Business Imperatives

Technology advances and maturing trends in areas like Cloud computing, Consumerization, Mobility, Analytics and Collaboration, present an opportunity to innovate during a period when IT Leaders are largely constrained by frugal budgets and austerity measures. Decoupling of IT strategy from Business strategy is not practical in most enterprises, no surprise that increasingly IT Leaders are judged on their ability to relate technology spend and investments to business impact and outcomes.

The way forward requires well crafted and feasible IT Initiatives which can make a positive impact to business. Like any business initiative, it is of course critical that these IT initiatives receive management commitment, specialist expertise and the operational support required to deliver  on their objectives. These initiatives are as relevant to different levels of IT complexity, as they are stable or changing environments.  

Continuous Optimization

The services delivery model, whether in-house, in-sourced or out-sourced; aggregated or distributed; needs a regular reality check through peer benchmarking, in terms of cost, service levels and productivity. This aids decision-making in several key decisions, such as structure, delivery models, service level agreements, commercial negotiations, vendor selection and management. Optimization initiatives span across the layers of infrastructure and application management, driving strategic ROI over time, while often producing competitive pricing for services. There are often potential savings to be made through external audits of software licencing and services contracts when reconciled with invoicing, particularly so in complex and globally dispersed enterprises.   

Architecture Alignment

Enterprise Architecture is a must for any organization undergoing change, and change is a constant. To effectively align technology with the business drivers, this discipline is mandatory for all sizes. With technology options such as cloud, virtual desktops, analytics, mobility and collaboration, the CIO needs a framework to assess and roadmap the technology landscape, starting with any legacy and standalone systems. The pressure to enable new business models, with rapid consumerization, increasing use of smartphones and tablets, leads to enhanced data security concerns; all making for a complex landscape.

Programme & Portfolio

Staffing is expensive; knowledge is critical and productivity is paramount in ensuring optimized global programme management. Global programme management gets complex whether out-sourced or in-sourced, despite a pragmatic dashboard of KPIs and routine reviews. Assessing global programmes, using local expert interventions can make “business as usual” predictable and efficient. Likewise, a dispassionate assessment of the application portfolio, and a pragmatic life-cycle planning, can shed costs and unleash more bandwidth to innovate.

Governance and Relationship

Assess and drive the effective deployment of governance frameworks, such as COBIT and ITIL, to model and monitor IT processes and assets, ensuring appropriate policies and controls are in place. Critical relationships with business functions and the various components of service delivery, whether in-house, in-sourced or out-sourced, are effective and enable informed decision-making, management of risk and optimisation of value. This also works to minimize any misalignment of business and IT perspectives, the inefficiencies of short-term tactical IT deployments or unproductive use of resources and assets, and importantly the potential risks to data security and regulatory non-compliance.

Operational Excellence

Challenge and assess the design suitability of the IT function, testing for effectiveness, efficiency and customer satisfaction, including its structure, processes, governance and diversity. There are several popular frameworks, often used in combination, such as ITIL for service delivery, CMMI for maturity across the software engineering life-cycle and COBIT for governance and risk management. Often outsourced delivery centres and in-house teams, work through connected processes, making process integration a critical link, to achieve predictability. Process wastes like rework are the prime indicator for reviewing the effectiveness of the quality assurance processes, and their adherence. The need for developing a balanced scorecard for IT is evidence alignment with business needs is often ignored.

Technology Transformation

Assess the effectiveness and seek out optimization scope for the presently deployed technology transformations, such as a CRM or an ERP system. With specific tools and expertise, an audit of the “state of deployment” can yield directions for better user adoption, improved outcomes, identification of training gaps, expensive yet unused customizations, and opportunity to transition to “vanilla” features from expensive customizations.

Management Support Team

The final IT Initiative is the selection of a suitable IT management support team, who can work alongside the CIO in the quest for improving business outcomes. The choices available are wide, with boutique consultancies and big powerhouse consulting brands. An ideal team would be one with a combination of ground-level operations experience; specialist expertise in relevant areas; provider and user side experience; delivery track record in diverse sectors and cultures; and geographically located for ease of intervention. Obviously the team needs to be a trusted third-party completely aligned to CIOs goals, but a real advantage would be if it were dispersed and available locally in user and provider locations, allowing regular management support and interventions, to implement initiatives beyond providing independent assessments and advice.

Our  Services  portfolio is designed to add the valuable expertise, ground level experience to support your pursuit of these various initiatives. Please hover on the IT Initiatives menu tab and select your Initiative, to read more about the Services which align and support your chosen Initiatives.

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