Course Essential Knowledge for Better ICT Decisions:
Total View on Client’s ICT
The course “Essential Knowledge for Better ICT Decisions” by Nick van der Vlugt is well suited for nine kinds of target audiences coming from Businesses (ICT Controller, ICT Legal Counsel), from ICT (Administration, Contract Manager), from ICT Projects (Project Member), from ICT Procurement (Purchasers) and from ICT Suppliers (Account Managers, Sales Persons, Support for Offers). The theme of the course is total view on Client’s ICT.
The course consists of ten subject areas (chapters) at three course levels with handouts, checklists and cases. After the course, participants have, each in their own field, a better understanding of ICT within a company. This makes better ICT decisions possible.
Structure of the course
The ten course chapters are split up into different sections. The influences that the sections Business, ICT Supplier, ICT Procurement and ICT Projects, and their inter-relationships, have on ICT itself within a company are given underneath, and is the basis for the course. The course was developed top-down, but will be given bottom-up.
The theme of the first day of the course, course Level 1, is: Rational view on Client’s ICT.
Course Level 1 consists of four chapters. Chapter 01, ICT Budget, establishes the relation between ICT and current ICT Budget, which is approved by Business. Chapter 02, Total Cost of Ownership,TCO), is used in analysis of ICT Offers from suppliers and in analysis of ICT Projects. Chapter 03, ICT Trends, is the result of analysis of announcements from ICT suppliers. Chapter 04, ICT Pricing, is the result of analysis of Offers from suppliers.
When the right conclusions are taken from an ICT TCO Survey at Client side, big advantages (additional savings of ten percent and far above) are attained for environments with a value of more than 1 million Euro over a four years period. The ICT TCO Survey includes both characterization of an environment and financial details with later extensions (at present price level or future price level). The course learns how to make the right ICT TCO Survey and how to take the right conclusions. The ICT TCO Survey of orders has also direct influence on the ICT Budget. For an ICT Supplier this is extremely valuable to know.
The knowledge acquired on course Level 1 leads to a better understanding of the current and future relation between (quality of) ICT and its money value.
The theme of the second day of the course, course Level 2, is: Tactical view on additional matters that have a big impact on Client’s ICT.
Course Level 2 consists of two chapters. Chapter 05, ICT Projects, emphasizes cost control, TCO and quality of big ICT Projects. ICT Projects come for a part from Business requirements and for a part from the ICT department itself. Chapter 06 describes the processes of the Business Organization and of the ICT organization, which are closely related to the Organization of the Business. This leads to a better insight which part of the ICT processes are (will be) outsourced and which part of the ICT processes remain internal.
A large part of an ICT Budget at Client side goes to costs for manpower: own personnel, temporary personnel, personnel in projects and personnel at outsourcing. In the course the processes (activities) of outsourcing are treated in such a way that checking activities in outsourcing contracts on completeness of activities is very easy. Treating the remaining ICT processes at Client’s ICT side is useful too. The quality of an ICT Supplier (and of a project) depends heavily on the maturity level of a Supplier, which has to be explained and specified by the ICT Supplier before the order for an ICT project is given. For large ICT projects with a value of millions of Euro’s some knowledge of cost estimating tools is useful.
The knowledge acquired on course Level 2 completes the rational view on client’s ICT.
The theme of the third day of the course, course Level 3, is: Strategic view on Client’s current ICT and future ICT seen from Business point of view and from ICT Management point of view.
Course Level 3 consists of four chapters. Chapter 07 Growth, gives a view on Growth of the Business and to increased use of ICT, which will lead to better planning and forecasting. Chapter 08, Business Drivers, treats those Drivers that have an influence on ICT and which may lead to new ICT projects. Chapter 09, Strategy & Policy, gives an insight in Business Strategy and Client’s ICT Strategy such as security, cloud, replacement policy. Chapter 10, Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s), gives a judgement on Business and Client’s ICT.
A certain percentage of growth at Client’s ICT leads in general to an increase in costs, but with a lower percentage. All depends on what is the cause for the growth. Business drivers may lead to ICT growth in the future too. The ICT Strategy & Policy plan treats in a qualitative way subjects like risk and security, but these subjects have to be quantified to understand its influence on ICT budget. It is also important to understand how ICT management controls ICT by means of ICT KPI’s.
The knowledge acquired on course Level 3 completes the total view on Client’s ICT.
The subject areas (chapters) have been chosen in such a way that many shortcomings in daily practice will disappear when the knowledge gained in the course is applied. Both client and supplier will benefit from this.
At Supplier’s side for instance Performance is in many times quoted too high and is accepted by ICT of client. This because ICT of client is not critical enough and ICT procurement lacks the technical knowledge to detect this shortcoming. Another shortcoming at Supplier’s side are incomplete offers and the quality of offers. Client frequently detects these shortcomings much too late.
Another shortcoming at Supplier’s side and at Client’s side is that both parties spend not enough time on learning how the other party is organized. This knowledge is needed in critical situations, in outsourcing and for judgement if Supplier can handle all aspects of a quote for an offer. A good Knowledge of own organization processes is needed when this subject is discussed with the other party.
Shortcoming at client’s side is that ICT of client frequently lacks a good planning across the years and therefore does not reap the benefits of having good forecasts. There is frequently also no timely recognition of changes by ICT of client. The quality of ICT budgets and cost allocation can also be improved. Strategy and Policy are in many cases not known by people who have to know this in daily practice. Cost calculation and planning of ICT projects are not updated frequently enough.
