How top CIOs are leveraging accountability to achieve high ROI

CIOs hold the potential to skyrocket ROI for their organizations. So what’s stopping this power from being fully utilized? Discover how top CIOs leveraged accountability to catapult IT finance insights into top-priority actions that translate into real business value. 

There’s a disconnect between CIOs and the board. And it’s harming business potential. 

It’s a challenge as old as the role itself. Your position gives incredible visibility across the organization, from recognizing infrastructure optimisation opportunities and potential strategic investments to understanding the struggles of user experience and how technology impacts company culture. 

And yet, the knowledge, communication and resource gaps around IT potential leave too many of these incredible insights un-utilized

But we’re all too aware of the problems. You need to know, is there a solution? 

The top CIOs all agree - it’s all about leveraging accountability

This article reveals how top CIOs are leveraging accountability to catapult IT finance insights into top-priority actions that translate into real business value - with ROIs of 270%. 

Read on, to learn: 

The importance of accountability in IT financial management

Looking across silos for opportunities to improve capabilities is one thing; creating a vision for how to seize those opportunities is another.” - Martha Heller: Be the Business: CIOs in the New Era of IT

Maximizing value and minimizing costs successfully is a subtle art. CIOs are, in many ways, the most equipped to take on this challenge, with unparalleled access and understanding of IT data and insights. But how does accountability play a role in this?

With a strategy that leverages accountability, you unlock: 

Transparency and oversight 

When all stakeholders are held accountable for their roles and contributions to changes, it facilitates better oversight of IT expenditure, budget allocations, and resource utilisation. This transparency helps you identify inefficiencies, mitigating risks, and ensuring compliance with financial regulations and policies.

Shared responsibility

Accountability helps foster a culture of shared responsibility among all involved parties, from stakeholders, to management and teams. When everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in the strategy, it promotes collaboration, communication, and teamwork. This shared responsibility ensures that IT initiatives are aligned with business objectives and that resources are used effectively to achieve desired outcomes.

Risk management

By distributing accountability across different teams and departments, you can mitigate the impact of potential risks on IT projects and financial performance. This proactive approach to risk management minimizes disruptions, delays, and cost overruns, ultimately safeguarding your organization's financial interests.

Continuous improvement

Accountability encourages a culture of continuous improvement. When individuals and teams are held accountable for their actions and decisions, it creates incentives for performance improvement and innovation. By soliciting feedback, evaluating outcomes, and implementing lessons learned, you enhance IT financial management practices over time, driving greater efficiency and effectiveness in resource allocation and expenditure.

All of these points are game-changing elements that help put potential into practice. But what happens when accountability isn’t prioritized? 

The challenges of implementing insights without accountability

We all know, turning insights into strategy and then actually implementing it is never as simple as we hope. Because communication, tracking and maintaining progress are pillars for success that do not stand without accountability.  

Here are the key red flags that accountability is missing from your strategy:

Lack of ownership

Without clear accountability, it's difficult to assign ownership of insights and recommendations generated through financial analysis. This leads to ambiguity about responsibility, which results in a state of inertia and inaction.

Limited transparency

Without accountability measures in place, there’s likely limited transparency into the decision-making process regarding IT expenditures. This can hinder effective communication and collaboration among stakeholders, leading to misalignment of your priorities and missed opportunities.

Ineffective decision-making

Without clear accountability, decision-making regarding IT investments may lack objectivity. This can lead to suboptimal decisions, like investing in projects that don’t align with strategic objectives. Or, failing to reallocate resources to high-priority initiatives.

Risk of mismanagement

In the absence of accountability, there’s a higher risk of mismanagement of financial resources allocated to IT. This includes budget overruns, misallocation of funds, and ineffective cost control measures, which can have knock-on effects on your organization's financial health and performance.

Difficulty in tracking progress

Implementing insights without accountability makes it more difficult to track progress and measure the impact of IT investments over time. This lack of accountability can hinder the ability to assess the effectiveness of strategies and make necessary adjustments to achieve desired outcomes.

Loss of trust

Without accountability, stakeholders often lose trust in the IT financial management process and the credibility of financial analysis and recommendations. This can erode confidence in IT leadership and hinder support for future initiatives, creating barriers to success.

If you’re here, it’s likely that you’ve already experienced one, some or all of the above challenges. The real question is, how can you overcome them? 

The CIO’s 8-step guide to leverage accountability

Here’s how you can begin to leverage accountability, in eight actionable steps.

1. Shift focus to business benefits

Begin by shifting the focus from technical details, to business benefits derived from IT services and investments. Emphasize the tangible value IT brings to your organization, and how it contributes to achieving strategic objectives.

2. Implement standard terms and best practices

Establish standard terms and best practices for IT financial management. This ensures consistency and clarity in communication, enabling stakeholders to understand the financial implications of your IT initiatives.

3. Adopt advanced tools and solutions

Invest in advanced tools and solutions for planning, forecasting, and resource allocation. These should provide actionable insights and streamline financial management processes, making it easier to track and manage IT expenditures.

