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A Complete Guide to IT Portfolio Management Tools

IT Portfolio Management Tools

As your IT environment becomes increasingly complex, IT portfolio management is critical to IT transformation, helping you put the systems in place that will support your business moving forward. Effective IT portfolio management lets you align your portfolio to your business strategy and helps you make the changes that will power future business success. When IT portfolio management is done well, it enables you to increase returns on your IT investments and minimize the risks of making changes to your portfolio.

Why you need an IT Portfolio Management Tool?

Moving away from simple, isolated projects, many businesses are now working with multiple technology providers and third-party service providers in order to keep up with the pace of business change. With a growing number of procurements and ongoing relationships, what was once a simple, linear process has become a complex, cross-functional, multi-staged one. These changes call for a platform that can leverage all these dynamic relationships and deliver new ones.

With an IT portfolio management tool, your IT organization can become a platform for business growth, rather than feeling that IT is just another silo that serves the business from the back. A well-placed IT portfolio management tool can empower your business to tap into the power of IT, integrating it with the broader business and helping your company to move forward as a business entity.

Benefits of an IT Portfolio Management Tool

IT portfolio management is a complex business, but there are a number of key benefits that can be realized through its implementation.

  1. Risk Mitigation

By managing your IT portfolio, you can identify areas of risk and alert stakeholders of issues before they become serious problems, improving service levels and reducing costs.

  1. Agile Planning and Reporting

IT portfolio management enables you to react faster to business change and increases your oversight of strategic IT decisions. This combining of agility with oversight provides you with better decision making capabilities, leading to a reduction in IT costs and increasing business agility.

  1. Improved Service Levels and Service Delivery

By managing your IT portfolio, you can improve the customer experience. This enables you to track and manage all of your IT services, reducing the time to resolution of any issues and allowing you to track your return on investment.

  1. Increased Return On Investment (ROI)

IT portfolio management also makes it possible to track and manage ROI, giving you real-time visibility of the investments you have made.

  1. Reduction in complexity of IT

By employing IT portfolio management tools, you can reduce complexity and streamline your operations, both improving your efficiency and increasing the alignment with business goals.

  1. Lower upfront costs

By bringing your management of your IT portfolio out into the open and performing a thorough analysis of the real-world costs of each decision you make, you can reduce the total costs of your IT portfolio, enhancing your return on investment for all of your IT spending.

How an IT Portfolio Management Tool Can Help

IT portfolio management is a complex discipline, requiring dedicated expertise and ongoing investment. IT landscape analytics, the identification of key technology events and trends, and the effective alignment of technology with business objectives represent some of the most challenging aspects of the discipline. Managing the analytics and gathering the data needed to create actionable insight is not easy.

IT portfolio management is a transformational discipline that supports the overarching business objectives; it can enable the delivery of ROI for new products and enable the introduction and delivery of services. It can also reduce the costs of IT and enable rapid response to business changes.

The Disciplines of IT Portfolio Management

Clark Wilton, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Enterprise Portfolio Management at CA Technologies, has identified four key disciplines of IT portfolio management.

First, there is the landscape of your IT environment, with clear identification of how your IT environment is being managed. Knowing your IT environment, what your IT service and technology offerings are, and harnessing the power of analytics are all essential elements of effective IT Portfolio Management.

Second, there is alignment of technology with business objectives, which in many cases is a complicated and time-consuming task. There are a number of new technologies emerging that can make this easier to achieve, such as cloud technology, as well as an increase in the number of applications available, which are also making it easier to align IT with business goals.

Third, there is the effective delivery of IT strategy. IT Strategy can be a difficult thing to achieve, and one of the most significant challenges lies in the alignment of technology with business strategy. Bringing technology into line with business goals enables better management of the IT landscape and provides IT with the heritage it needs to succeed.

Finally, there is the actual delivery of an IT portfolio. This includes the decision of what technology to select and procure to support your business objectives, as well as managing the ongoing relationship with the IT provider. This complex process can be made easier by the application of an IT portfolio management tool.

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