In the earlier posts I have explained how three attributes namely: Impact, Effectiveness and Availability can be used to measure the value of each IT Service for a given Line of Business (LOB). Easy as it might sound, the devil is however in the detail. In real world, for each LOB the unit of measure to perceive the value of IT Service is completely different. For example in a product centric organization the Engineering division looks at IT Services as enablers to help them in timely release management of products. For Sales LOB, IT Services are enablers of sales whether it is online or offline. For the Finance team, IT Services may be all about timely management of quarterly reports and numbers.
So in our business value of IT measurement model, we will have to introduce the concept of Unit of Measure (UoM). The UoM will be different for each LOB. Based on historical nature of business and types of products and services being offered, the IT teams can prepare a set of UoMs for each business function and compute the business value in those units.
The business value computation of each IT Service using the UoMs will be iterative and I don’t expect that we will be able to get it right the first time. IT and LOB may not have the same level of understanding on the direct value of IT in the units discussed. How many CIOs can empirically say that due to my IT Services 1 & 3, the Sales team achieved 5% more sales this quarter? The UoM based value computation takes us closer to that goal. The attribute values of Impact, Effectiveness and Availability will be better understood once the CIO is able to discuss the value of IT Services in the units that directly affect the LOBs.
Visualization helps. Once the framework is established, it is easy to build a simple what-if based dashboard pre-populated with data and levers. For each LOB, the levers will be same (Impact, Effectiveness & Availability) but the resultant outputs will be business value of each IT Service in the unit of measures that business understands. This visualization will lay a foundation for a measurable and meaningful LOB-CIO conversation to plan IT Services
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