by Sharyn Leaver

SharynleaverA recent Forrester snap-survey shows that 41% of IT decision-makers are seeing their relationships with business peers strengthen in response to economic conditions. And only 13% feel that the relationships have been harmed — being pushed back into more of a support role. These figures suggest that IT has the opportunity to play a lead role in bottom-line drivers — well beyond cost reduction. Smart IT leaders know that now is their chance to redefine IT’s value to the enterprise.

The bigger question is: What should IT leaders do to capitalize on this opportunity? We at Forrester have our ideas (hey, we’re a firm full of analysts so there’s no shortage of opinions here). Some that come to mind are:

Cio_march_fl_graphic_edited_4 1.Effectively managing and prioritizing business demand. Important any time, IT demand management (IT DM) becomes vital when making tough tradeoffs. IT DM is an integrated set of IT processes that aggregate and prioritize business demand, measure and report IT’s resource usage, and optimally allocate those resources. (Related research from Forrester: "IT Demand Management And The PMO")
2.Properly assessing business satisfaction with IT. IT executives can’t expand their perceived value without first assessing the current state of business satisfaction, which we define as the extent by which business customers believe a service meets their expectations.
3.Implementing IT financial management practices. Best-practice IT organizations provide complete transparency into IT spending and provide their customers with information to make rational decisions about their demand for IT, which results in improved value from IT investments.
4.Transforming to a lean IT organization. Lean designs increasingly focus on the delivery of aggregated business services and the elimination of waste from duplicate and noncoordinated processes and resources. (Related research from Forrester: "The Lean Foundation For Business Service Portfolio Management")

What do you think?  What practices must IT leaders adopt quickly to redefine IT’s value to the enterprise? 

Not-so-coincidentally, this is also the theme of Forrester’s IT Forum, which is taking place May 19-22 in Las Vegas, NV and again June 3-5 in Berlin, Germany. Join us to dive into this topic in more detail, learn from each other, and make sure we do emerge from this period in better shape than ever.