Educate senior managers about “IT leverage”

supply and demandIT managers face many challenges – nothing new, is it? Here are some problematic realities that studies and surveys reveal every year:

  • High percentage of IT project failure
  • Half or more IT organizations are out of sync with company needs
  • IT managers fail to communicate effectively
  • IT organizations are often viewed as reactive, unresponsive and unreliable

Not a pretty picture if your IT organization fits into one or more of these scenarios.

A big problem is that quite often these issues exist with your IT organization, but you aren’t aware of it, , , or maybe don’t truly understand the dynamics of it. I see this all the time.

But, , , there is good news!!!

IT organizations offer their companies leverage, , , tremendous leverage. In fact, your IT organization right now offers your company more leverage than any department in your company, , , significantly more.

The IT organization is the only department in a company that can positively impact every department in the company.

This is HUGE !!!

That’s right, your IT organization can help reduce the expenses in every department of your company, , , or improve the productivity of the people in every department with implementations of technology.

No other department in a company has this kind of leverage.

Astute CEO’s will actually spend more money in their IT organization when they understand the leverage opportunities an effective IT team can produce.

Let’s say this again, , , “will spend more money in their IT organization”.

The only reason a CEO would do this is because he knows he will get a positive return on investment (ROI) when doing so.

It’s important that IT managers understand the leverage value they offer their company. What’s equally important is they they help their senior managers realize this. After all, if a CEO does not know IT has the leverage, he won’t spend more in IT – right?

So what should you do?

Here is what I recommend:

  1. Begin to understand the leverage opportunities an IT organization offers yourself
  2. Recommend IT initiatives that will deliver quantifiable business value benefits. See my articles on “business value”for additional insight:
    1. Business value is key
    2. Business value is the key to IT manager job security
    3. IT Strategy: align your IT vision for business value
  3. Build a positive track record in delivering projects successfully and track the results
  4. Maintain a Project Initiatives Portfolio to quantify and communicate your project success rate and benefits derived
  5. Educate your senior managers so they are aware:
    1. Explain the leverage potential IT offers
    2. Communicate your track record of IT success
    3. Quantify the benefits the company has received from IT efforts

Three things are required before a solid CEO will even think about investing more in IT:

  1. Awareness of the leverage potential an effective IT organization offers
  2. A track record of recommending projects that provide business value
  3. A track record of delivering the goods when projects are approved

What this says is that the CEO must be aware of the leverage potential and also be confident that spending more in IT will give his company positive benefits worth such an investment.

Educating your clients is critical for your success. Don’t assume your CEO or other senior managers already know about the leverage potential you offer them. The unfortunate reality is, , , there is a good chance they aren’t aware.

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