Participants of the course Essential Knowledge for Better ICT Decisions
|Subject Area||Business||ICT Department||Project||Purchase||ICT Supplier|
|Chapter||Financial Controller||Legal Counsel||Administration||Contract Manager||Project Member||Procurement||Account Manager||Sales Person||Support for Offers|
|02 Total Cost of Ownership||×||×||×||×||×||×||×||×||×|
|08 Business Drivers||×||×||×||×||×||×||×|
|09 Strategy & Policy||×||×||×||×||×||×||×|
|10 Key Performance Indicators||×||×||×||×||×||×||×|
All participants benefit from attending this course.
At the Business level the financial controller will improve the quality of the ICT budget, get a better allocation of costs, get a better planning and have more insight in changes. The legal counsel gets better annexes to contracts and gets more insight in changes, which leads to better contracts.
At the ICT Department level the administration gets a better allocation of costs, because orders are analysed better. The contracts manager gets better annexes to contracts and gets more insight in changes, which leads to better contracts. Negotiations will also be improved by better knowledge.
At Project levels project members, project leaders, and project managers will improve the quality of forecasting project costs related to the project planning.
At the Purchasing and Procurement level purchasers and purchasing managers get better annexes to contracts and get better deals, because the insight during negotiations is improved.
At the ICT Supplier level the account manager gets a better understanding of the potential of a customer. The salesman and sales manager learn how to translate the customer needs into a good offer, which is appreciated by the customer. The support for offers and support manager learn how to make offers that are complete.
Contents of the course
Contents of Course Level 1
Course Level 1 is a prerequisite for all nine kinds of participants. It is the foundation for ICT from a financial point of view as well as from a technical point of view. It is important for short-term ICT decisions. It consists of four subject areas:
- Chapter 01, ICT Budget, is accompanied by a Budget checklist and a Technical checklist. The Technical checklist serves as technical ICT background of the Budget checklist.
- Chapter 02, ICT Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), is accompanied by a TCO checklist. This checklist is useful for making a TCO Survey of all costs of an ICT Offer/Order/Project. It is also accompanied by a checklist for ICT Technical Infrastructure.
- Chapter 03, ICT Trends, gives an insight in performance improvements over the years for products and services and an insight in Lifecycles of products and services.
- Chapter 04, ICT Pricing, explains how net pricing depends on business volumes and on the kind of product or service.
Use of Course Level 1 for participants of Course Level 1
The checklists are useful for checking on completeness of ICT budgets, for checking on completeness of annexes to ICT contracts and for checking completeness of ICT offers and ICT orders.
A TCO Survey summarizes all costs for ICT offers, ICT orders and ICT projects. It is useful for allocating costs, and for checking completeness of ICT offers, ICT orders and ICT projects. A TCO Survey is useful for analysis before discussions.
ICT Trends gives an insight into performance improvements over the years and into the lifecycles of products and services. Trends may influence the depreciation of an existing product or service.
ICT Pricing gives an insight into what is a fair price for a Product/Service.
Contents of Course Level 2
Course Level 2 is on tactical level and is well suited for seven kinds of participants (ICT Financial Controller, ICT Legal Counsel, ICT Contracts Manager, ICT Project Manager, ICT Purchaser, ICT Account Manager, and ICT Sales Person). Course Level 2 is important for medium-term ICT decisions and consists of three subject areas:
- Chapter 05, ICT Project, contains examples of TCO Surveys of large ICT projects and the relation to project planning. Moreover it explains how project cost and quality of large ICT projects are kept under control, how a project price is established and how project pricing relates to project planning.
- Chapter 06, Organization, describes the organizational processes of the Business part of a company, and of its ICT department. The checklist for description of functions within an ICT department, which is added to this chapter, is also very useful as annex to an outsourcing agreement.
Use of Course Level 2 for participants of Course Level 2
The phases of a project are detailed in checklists for ICT Budget and for ICT TCO. Use the TCO checklist to check if all project elements are covered. Use the Technical checklist to check the project infrastructure. Focus of a big ICT project is on keeping project costs within limits and on quality of software projects.
Business drivers, increased usage, ICT growth and efficiency steps lead to new projects. Insight in a client’s ICT policy and business strategy is essential for new Projects.
The ICT organization is in line with its Business organization and with ICT specialties and ICT projects. Knowledge of a supplier’s organization is important for supplier contacts and offers. Knowledge of a client’s organization is important for persons outside the ICT department and for suppliers.
Contents of Course Level 3
Course Level 3 is on strategic level and is well suited for seven kinds of participants (ICT Financial Controllers, ICT Legal Counsel, ICT Contracts Managers, ICT Project Members, ICT Purchasers, and ICT Account Managers). Course Level 3 is important for long-term ICT decisions and consists of four subject areas:
- Chapter 07, Growth, is related to the growth of a company, the growth of ICT and to other external influences.
- Chapter 08, Business Drivers, covers 15 sectors for the years 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. Several Business Drivers influence ICT.
- Chapter 09, Strategy & Policy, is related to the strategy of a company and the strategy of ICT, for example security, the cloud, and replacement policy.
- Chapter 10, Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s), explains KPI’s for Business, ICT, and Procurement.
Use of Course Level 3 for participants of Course Level 3
New business drivers, higher business volumes, more requests from business and users lead to ICT growth. Knowledge about ICT growth is important for making better forecasts. Better planning leads to more insight and better ICT decisions. The absence of growth at the supplier side leads to higher costs for support. Insight into growth leads to awareness of changes.
Some business drivers, with an influence on ICT, may lead to new ICT projects.
Insight in client’s business strategy and ICT strategy is essential for new projects.
Insight in KPI’s of Business and ICT leads to better judgements.