Video Recap: Actionable Steps Towards Cutting Through the Chaos
TeamQuest partnered up with Forrester Research to explain how to move your company out of a state of chaos and achieve successful IT integration and optimization.
In a recent webinar, Forrester analyst J.P. Garbani joined TeamQuest’s Per Bauer to explain the best practices for integrating IT services into any business. Garbani, whose expertise is in predicting and qualifying IT disruptions, and Bauer, a part of the TeamQuest Global Services team, used the 25-minute presentation to explore data issues, optimization, and all the ways your company can reach IT maturity.
Garbani pointed out that data collection is experiencing exponential growth. By the end of 2017, experts predict that somewhere around 132 billion emails will be sent and received every day. When you combine that number with four billion social network accounts and the 33,000 videos uploaded to YouTube every minute, you begin to see just how far the convergence of technology and business has come, only further proving that neither can exist in a vacuum.
The presenters emphasized the necessity of doing the work today to prepare ourselves for tomorrow’s big data environment — a constantly growing wealth of information with nowhere to host it. In fact, a lack of data capacity is the number one cause of internet slowdowns. Most businesses are not geared for the “onslaught of information” that comes with increasing usage, and they need to find new ways to step up to the challenge.
60% of enterprises don’t spend a lot of time on forecasting capacity. In the past two years, Garbani says he’s received countless questions like, “What IT processes should I establish?” or “What tools are available to do this?” Others might ask, “What skills do I need?” and, “How do I train people?” Yet, all of these questions feed into an even bigger one: how do we accurately predict the capacity we’ll need in the future?
Capacity is the number one IT problem most businesses face today: Even if they aren’t building the necessary infrastructure for themselves, they’re reserving it from cloud service providers, like Amazon Web Services. If these organizations were accurately forecasting capacity needed in the future, they could more efficiently minimize the cost of their IT infrastructure.
Garbani and Bauer outlined a five-stage process towards IT maturity. They explained that most companies are on the first or “Chaotic” level, with no real understanding of what must be done to meet their IT needs. Organizations like these often have no reliable way of knowing when or how slowdowns or crashes are occurring.
After the Chaotic level comes the Reactive level. At this stage, the business often scrambles to rectify a need for data and info. Once they’re all caught up on the demands that have already been made of them, they need to take swift, prompt measures to fix problems that occur in their environment. A Proactive-level company will start finding ways to analyze data and look for patterns in performance and capacity data, which will enable them to predict what will happen in the future and prepare in advance.
After that, IT starts furnishing the business with actual value, rather than simply helping it to avoid problems. The fourth, or “Service” level entails using information from business forecasts in combination with what you’ve learned from the proactivity of the previous level. Your knowledge of forecasted business needs is combined with past patterns in performance data and capacity demands, creating a standard, cohesive methodology for predicting future infrastructure needs based on forecasted business needs.
After the company does this, they can bring themselves to the Value level, making their IT department an integral part of the business that brings value to the business as a whole and factors into key executive decisions.
The major disconnect about perceived maturity versus actual maturity in the business world starts with a range of problems, such as inadequate tools, immature processes, and a lack of both vertical and peer-to-peer communication in the IT department and the entire business. Garbani warned that businesses who don’t make capacity planning a priority often experience disastrous consequences.
For those who do listen, though, getting the whole company onboard is the crucial first step. Garbani suggested that when interacting with a business, it’s best to speak in business and not IT terms, focusing on the profit and data loss that’s occurring every day as a result of bad planning.
To reach full IT maturity, a company must evaluate how important certain services are to the business as a whole, determining how many resources should be dedicated to sustaining their levels of operation. Take the ITSO 20 question assessment to discover your maturity level, then use that data to make a plan that will enable you to climb to the top.
(Main image credit: German Climate Computing Center/flickr)