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Think Past Internal Boundaries to Justify IT Projects

Apr 16, 2008

Hank Marquis


Many in IT might think this is a marketing responsibility. While they are correct, IT still has to integrate with sales and marketing in order to understand the needs of the business. When we do this, we can help and add real value to the enterprise. Consider that our new dispatch system includes cellular communications, and GPS location capabilities. We can now connect the upgrade to a business issue; one outside the boundaries of the enterprise and directly related to improved business.

Think about justifying this project now: “The new system includes delivery truck location capabilities that allow us to meet more client needs, expanding business and reducing loss. It also less expensive and will be more reliable.”

We now have a “must-have” instead of the classic IT “nice-to-have.”

This is only an example, but it shows the need or IT managers to adopt a marketing thought process in IT, and the absolute requirement to think outside the enterprise boundaries. If you do not think you need to do this, try this simple test. Develop five questions about a primary product of your enterprise. Work with sales or end-customer support (non-IT support) to get a grasp of the issues. Then take an informal survey of average IT workers and staff about the product or service. Be prepared: the answers you will (not) get are going to amaze you.

Hank Marquis is director of IT Service Management Consulting at Enterprise Management Associates based in Boulder, Colo. Marquis has more than 25 years of hands-on experience in IT operations, management, governance and operational frameworks. Visit his blog and podcasts at www.hankmarquis.info.