IT managers must change how they report their
operations if they want to be seen as successful by the
businesses of the future, industry professionals heard
Gartner analyst Mark McDonald told the company's Symposium
conference in Sydney that while IT had made major inroads in
recent years in winning business respect, IT managers had to
report the results their department had delivered to the organisation, not just
This would determine whether IT managers are seen as
high-performing by their company, according to McDonald.
"They [high-performing IT managers] recognise the difference
between activities and results," he said.
"Think back to your last status report," McDonald told
conference attendees, among them many of Australia's top CIOs. "If it reported 'we did this, we did
that'... you reported a set of activities that may or may not have
a positive result.
"If, on the other hand, you report that the business you
supported [made] thousands of dollars in business activity this
month, [or] 'we transitioned Y number of customers resulting in
this amount of revenue from an old system to a new system... you
start to talk about results."
The difference is really important when you recognise that it
is the expectations of the business, not the IT strategy plan,
that determines how much IT is valued, according to McDonald.
To realise an organisation's expectations, IT managers had to
spend more time working on long-term business benefits in
addition to standard operational matters.
More IT managers had to ask themselves: "What's the potential
value being created by the activities we're doing?," said
He defined this as the difference between working 'in the
business' (operational) and 'on the business'.
"The difference is those managers who drive for results as
opposed to activities will distinguish themselves in a very