A Few Little Changes That'll Make a Big Difference with Your I.T. Maturity
IT maturity doesn’t refer to the age of your computer systems — it’s about improving the core functionality of your business. Here are some helpful strategies for making IT as valuable to your company as possible.
Oftentimes, IT can seem only tangential to your business — when there’s a problem, you just call IT to fix it. But reaching IT maturity can mean the difference between responding to problems as they arise and predicting when and where problems will occur and resolving them before they affect users. A truly advanced IT service should be integrated businesswide, optimizing your IT infrastructure to to deliver on future business demands.
The advantages of such IT Service Optimization Maturity are clear: increased efficiency, reduced risk, and improved agility. High-level IT maturity will separate the quality of your service from competitors, as well as ensure your online services run smoothly by identifying and preventing risks in real time. Here, we’ll discuss the different stages of IT maturity, as well as ways to improve your core operations.
Levels of IT Maturity
Based on past work by Gartner and others, IT professionals at TeamQuest have identified five basic levels of IT Service Optimization Maturity: Chaotic, Reactive, Proactive, Service, and Value.
Businesses have to start somewhere: Chaotic is the lowest level of IT maturity, and it’s usually characterized by a lack of purpose and consistency in an IT strategy. These companies can only react to problems if they’re made to see them by a client or employee — in other words, when the damage is already done.
Reactive is the next stage, and can be described as Chaotic at greater speed — companies can quickly and efficiently react to problems, and have the proper tools to do so. Yet, they remain at the mercy of problems they have no power to predict, problems that won’t present themselves without deeper analysis.
The Proactive level is reached by honing the ability to learn from empirical data, empowering your company to predict future problems. It allows for the removal of risks before they become a serious problem and negatively affect your business. As an analogy, this is the difference between being able to right oneself after hitting an iceberg and avoiding the icefield altogether.
The Service stage is like Proactive Pro — it’s refined through sophisticated mathematical algorithms. This stage allows you to move beyond historical trends and predict things like nonlinear increases in response time and changes to multiple business components. You have answers to questions like, “What if I change these specific things simultaneously?”
Value represents the highest level of IT maturity, and grants the profound ability to combine your previous knowledge in order to produce coherent avenues for achieving your business’ goals. This enables a company to simulate the outcomes of each strategy for both capitalizing on future opportunities and mitigating risk, guiding them on a route to the superior game plan. The leaders of industry find themselves at this level.
Avenues for Improvement
No matter a business’s IT Maturity level, there is always room for improvement, often taking the form of small, actionable changes. For example, a business in the Chaotic stage needs to ensure it has detailed data concerning the behavior of support system components. As a first step, clear visualization of information can help you respond much more quickly to sudden issues.
At the Proactive level, a company to must retain data sets and begin to analyze how they impact the company. Think about drawing data from other sources — such as service level agreements or business transaction volumes and compiling them in one accessible location.
In terms of big picture changes, think about your business goals and ask the question, “Is my IT currently aligned to meet those goals?” Keeping that framework in mind goes a long way towards adding direction and consistency to your IT strategy.
These are just basic steps toward improving your IT Service Optimization Maturity. Reaching the higher levels of maturity, however, often requires the consultation of seasoned professionals. Our experts here at TeamQuest have the industry-leading expertise needed to vault companies beyond the point where they’re simply solving problems and into the realm of predictive, business-enhancing analysis.
IT is often thought of as a place that deals with annoying problems — it should be viewed as an important opportunity to evolve as an efficient, forward-thinking company.