Yesterday I walked through three broad IT Roles that were mentioned in a recent CIO Insight Magazine Article on growth within IT Departments. Today I will look at the next 4 in that list with my personal spin on why these roles both need and deserve to see a boost.
Easily the most consistent question that I receive from my clients the blend of addressing the availability of critical business functions to customers, suppliers, regulators and other entities that require access to these assets. There is always some confusion between BCP (Business Continuity Planning) and DRP (Disaster Recovery Planning) but they are distinct but related disciplines.
As IT Departments achieve better alignment with business units within an organization it is no longer good enough to have a plan to get the computers / servers back up and running. IT has a key function today in the day to day operations and the discussion around BCP is a great way to bridge the gap of understanding between business and IT but it must be done right or the relationship can forever be sullied.
I did find an interesting PDF from the National Fire Protection Association that sets a BCP Standard. To learn more check it out here:
IT Financial Management
Post Recession Budgets are starting to open up again around the world but the bubble of free spending and blank checks to the IT Department are long over…never likely to return again. For many of my clients they are being faced with formalizing their IT Budget for the first time or even worse, seeing their existing Budget receiving deeper scrutiny from the CFO or Controller!
While dealing with bean counters is never easy it is necessary. I see this every day and as an Account Manager part of my job is to walk the fine line between value and price. It is not good enough to just make the right decision but to make the right size decision. It would be wonderful if every IT Manager I work with could simply call up their vendor of choice and ask for 5 of their best “whatzamahoozits” and get them here tomorrow.
The reality is Governance, Compliance and Good Business Sense are now very much so common place within an IT Department and having someone focused on the $$$ is key to the proper alignment of both resources and time to ensure success. Having a plan and acting upon the plan are key to building out a sound financial house for the IT Department.
Client Relationship Management
When I saw that this Role was included in the list I instantly thought of Jenn Patterson from the BBC Series the IT Crowd. In the show, she is a technically incompetent business functionary that was placed with the socially under equipped Geeks in the basement of Reynholm Industries (my favorite episode is when the IT Guys convince her that they have the Internet in a Box)
In reality though the need for a direct connection to the business units that blends business savvy and a technical affiliation is an important role. The Service Desk may be your front line response to end-users but without the “business filter” IT Leaders may not know when there is trouble brewing in the connection between the users and the IT Department.
ITSM or IT Service Management is a challenge for many IT Leaders. Knowing what services they provide to their “Customers” and understanding the impact and cost of those services is key to being able to have a sound Financial Plan for the department. Whether you are looking at Cost-to-Serve or just an IT Service Catalog these are the foundations of moving to a better Service Management Framework.
Just yesterday I was asked a question about the successful implementation of an out of the box, no modification ITSM Solution. Is there such a thing, a simple wham bam, thank you mam solution that without any customization will ensure proper Service Management for a company or organization? In reality just as every company has its own nuances and differences so should your plan. Everyone in the IT Department should be tasked with being in line with better Service Management Strategies and that in turn will ensure better alignment with the organization objectives.
Whether you believe in ITIL Foundations, ISO 20000, MOF or one of the many other options within Service Management it is important to note that a Framework is just that…what you make of the Framework is what you get out of the process. Many vehicles use the exact same Frame as the basis for their design but what is built from that frame can be dramatically different.
Tomorrow we will dive into the world of Security and Project Management and the necessity of those roles in IT.
Cheers and have a great day.
Chris J Powell