Modern Middle Manager
Primarily my musings on the practical application of technology and management principles at a financial services company.
How to Run IT Like a Business

Saturday, May 01, 2004  

An article in discusses (yet again) the topic of running IT like a business. To summarize:

1. Standardization.
2. Process and project management.
3. Financial reporting.
4. Communication to senior management.

The article is still a little fuzzy on how these IT departments deliver value except for the Intel example where they tag a dollar value on just about everything. It does make me wonder how they justify infrastructure upgrades and the like. Are server upgrades given ROI's? If so, on what basis? No answer. Some other categories of measurement:

* Internal customer satisfaction scores
* IT leader performance reviews
* Executive committee reviews
* Industry benchmarks
* SLA performance

In my company, I am pretty confident that I meet customer satisfaction. Since I'm the only IT leader, I think my performance is OK. We have no formal SLA's beyond uptime requirements. And industry benchmarks are a bit misleading, as there are few wealth management/commercial bank (sans lending) combinations quite like ours. Do we really compare to the aggregate?

A recent Optimize article highlighted two financial institutions in a buy vs. build discussion. How do you compare these two companies? Ratio of IT personnel to total employees? IT spending as a percentage of revenue? Return on each project? Depending on how you slice it, a department may be doing well, so-so or poorly. The numbers selected determine the agenda of the person doing the slicing and dicing.

posted by Henry Jenkins | 5/01/2004 12:04:00 PM

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