It can be quite expensive for a CIO to run an IT department. There are a lot of different costs that all seem to contribute to the definition of information technology: server, networks, applications, developers, system administrators, etc. These costs don’t seem to be deceasing and in fact, only seem to be going up. What this means is that if a CIO is going to meet the IT needs of the company, then they are going to need more funding. How to get those needed funds for the IT sector in tough economic conditions is a skill that every CIO needs to develop.
Why Will The Company Be Willing To Give IT More Money?
If a CIO wants to have any hope of getting additional funding from their CFOs in tough economic times then they need to be able to convince the CFO that the IT department has a real need. The good news is that there are a number of changes that are going on that may help you in making your case.
Every company runs on data – and lots of it. As the quantity of data that is needed in order for a firm to make good business decisions continues to grow, the IT department needs to find ways to stay on top of this need. Spending money to do this has a very clear return on investment (ROI) for the firm.
The ability to engage with employees even when they are not at a company site is becoming more and more important. How those employees want to interact with the company’s systems (Blackberry, iPad, etc.) is requiring the IT department to spend more money to adapt to changing end user requirements.
Delivering On The Promise
Anytime a CIO makes a request for additional funding to the CFO, there will always be a question regarding whether or not the investment will provide the benefits that are being promised. That’s where your real communication skills will come into play.
In the time since the year 2000, most firms have experienced a higher growth in productivity than back in the 1990s. The experts believe that much of this boost in productivity can be attributed to information technology. The actual numbers seem to indicate that a company that spends more on IT projects can expect to become 5-6% more productive than their competition according to an MIT study.
Mobile As A Driver
If there is one reason that your CFO will be willing to boost the IT department’s budget, then that reason is the arrival of mobile. The ability to always be connected to the company’s systems, no matter where you are, is a key driver of many important IT projects that will need to be funded.
The reason that this has become such a challenge is that there are more employees in more locations who are trying to access the company’s systems. Additionally, they want to be able to choose what devices they use to interact with the systems and not be limited to just those devices that the company tells them that they can use.
What All Of This Means For You
In tough economic times, CIOs have to work even harder to secure the funding that it’s going to take in order to keep their IT departments able to meet the growing needs of the company. We all understand the importance of information technology and so this is going to require developing the skills needed to boost the IT department’s budget.
To accomplish this, the CIO needs to be able to make the case that the IT budget is really an investment in the company’s future. Current IT trends have the ability to transform how the company does business including incorporating mobile technology into key processes. In order to accomplish this type of change, the CIO is going to need to have the funding that is going to be required to make the changes happen.
The ability to work with the company’s CFO is a skill that you are going to have to develop if you don’t already have it. You’re going to need to be able to state the IT department’s case and make it clear that there is a good return on investment (ROI) for every dollar that the company gives to the IT department.
Question For You: What do you think is the #1 IT program that a CIO can best use to secure additional funding?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
If there is one word in the IT Sector that is hot, hot, hot these days it’s analytics. It seems as though it has almost become a part of the definition of information technology. Everyone and their mother’s uncle seems to be saying that analytics is the next great thing that is going to transform the company. Great, if you are the CIO it looks like you had better come up with a plan to transform your company’s numbers into something that they can use to make more money…