Selling Good Goverance - I.T. Services Audits

IBM got to be bigger, by turnover, than everyone else combined for nearly two decades, accounting for up to 60% of IT sales. One of the chief factors was they were good salesmen - they knew their audience: who to target and what things they wanted (and only sell to people that can sign the cheque!)

IBM didn't sell to "techos" - but managers, the more senior the better. They talked their language (cheaper, better, faster) and gave solid "Dollars and Cents" Costs and Benefits. They got to come back because they generally made good on those promises.

Selling I.T. Services Audits, Security and Continuity

These functions are Goverance related and should be contolled and reported directly to Board Level - not even senior management or CEO.

Board Pitch

Can your Business run without Accounting??
  • No!

Can it run without it's I.T. services?
  • No!

What part of your business isn't affected by I.T.?
  • None!

Why do you have Accounting Audits?
  • "Have to" - regulatory requirement.
  • "credibility enhancer" - investors and owners can trust the figures claimed.
  • Integral to Good Goverance. The things the Board want done, are being done.

Why don't you do I.T. Services, Security and Continuity Audits?
  • Ummmmm?

If you're entrusted with husbanding other peoples money, not assuring and insuring the I.T. Services of the business isn't sound practice.

Major failures/events in anyone of these functions is high impact: They are "Bet the whole company".
The sort of decision that the owners need to make, and make consciously.

Supporting Facts

From a Sarbanes Oxley site:
Fifty percent of companies that lose their data go out of business immediately and ninety percent don't survive more than two years, according to research firm Baroudi Bloor International. ...
Only three percent of all data loss is caused by fire, flood and other such disastrous events. The most common causes are hardware or system malfunction (44 percent), human error (32 percent), software corruption (14 percent) or viruses (7 percent). ...
And remember, without your business's data, there's no business at all.

In a brief report on a fire in a British Telecom hub in Manchester affecting 136,000 phone lines:
  • 86 percent of firms affected found the fire was disruptive and it had an impact on voice communications in 60 percent of those polled....

  • Just 34 percent had a disaster recovery or business continuity plan in place ....

  • Those polled showed low awareness of solutions, nor did most appreciate the need for business continuity planning. 71 percent saw little value in automatic call diverts in emergency situations and 70 percent of those polled were unaware that banks expect businesses applying for loans to have a proven disaster recovery plan in place.

In 10 Steps to surviving a disaster(PDF)
According to the Association of Records Managers and Administrators, about 60 percent of businesses that experience a major disaster such as a fire close within two years. According to Labor Department Statistics, over 40 percent of all companies that experience a disaster never reopen and more than 25 percent of those that do reopen close within two years.

And from Glen Abbot, Scotland’s leading supplier of Business Continuity Services.

Business Failure

A business failure is defined as:
"An occurrence, and/or perception, that threatens the operations, staff, shareholder value, stakeholders, brand, reputation, trust and/or strategic/business goals of an organisation."

In a five-year period, twenty percent of companies within the UK will suffer some kind of serious disruption to their operations. This may be as a result of an IT failure, emergencies such as fire or flood, or some other unplanned disruption. Eighty percent of those companies who suffer a serious disruption suffer severe losses or fail to survive in business during the following eighteen months (National Audit Office).

And yet more in the Reader Comments section of this piece on 'Continuity Central'.

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