Service Made Simple Blog

Hey IT, Getting Candy for Valentine’s Day?

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5 Steps to provide Love to the Business

IT – are you feeling that you are providing more value to your Business Partners than ever before, and can you measure and show it? Then Valentine’s candy to you!

Not everyone is feeling that lucky.  According to 2017 State of the CIO Report, our Business Partners aren’t feeling the love as well as we think they are.  CIO’s believe that IT collaborates well with the Business to build new technology business cases while only 24% of Business leaders feel the same. The one that shocks me the most is that 47% of IT departments believe they are providing PM support while only 19% of the Business partners believe they are receiving it.  Where are these PMP folk, out on long lunches?  No candy for you!

We are well off into 2017, does it feel like the same race on the same track with our Business partners? Are we expecting different results?  Stop the Insanity!

There have been many different practices dedicated to improving the Business to IT relationship over the years. They are getting better and more sophisticated as they try to keep up with the demands of the organization to be nimble, have high operational efficiency and innovation.  The latest require the realization of why failing on these relationships is not an option for either IT or their partners.  One will disappear to outsourced services and the other will fail at meeting their rapidly changing and expanding client demands.

According to Gartner, in the next few years, companies will be spending upwards to 50% of their IT budget outside of IT.  How do we start grabbing this back and providing the value that we know we can deliver to our clients?

So, if you would like to start improving we have a handful of steps to start changing the perception and joint success for our organization.

  1. Capture Executive Support

I know this is one of the last items you want to see.  Unfortunately, as this is transformational work you will need to create the case of why investing the energy and resources into becoming a focused IT/Partner team truly provide the optimum service to both.


  1. Understand Value Goals

We need not confuse Customer Satisfaction with Customer Value.  Our Business Partner can give us high scores for providing a product to them but is it a service providing value?  I had this conversation recently around SharePoint.  My IT friend would have scored a 5 for providing highly operational SharePoint for document management, but that doesn’t mean that a vendor couldn’t provide wonderful collaboration in the cloud of tax records or assessments. They would receive a 5 in value. By understanding the goals and what the Business is trying to achieve from a value perspective, IT can assist them with selecting a vendor if that makes the most sense, if not assuring that the in-house document management system is meeting the value needs for records and assessments.

  1. Help the Organization Agree on IT Priorities

If the IT phones ring with multiple Business partners at the same time, who receives help?  This is a terrible situation that IT cannot win.  Be a part of the solution by working to pre-set those expectations.  The Business Relationship group is working to have the Business understand the best focus across the organization and that everyone knows and has bought in to where the time and resources should be spent.

  1. Document, Track and Stay Current

Make sure that you have created a process to gather your partner’s needs, correlate across them, review them for confirmation and stay current. There is a lot of information that you need to report back to them in their language not IT’s.

  1. Now March and Deliver

Running the same race on that same track? Now is when you change your track!  You will start demonstrating that you can provide both the combination of operations success as well as value from innovation that your partners are looking for.  You can help make them aware if they are all on track as an organization.  Many IT departments are far away from this sort of trusted advisor role, but it is accomplished a step at a time.

After all, everyone deserves love and candy on Valentine’s Day!  Laura J. Wilcox, Service Made Simple

SIM Next – Tuesday, February 14, 2017, Meetup: Relationship Trends for Business & Information Technology Services

Laura Wilcox, CEO, Service Made Simple

Register Now  Original Brooklyn’s at Mile High
2644 W Colfax Ave. Denver, CO 80204

Google And AI

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Fascinating article not only on Google’s defensive position but the industry shift.  What happens if text based searching is replaced with “deep learning” AI?  We will all be able to make our own requests without Google and their revenue generating ad streams.  They are trying to take on Apples device position instead with their new announcements.

Zappos, Holocracy and Drew Barrymore

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It was in 2015 that we first started tracking Zappo’s massive organization change to Holocracy. The results are on the fence. This is the first year that Zappos was not awarded a spot on Fortune’s annual list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For.  Now, to many companies that is a “nice to have” but in Zappo’s case it is who they are, like Donald Trump’s selection of beautiful wives, it is obsessive and you expect them to just keep getting better. Read More

When Do You Invest in Process?

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When I believe it will provide a benefit; When it is inhibiting my success; When I have to


After having numerous meetings with IT Directors through CIOs I have found myself in a quandary and welcome your advice.  I sit across executives who have much to accomplish, and much that provides opportunity and challenges within their departments.  Read More


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Have you heard of the new movement to eliminate bosses? No job titles, no traditional bosses and no corporate hierarchy.

Now, I know people have been trying to find ways to eliminate management for years but this is a real methodology that has put Zappos’ creative CEO Tony Hsieh again into the spotlight. It is one of those methods that we all hope could succeed for the benefits it delivers but question whether it can actually be done. Read More

Things to be Thankful for that you might not even know about

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As we draw close to our United States holiday of Thanksgiving, it is always a good time to reflect on all of the things that we should be thankful for. With everything in the news this last month I figured that I could share some amazing things to be thankful for that you probably never even knew existed to supplement our thanks for family, friends, freedom and overstuffed turkey. Read More