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Corporate IT bod? Show 'em what it costs and management WILL pay

If you don't do it, pricy outsourced crew will

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Storagebod Getting IT departments to start thinking like service providers is an uphill struggle; getting beyond cost-to-value seems to be a leap too far for many. I wonder if it is driven by fear of change or simply a fear of assessing value.

How do you assess the value of a service? Well, arguably, it is quite simple ... it is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. And with the increased prevalence of service providers vying to provide the same utilities as internal IT departments, it should be relatively simple. The SPs have pretty much set the baseline.

And then there are the things that the internal IT department just should be able to do better: they should be able to assess business need better than external parties, for example. They should know the business and be listening to the "water cooler" conversations.

They should become experts in what their company does, understand the frustrations and come up with ways of doing things better.

Costed solutions

Yet there is often a fear of presenting the business with innovative and better services. I think it is a fear of going to the business and presenting a costed solution: there is a fear of asking for money and there is certainly a fear of the Finance Dept. But present the costs to the business users first, and you could get them to come to the table with you.

If internal IT bods continue to offer the same old services, they'll soon find themselves wondering why the boys and girls upstairs are going elsewhere for the provision of innovative services - and while they're at it, begin procuring the services we used to provide. Quite frankly, many corporate IT departments are in a death spiral, trying to hang on to things that they could let go.

Don’t think: "I can’t ask the Business for this much money to provide this new service…" Rather, think: "What if the Business wants this service but ends up asking someone else?"

At least you are going to be bidding on your own terms and not being forced into a competitive bid against an external service provider. When it comes down to it, the external provider almost certainly employs a better sales team than you.

By proposing new services yourself or perhaps even taking existing "products" and turning them into a service, you are choosing the battle-ground yourselves: you can find the high ground and fight from a position of power. ®

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