How IT demand management can leverage a business

In today's competitive and dynamic marketing context, companies look to reinvent themselves all the time. Working with efficient processes, agile strategic moves and good decisions are required pillars for key executives of companies that want and need to be at the top of the ranking as the best in their segment.

Notwithstanding this context, the IT (Information Technology) area has an important role in the success of overcoming business challenges and its status in the global market is growing rapidly. According to a January 2015 forecast released by Gartner, global IT investment is expected to reach US$ 3.8 trillion in 2015, a 2.4% increase when compared to 2014. In this race for using technology to leverage business, mobile devices and enterprise software lead all investments. Even with increased interest rates and inflation rate forecasts higher than 6.0% for this year, Brazil stands out above world levels, indicating a growth of about 5%, or more than R$ 100 billion in IT investments for 2015.

At this time of global technology expansion, assertiveness on IT investments is an important tool in the pursuit of differentiation and growth. Effectively structuring and implementing technology in favor of the Business has been a very challenging issue. Enabling winning marketing plans supported by effective processes and technology, applying regulatory requirements in the operation or implementing strategic innovations, all demand structuring a business model for IT that can respond quickly to this complex and dynamic game of marketing chess.

That is, the fortunate path may be to successfully implement an effective governance structure for IT demand management that directly attempts to address issues such as:

  • Create the necessary mechanisms to ensure that business requirements are sufficiently understood by IT;
  • Ensure that investments are aligned to strategic planning;
  • Set rules for prioritization, scaling demands and ROI analysis (Return on Investment);
  • Structure the work model, policies, limits and rules for the approval committee;
  • Establish and implement metrics and SLAs (Service Level Agreement) agreed between business and IT;
  • Implement mechanisms to control and reduce risks;
  • Scale capacity and internal expertise of IT and its partners, to meet the demands and work on gaps;
  • Set milestones to ensure IT is running the project in accordance with needs of business.

To support this new model, the organization must work in an integrated manner, adherent to the company core, with roles and responsibilities clearly structured, comprehensive communication plans, performance control mechanisms and effective sponsorship of senior management. This synchronized tool can work as leverage for generating greater and better results.

"Transformation continues to be an important phenomenon for all industries. Many will face major challenges in 2014 and beyond, and will have no choice but to radically change their established business models", says Val Sribar, Gartner vice president in the Top Industries Predicts report.

We at Cosin Consulting have worked to structure and implement corporate governance in recent years and highlight some of the key benefits identified by our customers as a result of these projects:

  • Greater focus on relevant demands for business;
  • Alignment between IT and Business guidelines;
  • Reduced conflicts between business areas and IT, based on clear rules and working together;
  • Reduced investments in projects with lower returns;
  • More efficient working model, with deliveries in less time;
  • More dynamic operational process and decision making, sensitive to changing expectations of business;
  • IT team training more compatible with corporate strategy needs.

The first step begins with the decision to review current concepts and create a new corporate technological reality. Confucius, an influential Chinese philosopher, once said in 551 BC, "You can't change the wind, but you can adjust the sails to always reach your destination." 

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