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IT Strategy: 3 more things you can learn from the U.S. Government

If you are responsible for managing IT within one department of a large organization, then you know how difficult it can be to balance strategic needs with budgetary constraints. But can you imagine how hard this must be for the CIO of the U.S. Department of Defense?

 

In my last blog - IT strategy: 4 things you can learn from the U.S. government (yes, the U.S. government) - I identified 4 things we can all learn from the overall IT strategy of the U.S. Government, based on a speech from the U.S. chief information officer, Steven VanRoekel. Last week, Information Week published an article about the IT strategy of the Department of Defense, and this gives us a great opportunity to see some more detailed aspects of IT strategy.

 

Here are 3 interesting things that you can learn from the DOD strategy:

 

  1.   Increases in IT spending can reduce overall organization spending.

 

Here’s a question to get you started. If your organization needs to save money, then what should happen to your IT budget? The easy answer would be to cut the IT budget so that IT can contribute to the overall savings. But here is what Information Week tells us about the DOD’s IT spend:

 

It's significant that the DOD is increasing IT spending at the same time it's cutting billions from the overall budget. That's partly a spend-to-save rationale, but it's also a realization that DOD's more than 2.1 million employees need new and better technologies to do their jobs.

 

If your organization needs to save money then you could agree to cuts in IT spending, but wouldn’t it be much more satisfying to identify ways that increased IT spending could lead to overall savings for your organization? When did you last sit down with your business to brainstorm ideas of how new IT projects could help to increase overall value or reduce overall spending?

 

  2.   Don’t spread budget cuts evenly; instead, try to find some expensive things that you can just stop doing.

 

Information Week tells us that:

 

Just last month, the DOD stopped funding development of a next-generation radio that was part of its Joint Tactical Radio System, citing the rising costs of the device. The military had already spent $2 billion on development of the device, though it was never actually deployed. It's the kind of elephant project the DOD must get away from.

 

I have worked with a number of organizations to help them rationalize and prioritize their IT service portfolios. We almost always find some IT services that are far too expensive compared to the value they create for the business. When did you last review and prioritize your entire service portfolio, looking for opportunities to eliminate wasteful spending?

 

  3.   Consolidate and share resources.

 

Dedicated resources can be very wasteful. The DOD strategy includes plans for data centre consolidation and increased use of shared services:

 

As the military moves toward an enterprise IT model, two initiatives in particular--data center consolidation and shared services--have some of the greatest potential for savings and new capabilities. In many cases, they will happen in tandem.

The Army's switch to SaaS email is expected to save $100 million annually. Next, it plans to introduce collaboration tools as a service.

 

If you are analysing the potential for moving from dedicated infrastructure to a cloud solution, this resource sharing can create significant savings. When you combine this with the other benefits of cloud (such as fast time to market for new services and increased agility to respond to changes in demand) then the case for cloud can be compelling.

 

When you are looking at opportunities to consolidate and share resources, don’t forget to review your organization design as well as your infrastructure and applications. Many IT organizations have multiple groups doing similar things, often due to many years of growth and acquisitions. This can be just as wasteful as maintaining separate pools of infrastructure for different services.

 

In these times of cuts and austerity, we all need to do our bit to help the organizations we work for; how we do this will determine how well we come out on the other side of the current financial problems. Does your IT department have an IT strategy that is focussed on maximizing the value you create for the overall organization?

 

Learn more about HP IT Service Management (ITSM) Services and how we can help you improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your IT operations.

 

For more info about me and what I can do for your organization, see my profile at our Technology Services Experts page.

 

Follow me on Twitter @StuartRance

Comments
Leanore Mendelsohn(anon) | ‎06-08-2012 09:00 AM

Today I had a very fortunate exoerience worth one of your tech support people - Stephanie. Another company had been here in the last two days installing  satellite TV reception.  In their effort to please us as a customer, they took a shortcut and eliminated using the phone cord from my HP Office Jet. I had to make several calls before deciding to call HP support.  Stephanie was wonderful, very logical in her investigation of the problem with me ---I could not send faxes, and did not know why.After spending 3 hours or more speaking with different companies - the cable co, and the satellite company, no one could help solve the problem.  Stephanie walked me through the steps to let the machine tell me from their tools area where the problem might be.  Again, three or more hours was spent in total, The crux of the problem was that the installer for the satellite company had wire everything wrong, but I do have TV recption.  He had deleted the wire from the printer to the telephone line, so he could set up his  ownwork.  (Thanks alot).

