Don't Discount the Need for Support
Doing more with less in the IT world is just commonplace today. When I'm out talking to organizations and our customers, it's rare that they tell me that they are being given a larger budget or allowed to hire more people for their department to support their IT efforts. And when they are given the authority to spend more and bring in more people to help, it usually done with great reluctance from up top. It's can be understandable in that IT, like any other department, needs to justify itself within the company as a whole. Therefore people don't want to spend money on IT and IT resources, but know they have to.
IT is one of the items that is still looked upon in the sort of legacy thinking that it's just an expense to organization: A money drain, just something that needs care and feeding to keep company operations running and users able to work and be productive. And this is still the case within many organizations that we see out there. But we also see a set of organizations, both large and small, that are embracing IT to be used as an advantage, as something that needs to be invested in to help the organization grow. We see that CMO's are becoming involved (and intrigued) with IT and what it can do for the organization to help their own efforts. And we are seeing CIO's goals now being closely aligned with the CEO's vision for the organization, which means that IT will have no choice but to become strategic in order to help and support the overall goals of the organization.
And while we see all of this happening, we also see that IT departments struggle to be able to provide the adequate support (what I refer to as nailing the basics) needed for the organization. That's why it becomes harder for IT to help drive strategy when they are barely able to keep their heads above water providing support for day to day operations.
We find that a lot of our customers purchase a Block of Hours, bank the Block of Hours, and then use these hours when needed for onsite or phone support. They like the fact that the time is there to use when needed and paid for right up front. And, interestingly, we find that our customers are starting to use this support in not only a reactive way (help, I am stuck), but more and more for proactive engagement (help me, but I want to make my environment better). This way they almost have forced "proactiveness" into their IT strategy as they know they have to use the hours purchased. If they can, they would rather use as much of this time as possible in a proactive way that can help with their goals and the overall goals of the organization.
Sounds like a potential solution that can keep everyone (CEO, CMO, CIO, IT) satisfied. That is until more IT, more resources, or more hours are needed. Then the conversation starts all over again in trying to justify the help and resources we need. But this is the IT world we have chosen to live in.