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August 2008 Quick Hits - News, Trends & Analysis

 
Green Initiatives Moving up the CIO Agenda in 2009
Corporations, employees, shareholders and suppliers are seeing the green element of IT moving up the agenda in 2009. Normally when we think green we think about downsizing, driving a smaller car that is more fuel efficient, using less energy by switching off computers, and generally being more conscious about our waste. But it doesn't have to be a compromise to go green for IT - in fact, it can improve the bottom line of a business. CIO's are now getting pressure from the CEO, the media, rising energy prices, employees, competitors to reduce their IT carbon footprint. I recently read that Dell was saving $1.8MM per annum, and has reduced their annual carbon footprint by 11,000 tons by asking its employees to put their desktops in sleep mode when leaving work. CIO's should follow this example, and add policies to encourage or enforce carbon reduction with respect to the use of printers, office hardware, cooling methods. There are real savings to be won, and these should be recognised at the individual and functional level.  
   
Why do IT service & Project Management Frameworks Often Enjoy Limited Success?
Over the past two decades we have seen frameworks like ITIL and Prince 2 grow tremendously - and for good reason, as they can help organisations develop a process driven mindset geared towards improving services across the IT landscape. As with any theory or proposed standard frameworks, one must always tailor, adopt, and change for different organisations. Not every organisation fits the same model, and I have seen many cases where companies implement a wholesale framework only to find out 18 months later that it simply doesn't match their structure. With Prince 2 and Six Sigma methodologies, there is a fine line between improving efficiency and creating too much bureaucracy. In my past experience, I've seen both quality & PMO frameworks taken to the extreme, causing delays, overhead and ultimately negative business value. People implementing and driving initiatives across a company that focuses on a PMI framework should measure success by the number of certifications attained. Rather, programme leaders should ensure that employees are measured on and rewarded by improving processes that deliver sustainable business impact.  
   
Will Offshoring Grow During the Credit Crunch?
The IT sector is being directly impacted as organisations are feeling the global economy downturn. We have read stories that IT contractors are not having their contracts renewed as companies try to meet dwindling budgets. But the gathering downturn also comes with numerous opportunities. Companies that haven't yet considered offshoring still have an enormous lever at their disposal to control costs - and we believe that offshoring will see continued growth in 2009, largely fuelled by "new" or "nearly new" customers. This seems the obvious answer for a company that wants to reduce the cost of transactional processing and capitalise on the labour arbitrage. Its simple math... an IT architect contracting in the UK will earn anywhere between £700-1000K per day whereas a resource with similar experience & technical background in India can be sourced at £150 per day with a tier 1 or 2 vendor. Companies that are agile and are willing to embrace change can survive (and benefit) from offshoring. 

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