New Gartner Webinar Showcases Importance of Business Value Dashboards

Gartner highlights the value of business value dashboards in a recent webinar, arguing that the products effectively showcase the value of I/O to the business.

Working within challenging margins, I/O departments increasingly need tools that not only help demonstrate their impact to the business, but open conversations about how to generate more business value, positioning IT as a business partner, rather than a cost center.

Gartner believes that business value dashboards (BVDs) are ideally suited for this purpose. “You want to reduce the risk of attaining success,” says Gartner Research Director Gary Spivak in a recent webinar on the importance of BVDs. “When you’re able to put dollar figures on IT, it really starts to translate into a business value conversation and a business impact.”

Connecting the Dots: a Case Study

One of Spivak’s key points is that for IT to more closely support the business, it has to determine what it is that the business wants. The truth is that executives have little patience for detailed IT operations reports — BVDs tie IT performance to a few select business metrics that stakeholders care about, such as customer growth and revenue (or any of your key business drivers). With IT impact framed as a simple story about business growth, stakeholders can have meaningful conversations about how to proceed.

Spivak lays out a hypothetical case study to illustrate his point. The study shows how a seemingly concerning trend, such as the increasing number of IT incidents shown below, may be shown to be extremely positive when placed in the proper business context.

If this hypothetical company layers their new customer count over this trend, they can see that, actually, the number of incidences per customer is on the wane.

This hypothetical company has also recently invested in a new change management strategy. Taking their sharply diminishing number of priority incidents (P1) into account, it’s clear that the investment is paying off.

Indeed, they can see that the number of incidents related to change processes are tapering off dramatically — note that the overall maturity of those their change process is steadily rising.

But what about business value? Where executives really get interested is when they see that the availability of critical IT systems — the systems benefitting from their capital investment — has a direct and positive impact on orders per hour and, hence, sales volumes.

The practical value of a BVD, according to Gartner, is that it leaves little room for confusion about how IT investments translate into business value. From the perspective of financial executives, this keeps IT honest, while conversely enabling IT to clearly chart their performance and justify future IT spends.

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Eliminate the need for managing and generating manual reports by getting direct access to performance, business, and reporting metrics. Justify budget requests, show the alignment of IT investments and business objectives, and illustrate the impact of infrastructure and operations on the business.

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