Whether you are fixing a specific technical problem or evaluating the implementation of a new technology, changes to your technology environment can be more impactful if you have a clear understanding of your IT operations and processes. An assessment is the first step in gaining that clarity.
Assessments and roadmaps are intended to assist you in defining your destination and the best route to get there. An IT assessment provides a comprehensive perspective of your current IT capabilities and serves as a benchmark for the performance of your IT infrastructure. You may be considering making changes to your business processes; an assessment can provide you with the data necessary to create a sound business plan. A roadmap will provide the direction necessary to make it happen and will move you closer to your objectives.
For example, if your organization is going through a merger or acquisition, an IT assessment will look at how to integrate the different IT systems, plan what the new end state will look like, and evaluate the return on investment to outsourcing IT versus keeping it in-house.
At a high level, an IT assessment and roadmap will address key areas in the business including:
Are the current IT plans and processes appropriate and how should they evolve over the next few years;
Is the current IT organization model sufficient to support all the business units;
Are current IT expenditure levels appropriately focused on cost/benefit and what future funding levels should be anticipated over the next few years;
Is the technology platform, applications and architecture sufficiently robust to support anticipated growth over the next few years; and
Are the IT risks acceptable and manageable both now and over the next few years?
Today’s IT Landscape – Looking at the Whole Picture
Today’s IT landscape has made it much more difficult for CIO/CTOs to effectively plan and implement solutions needed to advance the organization’s business strategies and goals. Cloud based computing, mobile technology and cyber security have made the ability of CIO/CTOs to see the future that much more difficult.
The coordination of business process throughout the entire organization has never been so critical for competitive success, which has made developing a complete and actionable IT strategy more complex, riskier and more crucial. Before an organization can structure a roadmap to their desired future state, it is important to comprehend the state of the organization’s current IT capability and function.
Because of this complexity, an organization thinking about conducting an IT assessment should ensure that they are looking at the whole picture including:
IT leadership, management, organization and governance;
IT skills, competencies and experience;
IT department functions and processes;
Budgets and spending;
Applications, databases and tools;
Infrastructure and communications including networks and facilities; and
Vendor relationships, contracts and service level agreements.
In today’s current, quickly evolving IT environment, an IT assessment is critical to providing a snapshot of your company’s computing systems; it also provides your organization perspective on the effectiveness of its system, staff, budget, vendors, procedures and company policies.
What Results Can Be Expected From Performing an IT Assessment?
The key result of any successful IT Assessment is to clarify how the organization leverages IT to achieve its objectives.
Typically, the outcome of an IT assessment might be:
Enhancements to key IT processes,
Implementation of new IT metrics, service level agreements and performance reports,
Development or revision of IT strategies and plans,
Changes to IT governance structures (e.g., improved prioritization processes),
Enhanced/improved technical architectures, and
New or revised sourcing arrangements.
Conducting an IT assessment is particularly important when there has been a change in senior management, a change in business direction, or when the marketplace commands that new ways of doing business are required. The IT assessment will help your organization explore new ways of improving its return on IT investments and enabling improved business performance. It is not unusual to find savings in spending of up to 10% or improvement in performance that lead to a 5-15% productivity lift.
The Litcom Approach
Given all the advancements in IT, it is difficult for companies to assess this value using internal resources. At Litcom, we recognize that maximizing your technology investment and efficiently supporting the business is the path to competitive advantage. We can help you improve technology ROI and align IT investments with your overall business strategy. For more information, contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org