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The Business Value Of IT – Book Review

Book CoverNearly one year ago I wrote the article titled “Working between” regarding my dilemma when I am trying to answer Yes, when business asks. I am very interested about the collaboration between IT and the customer, and the IT department relationship within the organization. Recently, into the hands fell a book “The Business Value of IT: Managing Risks, Optimizing Performance and Measuring Results” and while reading the introduction I already knew that this item deserves a special place on my shelf.

I planned to read this book in two weeks, as it quickly turned out, five days was enough and I already was on the last page. I think this book is ideally suited for all those who have following acronyms in their positions: CIO, CTO, CITO. Generally it comes to people in charge of IT departments in companies and corporations, so it especially for you. I am not a CIO and for the moment I have no such plans 🙂 but good to know what is going on the top.

In next few paragraphs I will refer only first nine chapters for incentives, describe in a few sentences about what it is and say what I have gained after reading. I really like that each part is the question and its content give concrete answers.

1. What should the Business Expects from IT ?
It is significant that at the beginning the author asks just this question, and at the end we have its inverse.

2. How do I measure the value of IT ?
What is the value ? How to name it ? Author brings several terms like ROI, TCO and other, explain and shows the methods to measure.

3. How much IT is enough ?
You will find here an expansion of the second part, and get hints if it’s enough.

4. Am I paying to much for IT ?
How many times have we heard that it costs too much? Why is that? This section shows the components of the IT budget, explains a lot and shows the clue.

5. Who governs IT ?
It is most about decisions and their distribution. Some diagrams showing decision making models and questions which we must ask.

6. What models should IT use ?
There are not perfect models but we can choose from several which are described and justified. COBIT, CMMI, ISO, SixSigma and ITIL which is which is more accurately described in terms of processes. I am not a big fan of big names but all this frameworks bring something interesting and worth using.

7. Are we outsourcing effectively ?
Why do outsourcing ? How to do it ? Author shows SLA framework in connection with nowadays argumentation. Very interesting for CIO who are dealing with many vendors.

8. What tools should IT use ?
Author is writing about IT tools taxonomy, why we are using tools and how to evaluate them. There is also a huge list of tool categories and metacategories.

9. How do I measure IT performance ?
Cost, quality, duration, customer satisfaction and the finally: size. When measure the performance and why, hot to combine the factors and how business should receive it.

10-16. You will find it in a book 🙂


Summary
It is difficult to write a summary, because most have already written. It is also difficult to find a book so valuable and so light and simple. Most of the IT books reminds manuals, which besides the description of a process step by step, do not bring much more.

Links
Amazon book microsite

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