Are you an information technology (IT) department manager who plans to optimize your IT operation and help boost your organization’s overall efficiency? In today’s harsh business environment, having a company running like a well-oiled machine provides great advantages over your competitors and an excellent area to start is by implementing an IT portfolio management strategy.
What is IT Portfolio Management?
IT portfolio management is the use of a systematic and standardized administration strategy to manage the various activities, programs, and investments of an organization’s IT department. By having a set of standards and systems in place, you will be able to quantify and measure the results of your projects and investments.
In IT portfolio management, you will be focusing on your strategic goals as an organization, like increasing revenue and minimizing costs. You will need to align your IT programs with your overall business objectives. To do this, you will need the inputs of all departments, particularly finance, management, and IT, itself.
Components of IT Portfolio Management
As an IT manager, you need to create several portfolios to implement your IT management strategy successfully.
Infrastructure portfolio – This portfolio includes all the essential elements of your IT operations, including both tangible and conceptual (but documented) components: equipment, data, external contacts, policies, processes, human resources, and more. An infrastructure portfolio includes asset lifecycles, capacity monitoring and planning, storage, network utilization, energy consumption, connectivity, maintenance, and security; it even encompasses environmental issues. As the manager, you should understand and optimize all of these components to enhance the overall efficiency of your organization and avoid cost overruns, overpayment, and outright failure.
Project portfolio – In managing your project portfolio, you should centralize your management strategy to attain your strategic goals. Successful meshing of IT principles, standards, best practices, and tools, with fundamental, sound project management practices are the foundation for a robust, aligned IT PMO. As the IT manager, you should develop, establish, and implement project management standards and processes.
Application portfolio – This portfolio includes all your software applications (app) and software-based services you are using in your operation. Properly managed application portfolios are aligned not only to IT functional deliverables but to overall enterprise strategies and goals. Cost-Benefit at the application level is a simple way to manage an application portfolio, and effective managers also incorporate non-tangible factors like the users’ familiarity with the apps, an organization’s familiarity with the technology, and the development of new technologies. True best-in-class application portfolio management is holistic, and fully integrated and understood at the enterprise strategic level.
IT Portfolio Management Best Practices
The IT department increasingly plays an essential role in an organization. Aside from its traditional purpose of supporting user devices, maintaining websites, and managing networks, it is now responsible for developing new workflows, applications, and products to boost the competitiveness of its organization.
Here are some IT portfolio management best practices you can adopt to improve operational efficiency and align your department’s activities with your organization’s long-term objectives.
Develop an IT portfolio management plan based on your company’s overall goals – As a first step, you should create a blueprint of the actions you should take to achieve your targets. You may ask the inputs of your subordinates to involve them in the planning stage. It would be best if you also communicate your plan to all departments so that all your programs will have the same overall goals.
Implement your strategy in phases – Take a gradual approach in the implementation of your plan. You may pilot the application in a specific IT area or a single business unit and expand it to your entire department if the trial run is successful. This approach allows you to correct any flaws while still at the pilot stage.
Utilize the appropriate IT portfolio management tools – The use of the right IT portfolio management software can make a difference in the implementation of your plan. Adopt tools that will allow you to monitor and report on various activities and projects across your department. You may consider using cost-effective cloud-based IT portfolio management tools. Among the features of cloud-based toolsets are collaboration solutions, real-time reporting, integration, automation, scalability, alignment, and capacity management.
Communicate your plan – Communication is essential in portfolio management because it allows every member of your team to be aware of your goals and how to achieve them. Tailor your communication strategy based on the role of each department towards your overall objectives. Track the progress of every department regularly to ensure you are in sync with your shared goals and objectives.
Evaluate your results – To determine the effectiveness of your plan, assess the benefits of your projects or activities in comparison to your projected expectations. Establish effective KPIs, SLAs, and metrics to quantitatively measure impact, cost, timeliness, satisfaction, and more. If the actual results fall short from your expectations, make the necessary adjustments in your successive programs.
Benefits of IT Portfolio Management to Your Organization
The implementation of an IT portfolio management plan can benefit your organization in many ways. As the manager, you need to ensure that your strategy is implemented correctly to achieve the desired results. Here are some of the benefits of IT portfolio management to your business:
It allows you to identify gaps and inefficiencies in your day-to-day operations. As a result, you will be able to find solutions to eliminate them and improve your department’s performance. The TechFides IT Performance Management solution keys on process and portfolio assessment, evaluation, and optimization.
You will be able to monitor the costs of every project, equipment, and activities across your department and your entire organization. You will also be able to identify the areas where you can cut your expenses, which will result in savings for your enterprise. The TechFides Enterprise Digitization solution provides quality while ensuring digitized data is available and implemented in capacities allowing for incisive, actionable information in decision-making processes.
It will make your department more agile and adaptable, thus, resulting in increased efficiency and response time in your department.
It enhances the knowledge and understanding of executives of your existing portfolio assets through the centralization of essential project details and information.
It enables you to discover redundant projects and lessen the possibility of repetition and unnecessary spending. When properly implemented, it will result in the efficient utilization of all your infrastructure assets and resources.
You will be able to standardize all your activities, investment processes, rules, and plans.
It allows you to identify and manage risks in your organization and align your IT investments strategically.
The efficiency and optimization of your IT department play an essential role in your success as an organization. The implementation of an effective IT portfolio management strategy is fundamental for the smooth operation of your IT function. If you are not confident on how or where to start, contact us today, and we will gladly assist you in every step of your journey towards success.