 

Stephanie's patience, logical and calm approach helped me through the ordeal.  By this time I was frazzled and had to yell at my husband to come move the office furniture, so I could

reach the wall outlet to see the technician had put wires in the wrong place.  

 

Again, Stephanie's patience was above and beyond.  I LOVE HP products.  I have had fax access with alot of past HP printers but never felt confident enough to use that feature. You might say I am definitely computer challenged. In the past few months, I have had to send many faxes, and it has been a breeze.

 

Stephanie gave me the confidence I needed. Now, I do not know where she works, but kudos to her for being my angel today.   Your employees are great, and I so very much appreciate the thoroughness with which you hire and train your workers - the major ingrediatent of a successful company..

 

Thank you again so much.  I hope this gets back to her!

 

Sincerely,

 

Leanore Mendelsohn

Stuart_Rance | ‎06-08-2012 09:15 AM

Leanore,

 

Thank you for sharing this story. I would like to try to pass this on to Stephanie if I can, but I don't have enough information to do so. Could you please email me at stuart.rance@hp.com so I can ask you a couple of simple questions.

 

Thanks again.

 

StuartR

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I help clients use service management to create business value for themselves and their customers. I am a senior ITIL examiner and I have wr...
About the Author(s)
  • I’m a Global Strategist, a certified (PMI) Project Manager, specializing in business to IT alignment, agility consulting, Infrastructure Transformation and Strategic Architecture for Big Data, Mobility, Private Cloud, Unified Communications and Collaboration. I drive the strategy, vision and content of strategic consulting services in the Big Data IT Infrastructure services area at HP. As part of this, I meet with senior level customers to understand their challenges, conduct workshops to determine future vision and roadmaps as well as presenting at industry and analyst events.
  • Craig Partridge is the WW strategy lead for HP Technology Services Networking group. His role now covers strategy for consulting, professional and support services. The major areas of focus are Mobility, UC, Cloud Networking and IPv6. All aligned to core HP networking solutions - simplified, secure, optimized and available.
  • Don has held roles with the business and marketing of consulting for HP. Currently he supports HP's Client and Microsoft Solutions and the emerging Mobility Consulting services. He holds a MBA from UCLA's Anderson School.
  • Over 12 years of consulting, new technology services development and marketing experience covering data center, IT infrastructure, cloud technology domains. Hande holds a M.B.A degree from Bentley College, MA.
  • Having joined HP in 2003 Ian Jagger is the world-wide marketing and program manager for HP Technology Consulting's Strategic Consulting Services, Critical Facilities Services and Energy and Sustainability Management Services, as well as emerging IT services Prior to his current role, he served as the HP Services Marketing Manager for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, having joined HP in a similar role in the Middle East. Prior to HP Jagger had a 15 year international sales career, culminating in being Sales and Marketing Director for Steelcase Inc addressing Northern Europe before focusing more specifically on marketing. His initial focus was consultancy and interim marketing management, primarily for small to mid-sized customers based or looking to expand in the Middle Eastern region. Immediately prior to joining HP he was a strategic marketing consultant addressing investment targets for a technology fund. Born in Rochdale, United Kingdom, Jagger holds an honors bachelor of science degree in economics and a degree in social psychology from Loughborough University, England. He also holds a Masters Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a Chartered Marketer. He has one daughter and lives in Cary, North Carolina.
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  • Jordan Lee has over twenty years of consulting and industry experience, helping some of the world’s largest firms craft and implement their business and IT strategies. His priority is to advise Hewlett-Packard clients how to best prepare for and take full advantage of the dramatic shifts in the IT economy taking place today. Over his career, Mr. Lee has held executive positions both in industry and consulting organizations, where he has provided consulting to some of the largest firms in the US. Over the years, he has helped his clients redesign business processes and organizations, and implement strategic IT programs around ERP, System Integration, Business Intelligence, and IT Infrastructure.
  • Jordan owns the worldwide mobility portfolio for TS Network Consulting and is a OneHP Mobility ambassador. His expertise centers on mobility strategy, client and applications virtualization and enterprise mobility management technologies.
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  • Ken Larson has over 30 years of experience in Information Technology aligning business to technology. As an Enterprise Architect, he has delivered many successful architecture related services across business and government sectors in manufacturing, insurance, banking, oil, utilities, US state and federal governments. He is certified in TOGAF and IT Service Management.