4. Leverage simulation and scenario planning

Utilize simulation and scenario planning capabilities to assess the impact of different strategies and decisions on IT finances. This enables informed decision-making and helps align your IT investments with business priorities.

5. Embrace Technology Business Management (TBM) Principles

Adopt a Technology Business Management (TBM)-optimized data model to gain a comprehensive view of IT services, including people, processes, and data. This promotes transparency and accountability in IT financial management.

6. Automate processes and Cloud Cost Management 

Implement automation and cloud cost management solutions to streamline ITFM processes and enhance accountability. Automation reduces manual efforts and errors, while cloud cost management tools provide insights into resource usage and spending.

7. Encourage collaborative decision-making

Foster a culture of collaborative decision-making among IT and business stakeholders. Encourage open communication and involvement in IT financial planning and budgeting processes to ensure alignment with business goals.

8. Monitor and evaluate performance

Continuously monitor and evaluate the performance of IT investments against predefined metrics and KPIs. This allows for proactive decision-making and adjustments to optimize resource allocation and drive accountability.

Or, you can save yourself the hassle, and gain access to all the above, with our Digital Value Model (DVM), your fast track to delivering real business value

With our DVM, you have all the advanced tools and solutions needed for planning, forecasting, and resource allocation. With:

  • Simulation and scenario planning capabilities
  • Technology Business Management (TBM)-optimized data model for transparency and accountability
  • Automation and cloud cost management solutions
  • Collaboration features for fostering collaborative decision-making
  • Monitoring and evaluation tools for performance tracking and optimization 

The Serviceware DVM is here to transform how you leverage accountability for your organization. 

Harnessing automation and circularity to drive accountability

With our DVM,  you’ll unlock the power to streamline ITFM processes and enhance your ability to leverage accountability. It reduces manual efforts and errors, so you can improve efficiency and accuracy in cost management.

Plus, through features like service catalog building, cost transparency, and visibility into IT cost drivers, you’ll be empowered to make informed decisions that drive tangible ROI. 

Armed with an automated, centralized system of record, you’ll improve workflows and coordination between departments, to achieve your true potential for:

  • Cost avoidance
  • IT spending reduction
  • Operational efficiency improvements
  • Financial audit and compliance

How AGRAVIS Group’s Service Provider used accountability to drive IT finance success

Meet Finvis

Finvis Business Services GmbH (a subsidiary of AGRAVIS Group) serves as the primary service provider for all financial and accounting tasks within the organization. 

With ~80 employees across its Münster and Hannover branches, Finvis is responsible for maintaining quality, stability, and transparency in financial accounting and transaction tasks for approximately 110 members of the AGRAVIS Group.

The challenge

Finvis relied on complex Excel files for settling shared-service costs. Their system meant the team was constantly battling with understandable inefficiencies and limited transparency. And it was costing them valuable time and resources. 

The solution

Finvis needed an integrated platform that would optimize processes, minimize inefficiencies and provide crystal-clear transparency. And for that, they came to us at Serviceware. 

We took Finvis on a transformative journey towards enhanced efficiency, customer orientation, and transparency in its financial management processes.

The results

By leveraging their new integrated platform, Finvis gained the capability to offer more economical services that better meet customer requirements. 

They standardized their service portfolio, redesigned it for flexibility, and automated the service controlling processes, from planning to cost allocation. 

We facilitated:

  • Transparent settlement processes
  • Automated reporting
  • Usage-based service accounting

All to ensure that approximately 90% of shared-service costs could be settled accurately. 

But we didn’t stop there. 

The solution we provided integrated cost and volume planning capabilities, allowing for scenario simulations and target-actual cost comparisons that worked to enhance planning security.

The takeaway

As a result of implementing our expertise at Serviceware Financial, Finvis achieved significant benefits, including:

  • Improved efficiency (saving 3-4 weeks in planning rounds alone)
  • Transparency
  • Cost saving 

We have become a lot more transparent and faster. During the planning rounds alone, Serviceware Financial saved me three to four weeks.” - Wolfgang Stein Managing Director FINVIS Business Services

Learn more about Finvis’s journey with us

To sum up 

Now more than ever, accountability plays a pivotal role in translating IT finance insights into actionable strategies and driving IT finance success. 

From fostering transparency and shared responsibility to facilitating risk management and continuous improvement, accountability is the cornerstone of effective IT financial management.

At Serviceware, we recognize the importance of accountability in achieving real business value. That's why we've developed the Digital Value Model (DVM) to empower organizations like yours to foster accountability, optimize ITFM processes and unlock ROI. 

With our DVM, you have all the tools and solutions you need to streamline financial management, enhance decision-making, and drive tangible results.

Ready to take your IT financial management to the next level? 

Explore Serviceware's Digital Value Model today. Schedule a demo to see how DVM can transform your IT finance insights into actionable strategies and drive real business value

Unlock the power of accountability with Serviceware's Digital Value Model and revolutionize your IT financial management journey today.

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Cameron Kent

Written by Cameron Kent

Cameron Kent of Serviceware UK has been working with CIOs across the globe for 8 years, helping organizations to identify inefficiencies and turbocharge value creation through meaningful IT investments.

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