Zemo Trevathan and Associates, Inc.Zemo Trevathan and Associates, Inc.
Business Value Awareness - Case Studies
Measuring the Business Value of IT at a National Bank
ZTA Helps an IT Department Get Funding for Strategic Projects
The Business Challenge
The IT team at a national bank had developed the sense that they were not being appreciated by senior management - or at least that they weren't being taken seriously. They had been given notice of head count reductions, outsourcing of certain functions, and a lowered budget. All this came after the IT Leadership Team had developed and submitted a series of proposals aimed at increasing the productivity of the bank's employees. Not one of their proposals had been accepted, and they had been told that they weren't even being reviewed seriously because of the relatively high price tags associated with the projects.

The Zemo Trevathan and Associates Solution
The IT department first decided to build their internal skill levels at marketing their own services internally. They contracted Zemo Trevathan and Associates to deliver a series of trainings for all the managers and key employees on the IT team. ZTA broke the objectives of the series down into two main objectives: first to build the business value awareness of the team (i.e. help them to identify the value of their services), and second to communicate that value more clearly to their senior managers and other internal partners. The series would culminate in the writing of a business case to support one of their proposed projects.

In deepening their awareness of their own value, ZTA encouraged the team to build on its own strengths. In this case, there was a deep sense of pride inside the department on their customer service abilities, and especially on their response time and effectiveness in resolving complaints raised by company employees. They had a keen commitment to minimizing downtime for bank employees.

A key breakthrough came when they realized that they were tracking their success against this objective in their own language, and not in terms that mattered to the rest of the bank: they had maintained a very low percentage of "system down time" and a very high rate of successful "trouble ticket" resolution, but those metrics did not accurately translate into "value" in the eyes of their internal customers. In fact, their successful performance on these metrics actually undermined their department, making additional spending seem unnecessary.

The solution was to turn this metric, which represented a strength of their department, into a measure of financial value, and with a little research ZTA was successful in helping the team establish that value: In fact, they were able to establish that the value to the bank of their computer network's "dial-tone" was just over $2M per minute. With this value proposition, they were able to revolutionize their approach to the business cases they were submitting for projects. Not only did they get each one of their next several proposals funded, but they were also able to re-grow the department's headcount, because they could now show the direct return on that investment to the bank in terms of the reliability and availability of the bank's computer network.
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CASE STUDY SUMMARY

After a series of failed attempts to gain funding for upgrade and maintenance projects, ZTA helped the IT Department to measure the financial value of just one of their key deliverables: the computer network's "dial-tone" was shown to be worth $2M per minute to the bank. Using that figure, projects protecting against that risk and improving the reliability of the system were shown to have a high return, and to be good strategic investments.

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