For most IT practitioners, particularly those that have come up through the ranks, there’s a tendency to default to what we know: the toolsets. I often hear comments like: “We’re rocking Office 365!” or “We’ve just implemented ServiceNow”.
Sadly, moving email to Exchange Online may address some ageing tin, or alleviate resourcing constraints, but it isn’t necessarily the silver bullet. E.g. from an InfoSec point of view: does Exchange Online improve or reduce your security posture? From a risk perspective: what backup capabilities are in place? What retention policies? Do these meet your regulatory / compliance requirements? But again, we are still looking at it from an IT standpoint.
For us, the important thing is to take a step back and look at IT Maturity from a business perspective.
Some great questions to start with that are rarely asked by IT folk:
- Are there clearly defined IT goals and objectives to support the business objectives over the long term?
- Is there a clearly defined (and documented) strategy to meet these goals and objectives?
- Is there a documented and approved IT roadmap, showing the current & future states along with time-based milestones to achieve the future state?
- What does the business engagement/relationship look like? Are the IT plans closely aligned with your business plans? Is IT viewed as adding value to the business or just a necessary evil? Is there open and honest two-way communication with key stakeholders?
- Are DR and BCP in place? When were they last reviewed? Updated? Tested?
- What level of automation is in place to remove manual, intensive and repeatable processes?
- Is there a fast and easy process for onboarding and offboarding users? Does it meet security requirements? Does it encompass the protection of company assets and data?
Usually when we ask these sorts of questions to prospective clients, the initial “7 or 8 out of 10” is quickly revoked and replaced with a “2 or 3”. (I’ve even received a few “minus” responses too!)
The great thing is, it’s not all doom and gloom. Now we have a starting point, we can start to make improvements, and keep moving the needle in the right direction, obviously starting with the quick wins as well as those that will deliver the best bang for your buck.
Your biggest challenge is likely trying to establish what “utopia” looks like for your business.
It’s easy to default to “10 out of 10”, yet in reality, this is rarely achievable. It likely does not align with business goals and objectives, and I can assure you (based on experience), will NEVER align with the budgetary expectations of the boss.
Our suggestion? Establish a baseline. Focus on making regular and consistent improvements. End state should be between 6 and 8 on the scale, depending on what sort of business you have and the needs of those you service.
If you ranked your IT maturity at the lower end of the scale or want an upgrade, Starboard IT is just who you’re looking for. Get it touch today to discuss your bright future.