Standish have identified "10 most important drivers of IT Value"

I'm not going to go into the details of this Standish report because I think that, if you are reading this blog, you will probably want to geta copy of the report at: To whet your appetite, the ten drivers that Standish identify (along with 3 sub-drivers for each category) are:

  1. Lowering the Infrastructure Cost
  2. Increasing Application Features
  3. Reducing the Cost of Downtime
  4. Maintaining Suitable Risk
  5. Commoditization
  6. Higher Readiness
  7. Project Management Leadership
  8. SOA
  9. Service Delivery
  10. Vendor Consolidation

Do you agree with these? Have they missed something? My own perspective is that there is a lot that is right with the Standish top ten, particular when they are talking about cost drivers. While I agree that "Increasing Application Features" is a big driver of value, the Standish report misses the important point that Application changes should not be about features but about business benefits embodied in business cases (if you don't think there is a difference between features and benefits talk to a marketing person).  While innovation can be realized through any of the top 10, it will be through enhancing the Applications that innovation impacts business processes, services and products. The report gives a good treatment of "Higher Readiness".  I would have exteneded it to include responsiveness.  One of the big complaints that i hear about IT from business people is that IT operates on its own timetable (or a different clock frequency if you prefer) and is unable to respond quickly to business needs.  Of course, there are always good reasons for not being distracted by continual changes - its very inefficient and drives up costs.  However, there are no excuses for not being tightly aligned with the businesses current needs.  It was partly this separation of clock frequencies that led to the sprint-driven agile methodology which focuses on reprirotizing at the end of each sprint. One final comment on the Standish report. They include a defintion of "Value" which I will not repeat here other than to mention their suggestion that one way to think of the value of IT is as the difference between the cost of the IT Service and the cost of providing the service manually.   This really struck me as strange.  My reactions, in quick succession, were: "That seems reasonable,"  "Surely, value is in the eye of the beholder?" and "Hang on, haven't we moved way beyond comparing IT solutions to manual solutions?"  What do you think?

Written by Michael D. Harris at 18:16
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"It's frustrating that there are so many failed software projects when I know from personal experience that it's possible to do so much better - and we can help." 
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