What Does the IT Department Really Do?

It is IT Planning season.  Today's exercise is to explain to those granting next year's budget dollar the services that are provided by my IT department, in a way that makes sense to the reader.  Let me share how I do it.

The chart below (click on the image to expand) is the iteration I'm using at Appleby College, and it breaks out  our functional areas and service offerings.  It also tags the group responsible for delivering these services.

In a previous life, I laid out a version of this diagram in front of the VP I reported to.  His first comment? "I didn't know IT did all of this!" It was much easier to justify my budget after he was made aware of the services in place.

Of course there are stacks of supporting documentation to go along with this chart, but getting everything on one page in a simplified form was instrumental in building support.

I used Mindjet's MindManager to generate this diagram. If you want to try it, there is a 30 day trial period. It is one of the indispensable tools in my CIO arsenal. If you are interested in getting a copy of the .MMAP file, send me an email, and I'll send one out to you. (Please be patient in waiting for a reply - it is a busy season).

What are you using to communicate the value of IT?


  1. Do you have a service catalogue as well?
    Does each item on the chart represent a formal service, or are they service areas or functional responsibilities?

  2. Don,

    The service catalogue (for Appleby) is being developed based on this high level view in this diagram. While these topics represent service areas, functional resp, and service areas, each org still needs to define service levels, expected response times, etc.

    This is much less fun than evaluating new technology, but a crucial part of every IT leader's role.