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Marketing and Selling IT Services

I've been talking about this concept since the early 1990s but have yet to see much progress. This needs to be a fulltime job function—not a separate function, but part of every manager's responsibility. Lack of time can't be an excuse any longer. As the leader of IT, the CIO must take responsibility to market IT's services and mission inside the organization.

IT still has a rotten image, and network computing has made things worse. "IT is spending millions, and what are we getting in return?" is the most common theme. Now, we IT folks know better—customers are getting plenty of service—but they still complain and say they receive very little attention from IT. This perception needs to go away once and for all.

Let's face it, in the era of outsourcing, any IT organization is in competition with other providers that might provide this service better, cheaper, and more efficiently to the enterprise.

Today, IT professionals need to start by thoroughly documenting their services with associated costs for those services. They need to communicate with customers. Schmooze, sell, and otherwise promote your services, as in the examples in the following table.

Internal Marketing Examples

Activity

Description

Newsletters

Publish a quarterly newsletter to be distributed to your primary customers in the organization, outlining your recent successes, updates to your business plan, and plans for the near future and long-term. Include statistics showing improvements in supporting customers:

  • Uptime availability of the network

  • Uptime of applications

  • Savings that business units enjoy as a result of applications that have been deployed to support in-line business units.

  • Number of help desk queries handled in a fiscal quarter.

Assign IT representatives to be liaisons with business unit executives. Coordinate regular meetings with the business units.

The CIO and representatives to business units meet with the internal customers to review their business relationships.

Data Center tours

Host periodic tours to acquaint your customers with your facilities and the staff.

Implement an internal IT home page.

Publish information about your IT organization, its mission, services, organizational structure, and accomplishments.

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