Alan Hansell

Alan Hansell

Alan Hansell is an IBRS advisor who focuses on IT and business management. Alan is able to critique and comment on IT and business management trends, ways to justify and maximise the benefits from IT-related investment, IS management development and the role of the CIO. Alan has extensive experience in IT management, consulting and advising senior managers in matters related to IT investment. He was a Director in Gartner's Executive program and adviser to over 50 CIOs and business managers and before joining Gartner a consultant with DMR Group. He also worked as an IS professional, manager and industry consultant for IBM for nearly 30 years. Alan is a CPA and Associate of Governance Institute of Australia.

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Conclusion: “Offshore outsourcing” or the practice of outsourcing IT or business functions to other geographic regions is growing, with similar trends forecast for the future. While offshore outsourcing offers cost-cutting opportunities, it does possess risks unique to offshore projects, which have resulted in mixed success when adopting this strategy. Detailed risk assessment, strategic planning and ongoing management must be conducted by any organisation considering an offshore project, or commercial benefits will be lost, ultimately negating proposed cost savings.


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Conclusion: While attracting and retaining staff is no longer a pre-occupation of CIOs, the challenge today is to manage IT professionals in a way that maximises their contribution and minimises the possibility of them seeking another role.


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Conclusion: If you know your organisation’s records and document management processes are out of control and do not propose a viable solution, you are putting your job, and the CEO’s, at risk.

Why Records and Document Management?

One of the hidden and unavoidable costs of running an organisation is that of manually filing, retrieving and disposing of records and documents. This cost often runs concurrent with the hidden risk from not being able to find key documents when required for evidentiary purposes or completing an asset sale. How can the costs be avoided and the business risks minimised?

To answer the question, let’s look at what has been happening in many firms of all sizes in the last couple of years.


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Conclusion: Business managers, who sponsor major Business Solutions implementations, need to be identifying what they have to do to succeed and develop plans that will make success a reality. Focusing on the Right Things Starts with Astute Planning


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 Conclusion: While certain types of IT sourcing deals (such as large “mega deals”) have been criticised by commentators, it may not be beneficial for all organisations to alter their current IT sourcing strategy. All potential cost and management problems must be carefully considered prior to altering any sourcing strategy.


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Conclusion: When faced with proposals requesting investment in Business Solutions in an environment in which demand exceed available resources, firms need to develop and apply an IAC (Investment Allocation Criteria) to help them prioritise and rank the competing proposals.


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Conclusion: Successful projects are analogous to freshly cooked puddings in that they not only have to smell nice when taken out of the oven but also excel when tasted to earn the praise of the client. Or to put it in simple terms a successful project is one that has helped the firm to realise the expected business outcomes.

To increase the probability of firms implementing successful projects senior managers must, at a minimum:

  • Identify staff with potential to handle the political as well as the technical arena of projects and a) give them training in project management disciplines as well as b) negotiation and influencing techniques

  • Implement the initiatives described below, monitor their outcomes and ensure the lessons learned in both technical and political arena are widely disseminated


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Conclusion: In today’s business climate in which discretionary capital is scarce, CIOs, or equivalent, need to be confident and able to convince the Executive they can deliver the benefits expected in proposals to invest in IT Infrastructure1. To meet the needs of stakeholders when real time services are at stake, the arguments must be compelling and presented in a way that leaves the Executive no alternative but to approve the proposal.


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Conclusion: CIOs, because they have a cross enterprise perspective, are ideally positioned to champion the institutionalising of benefits management practices and demonstrate how to do it by corroborating the benefits from IT Infrastructure investment.


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