C-BIA FLEXIBLE IT SUPPORT: Keeping the CIO informed …

Managing Outsourced IT

CBIA SITS Dashboard
An example monthly dashboard with a range of widgets for our Flexible IT Support service.

Last month we introduced you to C-BIA’s Flexible IT Sourcing Service (Are all your applications feeling the love?) and why in this era of heightened security risks, all your applications deserve a little love, not just the business critical ones.

In this post, we dig a little deeper, starting with the most important question for any customer – are we delivering the value promised?

Delivering value as a Managed Service Partner takes transparency, collaboration and trust

Selecting a managed service provider for IT support is one thing but do you always have a good understanding of what your supplier is doing for you? Both now and in the immediate future? Are you aware of the risks and issues extant at any point in time? Do you have an overview of spend to-date and outstanding spend? And finally, do you know the status of each supported system or service and the options available to mitigate risk or improve it?

Information is delivered as dashboards and updated monthly and quarterly. Together with regular review meetings, this ensures the CIO and their team is informed, we build trust and deliver the value expected of us.

5 questions every CIO wants answered about their managed service provider (but rarely gets…)

Q1: Is there anything going on with C-BIA that I need to be worried about right now?

CBIA FITS Dashboard Widget 2
This widget ensures we keep an eye on all pipeline activities, from Planning to Performance.

This outlines the overall ‘health’ of the service. Is there anything that I need to pay particular attention to right now? We report on a RAG (Red, Amber, Green) basis on the key indicators as agreed with our customer. We provide a RAG status for each indicator and a commentary. Typically we cover escalation requests, key actions and where there has been a RAG status change. Customers can select whatever key areas they wish to focus on.

Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress. Alfred A. Montapert

Q2: What are the key activities and milestones within my C-BIA work portfolio from the last month?

CBIA FITS Dashboard Widget 3
A high-level summary of overall status helps the CIO prioritise their focus.

“The facts are friendly” Anon

Here we highlight the key milestones from across the complete portfolio we are working on and inform questions such as:

What are the key delivery activities and milestones that have taken place or are now due?

Is there something happening that it’s best that I speak to my team or board colleagues about?

Is there any impact on other projects?

What’s a ‘hot topic’ or key risk at a project level I need to be aware of?

Q3: What have I spent and what is left against budget “in the bank”?

CBIA FITS Dashboard Widget 4
Tracking days spent against budget is critical to ensuring optimum allocation of resources and maintaining responsiveness to new needs.

NASA says: “In God we trust; all others bring data”

The flexible use of resource that C-BIA’s Flexible IT Sourcing offers me is one of the reasons I selected it, but where am I in terms of using my available ‘pot’? Am I underspent? If so I need to know because the CFO has been nagging me for months about that Ledger interface and this might be just the time to get C-BIA on to sorting that out. Am I overspent? However, if the CFO really presses for that interface then I might need to get some more funding. This section explains exactly where you are.

In this illustration the contact provides for 8 days of extended service effort per month. In January I’ve used 11 days but given I underspent by 2.75 days in December I am only 0.25 days over, giving me 7.75 days ‘in the bank’ for February. I note that there are a total of 12.75 days C-BIA work scheduled for February, which takes me over for the month, but that’s manageable. And if the CFO does press me on that interface then maybe he’d be prepared for the scheduled P&L Dashboard work to be delayed…

Q4: What’s the high-level progress position on each of my key C-BIA projects?

CBIA FITS Dashboard Widget 5
High-level status by project. More detail is available in individual project plans.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”  – George Bernard Shaw

Straightforward stuff. What are the current C-BIA projects, where are they in terms of progress and are delivery dates threatened? A simple table that gives the CIO this information.

Q5: How are we doing on the things I believe are key?

CBIA FITS Dashboard Widget 6
A snapshot from the helpdesk ticketing system

‘According to the doyen of management experts, the late Peter Drucker: “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

What’s important right now or on an ongoing basis? This varies from organisation to organisation and C-BIA’s Flexible IT Sourcing allows the CIO to select what needs to be highlighted for them.

In the example above, the CEO is on a quality mission so they don’t want to see things going wrong. This chart shows that no priority 1 tickets have been raised, and that most that have been are of priority 3 or 4, with only a smattering of priority 2 tickets. That and the fact that the RAG for SLAs is green, with all SLAs reported as met or exceeded, the current position is looking pretty healthy. Hopefully that will keep her happy!

Want to know how this could work for you?

Managing outsourced IT or a managed Service Provider (MSP) is never easy, regardless of the focus or scope. Contact us at info@c-bia.co.uk to find out how we reduce the risks or request a scoping study and no obligation quote!