  • Laura Cunningham is a CPA and business consultant with HP Technology Services Consulting. She helps CIOs and their teams bridge the gap between what the CIO wants and what the CFO requires by building a comprehensive business case that can withstand financial scrutiny.
  • I am on the WW Cloud and Big Data Solutions Team. I help our customers adopt HP advanced solutions that are made up of products and services from across HP. I have over 30 years experience in the technology business including 17 years of business ownership.
  • Broad mix of experiences developed in more than 20 years of technology-driven innovation. Fascinated by changes triggered by mix of behavior, needs and technology. Bachelor in Theoretical Physics.
  • Working for EMEA TS Consulting, I am a Specialist in end to end management of customer data, from creation through consumption, to protection and preservation and ultimately (controlled) destruction. This includes, host, connectivity, storage, data protection and backup and archive, from a technical and more importantly, operational perspective. I have worked in the storage and data management industry for over 15 years, on both sides of the desk, as a customer and now as a consultant.
  • Patrick Lownds is a Senior Technology Consultant and is involved in designing and delivering both Client Virtualization and Cloud Computing solutions in the datacenter. Patrick co-authored “Mastering Hyper-V Deployment
  • I’m a Global Chief Engineer certified Exchange Architect and Master (MCA and MCM), specializing in Messaging, Mobility, Private Cloud, Unified Communications and Collaboration. This relates to all work to coordinate sales, pursuit and delivery readiness in all services that relate to HP's portfolio around Microsoft Exchange. Includes internal readiness as well as external events, analyst briefings. With 25+ year’s experience in the industry. Thomas has been involved with Microsoft products since 1993. Specialties: - Architecting complex public and private Cloud solutions for Exchange, SharePoint and Lync in standard, dedicated or hybrid scenarios. - Lead the HP specialists team unit to win and acheive our business targets and budget - Drive HP's Exchange Services for Private Cloud - Working with partners, vendors and internal teams to align, expand and grow HP's strategy.
  • Tim Swiader has twenty plus years in the Information Technology industry. He has worked primarily with the fortune 100 and legacy carriers transforming their applications, networks and data center facilities.
  • Tom Clement has over 30 years experience in the areas of adult learning, secondary education, and leadership development. During this time Tom has been a consistent champion of “non-traditional” training delivery methods, including blended learning, virtual delivery (self paced and instructor led), the use of training games and simulations, and experiential learning. Tom has spent the past 25 years of his career at Hewlett Packard, focused most recently on HP’s global Virtualization, Cloud, and Converged Infrastructure customer training programs. Tom manages the strategic direction and overall performance of these training programs, ensuring these worldwide programs help HP’s customers capitalize on the business opportunities made available by IT advancements in each of these subject areas. Tom and his global teammates utilize best in class instructors, course content and supporting equipment infrastructure to deliver these training programs to HP’s customers. The team prides itself on providing the Virtualization, Cloud, and Converged Infrastructure content customers need when and where they need it, anywhere in the world. Tom is based in the Washington, DC suburbs and can be reached at tom.clement@hp.com.
  • Tari is a Distinguished Technologist with 30 years of IT and cyber security experience. He is dual board certified in information security/business continuity and is responsible for a wide range of management and technology consulting services encompassing information security, disaster recovery, privacy, and risk management. His problem-solving skills, knowledge of various technology platforms, compliance statutes, industries, as well as his experience in deploying defense-in-depth and InfoSec Program solution architectures is commonly applied when advising CIOs/CISOs as well as leveraged in numerous HP client engagements throughout the world. Tari has designed, built, and managed some of the world’s largest InfoSec programs allowing them to defend against even the most aggressive attackers.
  • I provide technical consulting services at all phases including analysis, planning, design and implementation. I have a wide range of experience in WAN and LAN technologies, as well as providing security solutions and deploying operating system infrastructure. Besides working directly with clients to deploy technology in their data centers, I also find myself architecting or discussing solutions with a business’s chief information officer, helping to lay out a roadmap for the coming years.
  • Bill is the Principal Data Center Energy Technologist for HP Technology Services. Kosik is a licensed professional engineer, LEED Accredited Professional, a Certified Energy Manager, and a Building Energy Modeling Professional. He is responsible for research and implementation of sustainable, energy-efficient, and environmentally responsible design strategies for data centers. He is currently a subject matter expert for the USGBC on the new LEED Data Centers, the EPA/DOE on unification of energy metrics, and the Green Grid on responding to the EPA’s Energy Star for Data Centers program. He has an engineering degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


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