As the business cycle ebbs and flows, the rationale for IT investment tends toward extremes. In boom times, IT is asked to support growth and accelerate performance at all costs. But in times of a bust, IT becomes an engine of cost-savings and a focus of cost-cutting.
At first, IT cost-cutting is an urgent matter. Executives ask where spending can be cut right away. When IT is applied to business operations to reduce spending and increase efficiency, the returns must be achieved as quickly as possible.
But after the first wave of slashing is over, a more measured approach takes hold, which is the focus of this second issue of Perspectives. New techniques and approaches offer the creative practitioner a whole host of options for improving IT and business operations.
Inside this issue of Perspectives, you will find in-depth explorations of several areas of change that can help you become a more efficient organization, generate greater business value and prepare for the future.
Aligning IT and its costs: Using the service catalog approach helps you gain a unified view of how IT supports business service. That, in turn, will provide your organization with a foundation for charging for IT services on the basis of business value and making business units accountable for their IT consumption.
Getting more from operations: The time has come to move beyond the “quick fix” to more long-term changes that will truly improve the operational efficiency of your IT operations. That means reexamining some existing efforts, like SOA, to refocus them for better outcomes; it means careful design and implementation of other programs in areas like multi-vendor program management.
New frontiers: As more organizations look at the future of virtualization and cloud computing, there remains significant unrealized potential in these new tools. At the same time, some other recent technologies, such as XBRL, may also hide great value for improving risk management.
Read Perspectives, Volume 2: Optimizing IT Cost - the CIO's Handbook
Read Perspectives, Volume 1: Building Competence for IT Transformation
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