The Pros and Cons of IT Maturity

    August 4, 2015
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    By Dino Balafas

    Thanks to the associated costs, IT maturity often becomes a secondary priority for companies. However, the resulting return on investment and uptick in efficiency make it a necessity.

    Information technology is a rapidly-evolving field, and businesses these days are fully focused on IT development. With new technologies like virtualization, dynamic computing, and cloud computing in play, businesses need to stay ahead of the curve to keep their systems not only current, but operating on a predictive level to best anticipate future opportunities and issues.

    Most IT systems run smoothly right up until a problem arises, which makes it difficult to convince businesses to focus on improving an otherwise functional setup. But while the cost of improving can seem initially high, the increased efficiency, dexterity, and reduced risk that come with IT maturity actually increase ROI and enhance your status as a digital business.

    Are Your IT Operations Mature?

    IT maturity refers to the effectiveness of IT operations, rather than how new the equipment is – and a business at the lowest level of IT maturity reacts to problems only as they arise, rather than anticipating and avoiding them. Here, there’s no conscious effort to collect and analyze system overview data, so the company doesn’t know how essential components do or don’t fit together. 

    In short, companies that have a strong understanding of their data are better problem solvers. A company with a higher IT maturity is able to predict historical problems and preemptively solve them. In this way, a strong IT program requires both excellent data collection and diagnostic analytics so that it can identify patterns and resolve root issues.

    If a company exhibits strong maturity, the IT department is able to use their data to run scenarios and analyze possible outcomes. This process provides insight into not only greater efficiency, but smarter business strategies.

    Challenges of IT Maturity

    It’s one thing to identify the technologies and processes that will improve the maturity of your IT infrastructure – it’s another to effectively implement these programs and train employees to use and maintain them. The cost is often not trivial, and can seem prohibitive.

    The challenge is in communicating to decision-makers that the benefits of evaluating and remediating IT strategy vastly outweigh the drawbacks, most notably in terms of return on investment. It often takes a third-party professional to recognize dormant issues that have plagued a company’s output under the radar.

    Organizations that rank poorly on the IT maturity scale encounter an average of eight unexpected IT issues per week. On average, this requires seven staff members spending 3 hours and 30 minutes solving each issue, for a total of 190 hours a week. While implementing IT maturity can be expensive, the money saved from a far more efficient use of your employees’ time and your resources will lead to noticeable savings.

    Some things, like capacity management, are easy for companies to ignore for days, months, or years. Sometimes, companies have enough operating capacity, but it’s still not optimized for efficiency – and they could save huge amounts by combining underutilized services and lowering the costs of infrastructure maintenance. In pitching IT maturity to those at the top, it can be immensely helpful to find a test case or problem within your organization to resolve.

    Reaching IT Maturity

    Achieving a high level of IT Maturity will save your company money in the long run and make your business more efficient and responsive to changing needs. If you’re not sure where your IT maturity ranks, take a quick online maturity assessment. The maturity model is based on a series of stepping stones, so companies can quickly capitalize on smaller IT improvements to reach higher levels of sophistication.

    Once a company determines their ranking, they should turn to the industry experts at TeamQuest, and make use of our Optimization Maturity services in order to maximize output and ensure their prospects for an efficient and productive future.

    (Main image credit: Wikipedia Commons