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What are the best ways to demonstrate IT value ~ Future of CIO

ValueInteresting article from Pearl ZhuWhat are the best ways to demonstrate IT value ~ Future of CIO“.

She argues that the following points are key to demonstrating IT Value and I tend to agree, however when you dig a little deeper I have some areas of concern.

Read on to see my thoughts? Do you agree?



  • In order to demonstrate IT value, organizations need to first know wherein lies the IT value.  The value itself is a multi-dimensional concept, a seamless customer experience, an optimal business service, a commercial value proposition, a social value system….

I think this is the crux of the matter, its far easier to say, than actually do! The real trick here is to define the value of IT in real business terms using the language of the business. This is not easy to do, but if you can find the right way delivers fantastic results.

  • In the power of mutual understanding and teamwork, IT can use analytics and metrics as a way of measuring the performance benefits of IT to business.

Totally agree, but you also need to get the C-Suite to believe the metrics! There is a tendency for many value metrics to get exaggerated. For example, project ROI metrics – Is IT really delivering a 25% improvement in project A and 30% on project B etc etc. If you sum together all of the benefits across the portfolio I am betting that the total is far greater than the net to the bottom line. Why? Because projects overlap, because there is shortage of resource in the organisation, because people get redeployed and not removed etc etc.

However, I agree with Pearl you have to use analytics and metrics to support your case, you just need to use them carefully and build trust in what is being shown.

  • The best way to demonstrate the value of IT is to know who you are showing the value to.
  • “What’s in it for me?” the business would like to know what’s in it for them. So IT needs to first understand what the business is, what their pain points are, identify areas for improvement and then those that can be improved with IT.

A great place to start, the more you can help the business with there areas of pain the better.

  • CIO as business strategist shall advocate IT strategic value at big table and practice governance discipline as well.

The CIO must be at the table with the rest of the C-Suite. Is the CIO any less important than the CFO or CMO? I would argue that these days the CIO is becoming increasingly important due to the way that technology filters through everything we do. But they must earn their seat at the table.

  • The best way IT can demonstrate value to the business is to invest in understanding the business processes it supports

Similar to the point above, understand the business and its processes then help eliminate the pain points, this will go a long way toward earning the seat at the table and demonstrating IT Value.

What do you think?



One thought on “What are the best ways to demonstrate IT value ~ Future of CIO

  1. It’s an interesting question – assigning value is as much about perception as it is about anything objective (see: http://mmitii.mattballantine.com/2014/03/27/the-psychology-of-pricing-it/).


    Posted by ballantine70 | May 1, 2014, 10:36 am

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