In today’s increasingly digital world, IT is woven into the fabric of business like never before. The need to deliver reliable, innovative solutions is a critical need for almost all IT organisations. Few IT organisations have the luxury of starting with a clean slate; most are challenged to deliver ever more value in the face of corporate expectations growing faster than IT budgets. ImprovIT has a portfolio of models, performance data and strategic frameworks to help you cut through the noise and hype to deliver real value. We help you define your future, understand the precise opportunities to optimise, quantify future benefits and ensure you deliver the value your business needs.
A CIO’s single greatest opportunity is to optimise the organisation’s IT. But what is optimisation? Optimisation is the refinement and improvement of a well-managed and well-structured IT organisation so that it is not only aligned with the goals of the businesses it serves, but is also able to propel them forward. The single biggest factor preventing CIOs from optimising their IT organisation is a failure to get the fundamentals right. Business executives have little patience for deep discussions about the business value of IT when they believe the IT organisation is spending too much money, spending it on the wrong things, or not operating in a disciplined way.
At ImprovIT we have developed a well-defined approach to optimisation, designed to ensure that the fundamentals of the IT function are in place and running as a well-oiled machine. This approach encompasses three essential steps:
• Cost efficiency benchmarking
• Process maturity assessment
• Business and IT alignment
Cost efficiency benchmarking
In this step, we help you to understand how efficiently IT uses its technology budget. Your IT cost is closely linked to the level of complexity within your IT organisation. The more complex your IT environment, the costlier it is to run. We have a detailed methodology that allows us to calibrate your level of complexity and we can then compare you to other organisations with a highly similar level of complexity. Then, through a sophisticated process of gap analysis and causal assessment, we can determine how you compare, where you are strong, and what your options are for improving your performance and increasing the value you deliver. See our benchmark page for a deeper discussion on Benchmarking.
Process maturity assessment
The second step in the optimisation process is designed to assess the maturity of the IT function’s processes. Mature processes are vital to a strong, reliable IT function. They enable CIOs to effectively manage their organisation and deliver the expected services to the business.
As part of process maturity assessment, we first identify and then assess each of the essential processes and governance mechanisms to quantify how well they are defined, implemented and followed. We assess their completeness and also how well they interface with one another and our frameworks include comprehensive definitions of mature and immature processes to serve as objective bases of comparison.
Uniquely, ImprovIT maintains a database of all the process maturity assessments we perform, so we can not only quantify your level of maturity, but we can also offer a view as to what others are using and achieving.
Business and IT alignment
The final step in the process is to assess whether IT is spending money on areas that the business values. Every commercial business has a vision that is quantified by such measures as revenue targets, stock price and market share, while non-commercial organisations will also have a vision based on their specific field of endeavour.
The problem is often what to align with. Managing the balance between value and customer satisfaction, short-term and long-term, between the demands of different business units and the requirements of the CFO is a key role for the CIO. Alignment, value and customer satisfaction go hand in hand.
Our methodology uses a structured process to determine the priorities and perceptions of both the business and the IT organisation, and through a robust analysis of findings identifies areas of strong alignment, opportunities for improvement and a quantified assessment of benefits.
The benefits of a holistic approach
ImprovIT’s approach to IT optimisation is unique and, we believe, superior, because it provides a view of IT within the context of the overall business—not as a function to improve in a vacuum. By looking holistically at the entire IT organisation, we help you understand the changes needed to strike the right balance among cost, process maturity and alignment with the business so that your organisation is best positioned to deliver business value to the wider enterprise.
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