Tag Archive | "Marketing"

Marketing IT and the Competition

Tags: Availability, BSM, Business Service Management, CIO, IT Management, Marketing, Service Providers, Service Value, Transformation, Trends


IT is in the midst of a great transformation and wrote about this in a previous blog as referenced by a CIO article and a Forrester blog.  For those of us who have been in and around IT for the past 20 years, we’ve seen this ebb and flow of change.  New technology, growth of service providers, decentralization and then back to centralization and cost containment.  It was desktop computing and LANs, web services and eCommerce and now it is the cloud.  This time is different though, the business is driving and creating the new IT.  There is competition and easier buying models that didn’t exist previously.  I will also state that outsourcing is not cheaper, it is creating the change that cannot be created from within – the new IT requirement.

In the previous post and CIO article, I mentioned IT needing to run more like the vendors they purchase technology from and marketing would become a key component.  Many think of IT marketing as marketing great technology services and uptime within the organization.  It is just this wrong kind of marketing that is driving the transformation for change.  Your business does not care about technology uptime, the business cares about driving out cost for profitability and driving up revenue for growth and profitability.  Marketing of IT has 3 facets:

  • Know your services, their cost and value
  • Know your competition and their capabilities
  • Know the market requirements of your customers

This is a transformation where internal IT is already late for the dance and few possess the capability to enter the dance floor with a perfect tango balancing technical capability and innovative intrigue.  The competition knows this weaknesses and is capitalizing on it.  Technology vendors are also making the shift as to who the new buyers of technology and services are – the business and the service providers.  The difference between the technology vendors and IT is that the vendors are used to identifying markets, trends, shifts and making the adjustments required to capitalize on a market based upon the buyers and their requirements.

Know Your Services

Assess your current landscape of services and future services and where they fall into this simple grid.  This will help you to understand business drivers.  For example:  services for competitive advantage have little care for cost or quality, it is about speed to market.  In order to accomplish this, IT will require the flexibility to deploy with speed and mitigate cost and negative customer impact with controlled risk.  This is service enabling the infrastructure leveraging management technology to perform the monitoring and controlled risk, while the technologists apply the internal IP to the services with the right technology and right deployment options.Business Service Management Commentary on IT Service Management, Service Level Management & Performance Management

This will transform IT into the service managers that are developing in the business today with the underground New IT movement.  I would suggest that the model adopted by IT in their strategy to transform would be applying focus of time and resources as accordingly:

  • 50% on services driving competitive advantage
  • 30% on services for service quality and service efficiency
  • 20% on services driving out operating cost

The competition is focused on addressing the requirement of competitive advantage in your business, this is ITs greatest weakness and the service provider / vendors greatest ability to drive value.  ITs marketing efforts must begin here in developing the holistic strategy of technology, deployment options, cost and value to the business.

Know the Competition

Developing a holistic strategy will include a multi-vendor and service provider approach.  Understand internal strengths, weaknesses and the outside capabilities to drive the highest value, lowest cost solution and deployment.  This would break the traditional cycle of change driven out of frustration to outsource, not value or cost.  Outsourcing is not the lowest cost option, but right sourcing to meet the right objectives to deploy the right solution is IT transforming into strategic.

The competition also has weaknesses in high growth times like these.  The strength of IT is operational focus, while both the providers and IT could benefit from a bit of operational maturity, now is the time to illustrate operational maturity with good management practices, processes and ability to communicate business value.  The service providers are investing in the communication, while taking a risk (controlled risk in some cases) on management in meeting a time to market requirement.  To meet the same time to market requirement within your organization, evaluating how you leverage management technology to automate your processes and provide the communication required for your business, would provide both competitive advantage and allow you to focus your IP on driving new services.

Know your Customers

Typically when you ask IT about their customers, they respond with their users and internal employees.  Here I am speaking about knowing the customers of your business.  Why do they select your company for your services?  What do you do better than your competition?  Who is the competition of your business?

Instead of working to control the environment so tightly and throw up obstacles and barriers to change and adoption of new technology and interactions with both the employees (Service Efficiency) and customers (Competitive Advantage), embrace them.  Understand how and why they seek to use specific devices, technology, methods of interaction, etc. and how to best deploy the right option.  This is understanding the requirement, not necessarily mimicking each and every device and method.  Provide the flexibility, while balancing control and risk.  This is most important when evaluating customer requirements and creating loyalty.

Think about who you prefer to do business with and why in your personal life and bring this into your IT organization to start the transformation revolution.  While I agree that marketing within your organization is relevant, marketing the right services and message will drive the greatest value in your organization.  This is dependent upon knowing your customers, requirements, competition and a focus shift from technology operators to communicating and driving revenue as service managers.

Do you know your services, customers and competition?

Michele

IT – Social Media – Marketing – CIO: Who Owns Social Media?

Tags: Business Service Management, CIO, IT Management, Marketing, Social Media


Business Service Management Commentary on IT Service Management, Service Level Management & Performance ManagementI took a test on SearchCIO-Midmarket.com today to clear my head from other more distressing work details.  I’ve been in the deep end of the social media swimming pool for the past 90 days and I’ve read many interesting articles, books, blogs, you name it on social media and inbound marketing.  I’ve also read my fair share of articles regarding who in IT owns and manages social media and it’s process for your company.  Most are pointing to the CIO.

Screech, time out, slow down, hold on – IT in most businesses is not currently aligned to managing system performance in alignment to the objectives of the company and do not practice good business service management.  Thus the explosion of service providers creating competition for the business and new flexible and simple buying models from the external providers.  When you ask an IT professional at a cocktail party what they do for a living, the response is generally, I’m a data base administrator, I manage networks, I write applications, the list goes on.  When the answer should be I sell insurance for the largest organization in the world and I manage the network that interacts with our customers.

Rewind – back to the first question, so the organization that does not currently understand business objectives and priorities of the company is now being looked at to manage and implement the social media process for your organization’s brand and marketing.  This is like oil and water or two battering rams knocking heads – or Michele and Tobin daily – Marketing versus Product Management :-)  The infrastructure that will be used to grow awareness and dominance in the marketplace won’t be managed by your IT organization, this is a marketing strategy with new, free and public tools.  It is live and in real-time interactions versus the days of old with snail mail flyers and phone calls – it’s brand, strategy and just a new set of tools that are free and in the domain of the cloud.

The touch point into IT is when you finally strike gold, go viral and have a swarm of killer bees after you coming into your web front.  Then your IT organization should be alerted that a crazy marketing person is about to make revenue quota in an hours worth of sales on your network.  In case your marketing folks forget that there might be capacity constraints in taking orders and creating revenue through the network.  Then IT should have the business service management practices in place and the early warning system that value / volume of transactions are spiking and can take action to increase capacity to cash the checks and grow revenue.  The alternative is melt down, lost revenue, lost customers and a very angry marketing team that worked hard to bring customers to the business.

We can no longer think in terms of business and IT, IT is the business and both have to have the same objectives, know the priorities and understand the points of interaction and impact to be successful together.

How well did you do on the test and how are you supporting your business growth?

Michele