What's in it for me?

CIOs and IT Managers have a great opportunity changing the shape of the future business, if they do it right, especially in these times. In the past decade, we often just stuck in talking about opportunities, without changing much - now it's the time of having the leverage for finally doing the change.




The new CIO skills: focus on selling


For this, a mindset change would be essential at the entire CxO level. The key element, in my opinion, is finally shifting the communication between the IT and the rest of the organization from "cost-based" to "value-based". This essentially requires, that CIOs and.IT Managers focus more on sales and marketing, acquiring skills like those - more than technical ones.


Don't get me wrong, the overall technical affinity is still essential, but no matter if you are an internal or an external service provider, you need to be able to sell your services and to communicate its benefits and values to the recipient - otherwise, someone else will do, and you lose.


The mindset: what's in it for me?


One problem is that those values are not known or communicated at all. The other problem is if you think they are, they are not expressed in terms of the recipient's value expectation.


If you don't know how strong your value statement is, just put yourself in the shoes of your customer and ask yourself: "Do I understand what's in it for me? Am I open for paying for that service?"


Answer this question honestly and you will see the result.


Basic tools: have at least your portfolio and catalog


You need to have at least some basic front end tools, like a service portfolio, a service catalog, filled with real value based service definitions.


As some studies of Gartner say:

"Without a service portfolio, IT is reduced to commoditization, allowing the company to question why they even need IT when they can go outside the company for the same products and services at a lower price. Many companies build a service catalog and then build the service portfolio. But a service portfolio defines the focus and strategic business value of IT. It forms the basis for IT funding decisions, so it should be created first."


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