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Introduction to Synoptek’s Business IT Maturity Model

Maturity models are a proven approach for leaders to improve the effectiveness of their organizations. Synoptek’s Maturity Model enables an organization to assess its own People, Processes, Technology, and IT alignment to the core business, so that attention is focused where the greatest impact can be made. This approach is similar to those of Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (CobiT) and Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL).

IT maturity-model 2

 

Assessing Your IT Operations: Level 2 Indications

Level 2

Level 2 – Getting to Level 2, often referred to as the “Proactive” stage, is where the real work begins. It won’t be sufficient to simply improve upon what was being done at Levels 0 and 1. The company will need to learn to do new things, gaining proficiency in new skills like network management, user support, planning, and standardization. This will require a completely new mindset, but it is one that will pay dividends forever. Instead of seeing computers as tools or devices, the company must seek outcomes based on specific workloads that must be processed. Management of the network will assess availability of resources, usage trending that lends to predicting and even preventing performance problems. To be impactful at this stage, the silos must come down, replaced by standardized platforms, applications, data structures, and toolsets.

The focus at Level 2 shifts from a focus on efficiency to effectiveness. More emphasis is placed on enabling cross-functional and multi-departmental processes to overcome the silos created in the early going. Level 2 is more about business integration than just performance. Management wants more sophisticated reporting of the nature of “Who are our most profitable customers?” and “Who are our most critical suppliers?” These answers can only be provided through the use of enterprise systems, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms. The most fundamental IT services may begin being outsourced.

Business Impact:

• IT helps the organization meet performance, availability and capacity requirements.

• Organizations are better suited to meet regulatory compliance and security requirements.

• This level still lacks scalability, often these organizations believe that increasing the number of full-time IT resources will improve operational efficiency.

Assessing Your IT Operations: Level 3 Indications

Level 3

Level 3 – At Level 3 the IT department’s goals shift to maximizing the value that can be derived from information, technology and technology-based initiatives for the business. People in the business begin to see IT as a service to their department. They measure IT in terms of the fulfillment of their Service Level Agreement (SLA) making the success or failure of IT much easier to measure in truly empirical terms. Most companies implement departmental chargebacks for IT usage at this stage, further incorporating IT into each departments P&L. This also improves capacity planning and management which significantly lowers overall costs. Organizations at this level are able to successfully deploy mobile devices, or for that matter a network of any kind, with strong information governance backed by a comprehensive information use policy. Lacking is the presence of personalized support from experts who are familiar with each customer’s environment and have significant documentation and history to refer to. This may suffice for small VM applications but not nearly appropriate for mission-critical workloads.

Business Impact:

• IT understands the business objectives of each department.

• Technology planning and forecasting occurs on a monthly basis.

• Organizations achieve higher customer satisfaction levels though efficient processes and reliable technology.

• Enhanced employee productivity due to increased system availability.

 

How can you move up and mature your IT Operations?

Read Synoptek’s newest whitepaper to learn what specific actions your organization can take to move to the next level: Transforming Your IT For Business Results: Moving to the Next Level

About the Author

Synoptek is an established firm that provides information systems consulting and IT management services. Synoptek and its predecessors have been providing these services for 23 years.