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10 steps to IT efficiency

Is your IT department a little flabby? You may be just 10 steps away from a more efficient -- and effective -- IT machine.

PEBBLE BEACH, CALIF. -- Do you need some ideas on how to turn your IT department into a lean, mean, value-delivering machine? At TechTarget's recent CIO Conference, Tom Pisello, CEO of Alinean Software Inc., offered up 10 steps to superior IT effectiveness and efficiency.

  1. Think like the CEO. Focus on the business first. This will affect your competitive advantage.

  2. Communicate in stakeholder-specific terms, such as "competitive advantage," "growth," "income statement," "TCO" and "key business metrics."

  3. Think strategically. Create a competitive analysis. Compare your company to others in the industry. Be aware of where you stand, and communicate that to your board.

  4. Know where your company stands in terms of things like net income vs. IT spending and revenue.

  5. Manage tactically. Project ROI. Look at the overall impact of projects across the business.

  6. Don't forget the intangible benefits and risks, such as costs, financial impact, IT cost reductions, revenue and more.

  7. Manage IT investments as a portfolio.

  8. Translate bottom up project ROI into financial impact.

  9. Remain agile and prudent but stay innovative

  10. Do analysis continuously. Establish internal and external ROI SLAs for continuous improvement.


While we're talking lists, here are three things you need to know about compliance, storage and security before you make a business case.

Tom also had a lot to say about ROI's role in the IT department.

Did you miss the CIO Conference? Check out the highlights here.

Ask Tom Pisello a question about ROI or IT efficiency.

One more list for you -- there are 200 firms that get the most bang for their IT bucks. Check out the SearchCIO 200 here.

Dig Deeper on IT staff development and retention

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