uses SDE for incident and problem management, but the real question asked by PCN IT management is, “How can SDE (and RightStar) better deliver and improve PCN services and/or customer experience?” Here are five answers to that question.
- Billable incident and project module. According to Nichole Burdumy, Senior PM at PCN, “it used to take us 12 hours to run a billing report, customize, it, and then cross check the data. With the automated system, the entire process can be completed in about 60 minutes.”
- Fully customized Service Level Management. By minimizing wasted resources, the SLA module allowed PCN to better meet commitments and deadlines, helping ensure on-time performance.
- Knowledge Management/Self-Service. This module offers self-help documents to customers thereby reducing first call resolution times.
- Streamlined new hire process. By improving the on-boarding process, new consultants are better equipped to be productive on the first day of hire.
- Verizon eBonding integration. This integration allows PCN analysts to automatically receive and track incidents from Verizon that previously required a separate login to the Verizon website. This significantly improved response times between Verizon and PCN and its customers.
How does PCN measure IT value? Not based upon business alignment, but by fewer incidents, improved productivity, and speed and efficiency as compared to the competition.