How To Keep Nasty Surprises Away From Your CFO

How To Keep Nasty Surprises Away From Your CFO

Imagine this. A meeting suddenly appears in your calendar with your CEO and CFO. It wasn’t expected. A compliance issue has been picked up and there’s suddenly a big hole in your budget because a software licence that was negotiated before your time has been managed poorly. What do you do?

At ImprovIT we’ve seen this sort of thing time and again, across all sizes of organisations and industries. The most common fundamental mistakes we come across are:

  1. IT buy an expensive tool to solve a particular problem, but don’t maintain that tool or input the right data into it, so its value is eroded or never fully realised.
  2. Processes are set up meticulously, and well thought through, but as time goes by, they’re not updated and become quickly out of date and worthless. These lead to costly gaps and inefficiencies.

As IT organisations (or entire businesses) restructure or evolve, so must the processes that they’ve built and the tools that they’ve deployed. An operational process might just be a means to an end, but it’s also the difference between business running smoothly, and having to explain to your CFO why there’s suddenly a break in service or an unexpected cost you have to deal with. That’s a failure of IT, and that’s on you, unfortunately.

At ImprovIT we’re not at all embarrassed to say that we LOVE operational processes. Because we know that they hold the key to business running smoothly.

One of the criticisms a lot of IT organisations face is that they don’t think like a business. An example of this is knowing what your assets are, and managing them so they deliver the best value for the business. So, if you want to avoid an awkward conversation with your CFO, here are 5 things you need to be on top of:

  1. Know your assets (hardware and software): where exactly are they deployed? What’s the value of each asset? What are its warranty, support, and conditions of use?
  2. Service Desk and Incident Management – are you managing issues for your business swiftly and effectively?
  3. Contractual obligations – are you over/underpaying and are you fully compliant? If you’re outsourcing, your service catalogue should not be created ad hoc, it should be fully defined before you engage.
  4. Identity profiles – are your people getting the most appropriate hardware and software for their needs? Do they have the correct access?
  5. Cyber Security – can you say definitively who has access to what files?

Solid processes allow you to optimise both ways: by avoiding costly gaps and also saving money through efficiency. Put simply, a slack process leads to a slack job.

If you’ve just read this and are now wondering what nasty surprise you might have hidden in a (virtual) closet somewhere, please do get in touch with us today. Our consultants live and breathe these processes and can help you uncover the gaps so you don’t have to face any unexpected meetings.
ImprovIT are an independent business and technology consultancy. We were founded by former colleagues of Gartner, IBM and HP to help senior IT leaders make the critical decisions that will maximise their technology investments. We’re completely independent and impartial specialists in the use of IT Measurement, Modelling and Benchmarking.
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