Every successful business operates on the principle of demand and supply and the main starting point for planning resources, products and services is actually the expected market demand. Understanding and forecasting the demand help not to fall into situations where products and services are offered but no one buys them or not to be able to answer the demand due to insufficient resources.
Although the standard IT organization is not a business company (as often it does not generate direct incomes), it has its expensive and highly qualified resources and its budget often is similar to a significant part of the company’s revenue. Unfortunately, the majority of CIOs have difficulties to manage supply and demand and they focus mainly on securing IT systems, infrastructure and the related supply.
Very often our customers from IT companies cannot answer questions like “What are the plan projects and initiatives throughout the year? What’s s our pipeline?”, “Will we have available free resources in six months?”,” or “Do we need external partners to provide to the business all the necessary services in great quality?” They focus is entirely on securing and maintenance of IT systems, software development and project management and this fails to devote sufficient effort and time to understand what business needs and the priorities of the company for the year are and how to plan resources so that they can be aligned with the business benefits.
As a result of focusing on securing the services (supply), IT organizations fall into the following situations:
- Perform projects that do not bring strategic benefits for the company.
- Work on projects without a Business Case and Benefits Measure being established.
- Projects on which they work throughout the year are selected on the basis of the loudest business unit – the one that most complain or the one that raises their voice at the project planning meetings.
- Business units try to do IT tasks such as defining their own technical requirements, rather than business requirements, choosing their own systems without coordination with the IT, choosing their own partners that will implement new solutions and surprising IT units with another additional satellite system that needs to be supported.
The situations and scenarios mentioned above are the reason why over half of our clients CIOs plan to implement within this year a Demand Management process, that will help IT organizations to start operating as business units so they can respond to the constantly changing markets and business requirements.
The structured Demand Management process allows collecting all the ideas and opportunities for new services/products and filtering based on the company benefits and the available resources. As a result, in implementation tasks are included only projects that make sense for the company as a whole (strategic, regulatory, etc.). Thus the company has a clear idea and can predict the planned initiatives, free resources and related priorities. All this makes it be more flexible to the constant changes in the market.
Demand Management is a key process that completes the annual planning of the IT because the only sure thing in an IT organization today is that the annual planning will be changed. This is the business world in which we live today and here survive not those organizations that are static, that plan once a year and don’t change their plans, but those that are flexible and dynamic, expect changes every day and are ready to accept them, discuss the benefits and plan to implement.
Julia Oliveira is a highly qualified IT Service Management and Project & Portfolio Management Senior Consultant with more than 15 years of experience in the industry. She has successfully lead some of the largest ServiceNow projects in Southeast Europe.