The art of selling IT internally

The technology annual report
We wrote an article about this a few months ago in the form of a memo from the CTO to the CEO, laying out the concept of an annual report for technology. Click here. Since we published this, we have received valuable responses from technology leaders. The concept seems to resonate. One head of IT strategy in a leading electric utility said he was keen to implement this concept in his own.  “This makes perfect sense,” he said.  “Just like the annual report for the enterprise  communicates with investors and seeks to build enthusiasm in this community, we in IT need to build enthusiasm among all those involved in providing funding for IT. Establishing and sharing an IT balance sheet covering both tangible and intangible assets will raise awareness in our executive committee and provide a much better platform for the dialog around technology enablement.”

You mean you weren’t doing this already? Scary.

No wonder senior IT execs and even intranet managers have trouble selling the value of new concepts like Enterprise 2.0 – they aren’t even promoting internally the benefits of what they do now… (to busy benchmarking themselves perhaps?)

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2 thoughts on “The art of selling IT internally

  1. I think you hit the nail on the head. Many CIOs sell themselves as infrastructure providers — and this changes the way they present their benefit to the CEO. In a post “IT doesn’t matter” climate, CIOs have a tough time selling anything but cost reduction, since CEOs don’t see IT as a competitive advantage. So unless E2.0 proves cost savings, it could just look like infrastructure-bloat to the CEO.

  2. This is generalisation, but it’s more the case that CIOs are *seen* as infrastructure and service level providers, rather than *selling* themselves as such.For the overwhelming majority, IT is a cost centre. It’s just not perceived as a source of innovative ideas for an organisation. I’d be interested to see contrary evidence (surveys, case studies, perhaps), but I imagine most successful E2.0 (or other innovations) will arise from the head of a core business unit or Marketing, rather than from the CIO. Or, if the ideas do come from the CIO, they need to make the business stakeholders feel like it was their idea, if the CIO and IT group are genuinely committed to its success…As I said, I’m generalising, of course. I’d love to see some counter-example references…

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