Is Business Value More Important Than Compliance from Sunrise Software

IT professionals at Sunrise software’s Customer Conference say that compliance is unimportant compared to the need for IT to align with business aims.

  • 55 per cent state that compliance is not an important challenge
  • Helpdesk needs to become proactive according to 83 per cent
  • IT directors in danger of becoming dinosaurs

IT support professionals are far more concerned with finding ways to show value to the business and introducing best practice methodologies than they are in pursuing high profile compliance issues such as Sarbanes Oxley and Basel 2.

A survey of IT support managers and directors at the Sunrise Customer Conference highlights the growing understanding from within IT support that it must focus on aiding the effectiveness of the business it supports.

55 per cent of those questioned feel that compliance is not currently an important challenge for them. Compare this to challenges such as Managing business change on an IT level, which was seen as important to 69 per cent, and the introduction of a best practice framework which drew out a positive response from 57 per cent of respondents.

The helpdesk must become more proactive and business-orientated if it is to contribute to the business, was agreed with or strongly agreed with by 83 per cent of those polled, showing that IT is finally accepting that it must embrace a stronger business ethos going forward. When asked about the challenges faced, again 83 per cent of respondents admitted that showing value to the business was a very relevant challenge.


Boardrooms divided

The Board appears to be responding to the idea that support is vital in any attempt to bring the goals of IT in-line with the rest of the business. The positive news is that 50 per cent agreed or strongly agreed to this statement: The Board understands that the support department must play a central role in aligning business and IT goals, but 24 per cent disagree or strongly disagree.

Opinions were also polarised when it came to the statement: Many IT directors don’t care about support. 40 per cent sat on the fence with the non-committal answer of neither agree nor disagree suggesting that either people have not thought about the issue, or are afraid to answer in the affirmative. 40 per cent of respondents disagreed leaving 20 per cent to fully support the statement.

Speaking at the conference Tom Weston, chairman of Sunrise warned that a lack of input from the IT director is damaging. The IT director must take a more proactive view in making sure that the advantages of aligning IT with the business are understood by the board and particularly the finance director who often sees IT as a cost that needs to be reduced. If the IT director doesn’t want to become a dinosaur, he or she must understand that their role is not managing projects, but instead looking at the company’s business needs as affected by IT.

The scale of the job needed to align IT and business was illustrated by the response to the statement: All elements of IT and support services are closely linked and work harmoniously in my organisation which was only agreed with by 28 per cent of respondents and disputed by 44 per cent.

The respondents also failed to recognise the importance of managing other business services traditionally outside of the scope of IT. Tom Weston said that a great opportunity was being missed because of this attitude. The statement from IT professionals saying that they are not interested in absorbing other business services stems from the isolationist view that IT seems to have. If it was more positive about itself, more business services could be absorbed, making the position of IT stronger, elevating the position of the IT director and influencing the business goals of the organisation. This can have a critical impact on their careers, their salaries, how they work, and how their performance is recognised within the organisation.



Just 10 per cent disagreed with the notion that: the help desk software vendors are reflecting the changes that are affecting IT and just under 50 per cent feel positive enough about the vendors to fully agree with the statement. Sostenuto ITSM, Sunrise’s web-based service management software was also given the thumbs up. Despite the young age of the product and that many of the conference attendees at the time of the poll only had little exposure to it, 56 per cent of respondents agreed that: Sostenuto offers a solution to new requirements and challenges.

50 visitors to the Sunrise Customer Conference were polled for the survey. Respondents were support directors and managers, or hold equivalent titles.