The hidden costs of IT: how to increase the value of your IT department

Karel van Zeeland
4 min read
Hidden costs of IT
If you’re a larger, established business that’s been around and operating for a number of years, there’s a strong likelihood that you’ve built up a landscape of legacy IT systems, software, partnerships and ways of working. 
Such a network can be a great backbone to a business. However, if this environment has evolved into a complex, patchwork landscape where even the CIO doesn’t have an overview of each working part, it can actually be a huge drain to an organisation. Keeping you from meeting the increasing demands of modern business and making it impossible to become a transparent and accountable department within your organisation. 
In this blog post we’ll take a look at the common value drainers a legacy IT landscape can put on a business - plus, how unlocking an integrated view with IT4IT™ Reference Architecture¹ can help you increase the value your IT department adds. 

Value drainers within legacy IT landscapes


1. Complex network of systems and software

It goes without saying that IT has changed massively over the past few decades. If you’ve been in business for over 20 years, then you may well still have some “ancient” systems and software in place. You have probably also added in some new IT components too, such as moving some systems to the Cloud. 
While it might feel like, in adding new components, you’re updating or modernising your IT landscape, in fact this makes it more layered and complicated to navigate and maintain effectively and efficiently - potentially leading to substantial failures in IT projects and operational services. 


2. Inherited ways of working

Whether or not your IT organisation still includes some of the old-timers from your first years of operation, it’s likely that some ways of working have been passed down to your current team. “That’s how we’ve always done it” might be a familiar answer to questions from business leaders on why certain practices are in place. 
Suffice to say, many of these legacy ways of working are unlikely to be value or efficiency drivers, given the huge changes that have happened within IT since their inception. Adding in new management paradigms, such as Agile or DevOps, without due consideration, isn’t the answer either. Wedging these in on top is another recipe for complexity. 

3. increased manual work and maintenance

The above two factors combined (and the complexities they generate) more often than not result in increased maintenance to keep operational services running smoothly. The lack of integration between new and old components means much of this maintenance is manual. Undoubtedly, this is neither an efficient nor a valuable use of IT employees’ time and skills. In fact, it prevents IT employees from performing value add work for the business.

4. Lack of speed or agility

Similarly, the complexity of a legacy IT environment can dramatically slow down the speed of operations and the rate of innovation. With time and effort spent on maintenance, optimisations and enterprise take a backseat. But in a world where innovation is no longer a nice to have but a prerequisite for surviving and thriving as a business, this lack of agility and room for innovation can leave you vulnerable to competitors.

Increasing value with an integrated view with IT4IT

This might sound too good to be true but all of the above value drainers can be eliminated with one solution: an integrated, detailed overview of your entire IT landscape. IT4IT is a framework for achieving this - providing a real-time, transparent view of what’s being invested, where and what value it adds. 
With such timelines, data and costs at your fingertips, the insight generated by this framework is imperative for clearly and easily communicating the cost (and value) of IT to senior business leaders. 
In turn, IT4IT empowers IT departments to fine-tune the IT Operating Model to be able to deliver IT services faster, better, cheaper and at lower risk. That includes being able to free up employees through the automation of work, so that they can carry out more value-add work for the business. It also enables CIOs to spot and, potentially, kill IT products, services or suppliers that aren’t adding value or meeting expectations. 
Ultimately leading to increased value, effective optimisations in how the allocated IT budget is spent and a better-quality output across the IT landscape. That’s certainly a win-win for IT departments and the business alike. 
To dive deeper into how IT4IT can help you establish a unified IT administration, download our latest whitepaper: Increasing the value and unity of your IT department.
Interested in understanding what an integrated view with IT4IT could bring to your business? Arrange a no-strings-attached consultancy appointment.
[1] IT4IT is a trademark of The Open Group
Increasing the value and unity of your IT department

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