When clients come to us for help managing their IT finances, we advocate a “Crawl, Walk, Run” approach. A successful IT Financial Management strategy is pragmatic, cost effective, and sustainable, and it requires appropriate planning and preparation.
Before you can run IT like a business, you must have already mastered crawling and walking, so to speak. IT Financial Management is a marathon, not a sprint. Before you can begin training for a marathon, you should already have a half marathon, 10K, and 5K under your belt.
Don’t worry – when we say that IT Financial Management is like a marathon, we simply mean it’s a long-term commitment with immense benefits and value along the way. Here are ten ways that implementing an ITFM strategy is like training for a marathon:
It requires endurance
Adopting a successful ITFM strategy requires diligence. You must be willing to keep moving forward, even when faced with imperfect data or unforeseen challenges.
It requires cross training
Have you ever met a distance runner who had a sudden enthusiasm for swimming or cycling? In order to prevent injury and strengthen other muscle groups, runners cross train in activities that are often unfamiliar to them. The same can be said of ITFM. In order to achieve your desired results, you’ll need to adopt a holistic approach. Don’t neglect any areas of your organization, and look for hidden IT costs. Every department influences your IT budget in some capacity.
It improves health and efficiency
Even after just a few weeks of running, you’ll feel leaner, stronger, and more energetic. Likewise, once you begin your ITFM journey, you will rest assured that your finances are under control and defendable.
It relieves stress
Exercise has been proven to reduce stress, and many runners look forward to their workouts for this reason. The ritual itself can be therapeutic, and the endorphin rush doesn’t hurt either. While you may not get that runner’s high from analyzing your financial reports, you’ll definitely stress less knowing that your IT investments are optimized to their full potential.
You really can make time for it
Let’s face it – we’re all busy. With so many tasks to accomplish in a day, fitting in a workout often seems impossible. However, when you look at top executives who use their time efficiently and find the time to train for a triathlon, a marathon, or a CrossFit competition, these excuses begin to fall short pretty quickly. You probably already spend time on IT finances, just not as efficiently as you could with a purpose-built solution.
You’ll see improvement quickly
As arduous as this fitness program may seem, you’ll be surprised by how soon you see results. Although it’s a long journey, you will find some quick wins.
Benchmarking is helpful, but you’re ultimately competing against yourself
A holistic ITFM program will incorporate benchmarking, so you can compare your spending habits with those of other organizations in your industry. This information can help you broaden your perspective of how your business decisions fit within the big picture. However, it’s important to remember that at the end of the day, you’re competing against yourself to deliver your services more efficiently. Just as in running, you should focus on beating your own personal best.
Hold yourself accountable
Since you’re ultimately competing against yourself, you need to hold yourself accountable and track your progress. Runners keep a log of their workouts, analyze their mile times, and even document their meals. Be diligent in monitoring the core elements that impact your IT investments.
Don’t lose sight of your goal
Even the most accomplished athletes lose motivation at times, yet they somehow summon the will to persevere. If you are struggling at any point during your ITFM journey, remember your ultimate goal. Sometimes all it takes is a reminder of why you’re putting in the work in the first place.
Remember how far you’ve come
No matter where you are in your ITFM journey, remember how far you’ve come. Whether you’re ramping up to walk or have already finished a 10K, think back to the days when you were crawling. Acknowledging your progress will help you realize just how much your ITFM strategy is helping your organization.
If you have any questions about how to start your IT Business Management journey, please contact one of our Consultants. Our coaching staff will help you reach your goals.