BALANCE BETWEEN ONGOING OPERATIONS AND TRANSFORMATION
Investments are of central importance for strategic planning. The ideal ITFM captures both OPEX and CAPEX information in its entirety and presents it in an understandable view. This view makes it clear how high the investments in the IT organization are at present and whether these investments were made for business operations (Running-the-Business) or for changes in the business – such as digitization projects or innovations – (Changing-the-Business).
IT managers directly see the investment ratio for:
- The maintenance of the business
- The growth of the business
- The transformation of the business
Typical target values of the top management (e.g. share of investments for innovations) can be compared and controlled.
From this perspective, two necessary planning areas for the strategy emerge:
- The amount of current investment resources required in the planning period to ensure business operations. This includes investments for the replacement and maintenance of business services with the underlying hardware and software assets, licenses, but also personnel and other general costs.
- The amount of future investment funds for the expansion of the environment, technological transformation or the introduction of new business services. The distinction between current obligations or CAPEX investments is of particular importance for financing.
TRANSPARENCY CREATES ACCEPTANCE
At the heart of investment and strategic planning is the challenge of providing the right amount of funds, in the right form and at the right time. The IT financial model is developed on this basis. The results must be transparent, unambiguous and comprehensible for the decision-makers in the management, the board and the finance department. By presenting a holistic and at the same time differentiated planning strategy, typical shortfalls are prevented. These include, in particular, the incorrect provision of budgets out of situational necessity and the risk of running out of the budget plan at the end of the planning period.
Through the consistent, multi-periodic use of ITFM tools, planning becomes more accurate and more accessible for the entire IT organization. This means greater acceptance throughout the top management. Furthermore, changes over time (dynamic investment planning) can be derived and used for budget argumentation. This makes it clear how investments are being shifted and when new funds are needed. The top management sees: The IT organization uses the resources responsibly for the company’s objectives.
Typical results are a systematic shift of investment from running-the-business to changing-the-business. This enables IT management to make its contribution – also with regard to longer-term missions in the company such as performance campaigns, digitalization strategies or cost saving programs.
Optimal ITFM enables CIOs to meet the top management at eye level. They are able to have an overview of IT spendings. They speak the language of finance and can clearly allocate investments to the needs and interests of the respective target group. In this way, the value of the respective investments for the company can be demonstrably justified. As a result, the strategic character of the IT organization is again emphasized considerably.