Yes, total cost of ownership (TCO) and return on investment (ROI) matter. Many of the conversations we have with clients and prospects revolve around reducing costs.  And often the savings are staggering. Let’s be honest, reducing the cost of operating mainframe applications by as much as 80 to 90 percent is very compelling.

For as long as I have been in IT the challenge has always been the same: How does IT get the proverbial “seat at the table” and achieve business alignment?  In my opinion, transformation technology and those who apply it exist to enable business value in as cost effective manner as possible, not just to reduce cost.

Until we, as practitioners, and our would-be "partners", understand and address this fundamental issue, CEO's will continue to rank business and IT alignment as the number one thing they need from IT organizations. Businesses need CIO’s who are not simply “partners” with the business, but are participants in the business.

Getting to business value is not something IT organizations can do alone. They need to take a collaborative, consultative posture working with business colleagues.  By understanding what matters most to each major function or business leader you can quickly identify the value IT can create. This approach also can be effective when presenting business cases and getting funding for large projects. Best case you will have colleagues who are advocates in the process; worst case you can present the business case in the business language most relevant to you organization.

I have often said a CIO is IT’s chief consulting and relationship officer. Astadia partners with CIOs and other IT leaders to get to business value and to produce the best economic outcomes. We take this approach because TCO and ROI matter – but there is much more to the story.

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