This is the information coming out of a new report from The Hackett Group, a business advisory firm that benchmarked 200 companies over the last two years. The report finds that 'world-class' IT organizations spend 18 percent less than median companies and run with 36 percent less staff.
Beth Hayes, an IT practice leader with the Atlanta-based Hackett Group, says companies with 10,000 end users generally save $18.5 million a year compared to companies with median-performing IT departments. She calculates that savings based on numbers that show that great IT shops spend $1,850 less per end user.
And none of this success is based on the size of the company.
''Size doesn't matter when you're talking about a world-class IT organization,'' says Hayes. ''Our data shows that the best practices almost universally apply regardless of the size of the organization. In many cases, large companies are spending too much or they're delivering too little. It's not about size at all.''
Hayes says they categorize an IT organization as 'world class' based on several criteria, including productivity, cycle times, cost per end user, organization and the effectiveness of partnering. An organization must score in the top 25 percent to be deemed world class.
Hayes says that it comes down to the fact that the best IT organizations aren't working harder. They're simply working better.
''In a time of limited resources and funding, organizations cannot afford to be fat and happy,'' says Hayes. ''World-class performers are able to achieve an 18 percent savings. And applying those best practices are not limited to the very large or the very prosperous organizations... They're spending less and they're succeeding more.''
Actually, they seem to be succeeding a lot more.
The Hackett Group reports that the companies they categorize as world class deliver 91 percent of all projects to spec on time and on budget. In sharp comparison, median-performing companies are only successfully delivering projects 68 percent of the time.
The report also finds:
The Hackett Group also notes in its report that world-class companies are more disciplined overall in their management of IT projects. Half of all world-class companies manage IT projects through a formal, permanent Program Management Office, while only 25 percent of median organizations do the same. The top IT shops also adhere to a common methodology 90 percent of the time, compared to 56 percent for average companies.
''What we believe is that world-class companies are focusing more on what's core to their business and what's strategic to that business,'' says Hayes. ''They have a well-orchestrated plan and a simplified environment.''