Hardware and software are the most tangible of the IT assets, which normally translates into the quickest path for providing tangible cost savings to your company.
Being proactive in finding cost savings is a great start to increasing your credibility and a great way to self-fund an overdue infrastructure build-out.
Scenario #2: Low Credibility & High Dependency
The essence of PPM is to engage business leaders in the IT investment decision-making process. In doing this, IT leaders begin to understand the business better and start to speak in business terms.
Likewise, business leaders begin to get a better understanding of the complexities of the IT environment, as well as the business enabling capabilities that appropriately used information technology can provide.
Over time, business and IT strategies become interwoven, the investment process is transparent to all critical parties, and the business dependency on IT-enabled projects steadily grows.
Scenario #3: High Credibility & Low Dependency
While you more than likely already have the operational and administrative costs well in control, you can still reap additional cost savings benefits and improve the IT department's quality-of-service from managing the remaining IT assets.
These assets are somewhat intangible and it takes longer to understand their lifecycles as compared to the more tangible hardware & software assets, but the fact that IT's credibility is high implies that the business will be patient as you build this portfolio and the appropriate management processes.
Scenario #4: High Credibility & High Dependency
Okay, okay ... I know this scenario is extremely rare, but it does exist somewhere. Doesn't it? Just in case it does I'll round out the discussion with the final option.
Because the IT environment is being solidly managed and a strong relationship between IT and the lines of business exist, the only way to make a significant impact with portfolio management is to build a comprehensive IT portfolio.
So, include both the projects and all the assets in your pursuit of deploying portfolio management.
In summary, recognize your unique situation and understand the true priorities of the business as they pertain to information technology.
With APM, you have the opportunity to improve the credibility of the IT department as well as your own credibility in the eyes of business leaders. Moreover, if you feel that your company is missing opportunities to leverage information technology as a strategic weapon, PPM can be used to educate business leaders and improve the business dependency on information.
Make your choice wisely and you'll maximize the success of your first portfolio management initiative and set the stage for additional programs.
Jeff Monteforte is president of Exential, a Cleveland, OH.-based information strategy consulting firm, which specializes in IT governance, information security and business intelligence solutions. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.