Opportunities in IT Capability

Results and findings from our 2016 IT Business Partner Survey

Baxter Thompson Ltd, Jon Baxter

Our UK IT Business Partner Survey has highlighted a weak area in IT Capability – Ensure Benefits Delivery. The term Ensure Benefits Delivery is taken from the COBIT 5 capability model that we use in our diagnostic.. 

After surveying 63 IT Business Partners on ten capabilities that are most heavily impacted by the role of IT Business Partner, we found that there was some variance on how each of the IT capabilities were effective in organisations. 

Strengths in IT Capability

It is encouraging to see a healthy level of IT capability in organisations with Manage Relationships being recognised as the higher scoring capability. Most organisations in the survey are at the stage of working on all of the COBIT 5 capabilities we have identified as most impacted by the IT Business Partner role, which is a sign that IT Business Partnering is being taken seriously.

Ensure Benefits Delivery provides the foundations for continuous improvement and therefore helps improve the overall Organisation Partnership Maturity. Our view is that benefits delivery should be reviewed across the whole lifecycle of an initiative from idea to decommissioning – ensuring business stakeholders are accountable for the forecasting and realisation, as well as the IT peers for the delivery of benefit enablers such as new or improved technologies

Ensure Benefits Delivery

Odoo CMS - a big picture

By looking at the excerpt from the survey, we find that Ensure Benefits Delivery was only complete and effective in 4 out of the 63 organisations surveyed. At the other end of the scale, 19 out of 63 reported that Managing the IT Framework (Clarify and maintain the governance of enterprise IT mission and vision – see definitions bit.ly/21zjkTs) was complete and effective.

In order to make effective decisions (Governance), an appreciation of the benefits needs to be fully understood. We need to find more evidence to support the claim that this aspect is indeed effective and complete if Ensure Benefits Delivery was reported as non-existent in 40% of organisations.

We find that Ensure Benefits Delivery is too often sacrificed for the sake of operations –resources spent on reacting to immediate issues of current technology services rather than more long-term, beneficial actions that improve the organisation’s approach to validating the use of and implementing technology.

Clearly more work needs to be done here to promote Ensure Benefits Delivery. We believe that the IT Business Partner has a fundamental role in enabling the measuring the benefits of initiatives across the whole lifecycle in addition to project managers conducting post-project reviews.

Solutions to Ensure Benefits Delivery weakness

We suggest a top priority focus around Ensure Benefits Delivery – measuring it at business case stage and measuring it again once the initiative has been deployed. More organisations need to provide the resources required to enable the IT Business Partner to carry out this role effectively and ensure that the benefits of initiatives are realised and delivered as planned. Where there is a lack of skill in this area, then it is important that training is undertaken to improve skills.

To learn more about the UK IT Business Partner Survey 2016 please visit  http://bit.ly/UKITBusinessPartnerSurvey2016

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