There’s no denying, IT leaders today are increasingly challenged. In addition to overseeing the usual day-to-day activities and responsibilities of their organization’s IT group, they must also anticipate and address emerging industry opportunities – cybersecurity, data and analytics, cloud migration, skill gaps, innovation, and others – with the potential to impact their team’s performance, regulatory compliance, and core business. The mix of short-term simplification and medium-term capability and compliance innovations present multiple timeframes for end-state design and change management. And it is essential to develop an actionable roadmap which aligns the IT group and the business on the path to jointly achieving near-term and medium-term objectives.
What are IT diagnostics and why is objectivity important?
IT diagnostics take a comprehensive look at and establish benchmarks for the IT organization’s capabilities across several prominent areas, including IT budget (gaining perspective on the company’s IT spend at a macro level and relative to the company’s industry, size, and functions); IT leadership competencies (evaluation of a company’s IT leadership against benchmarks to identify gaps); associated core business processes (evaluation of the multitude of internal processes to again identify gaps); and IT business impact (gaining input from the IT group’s customers – often internal executives and leaders – and comparing that input to the IT organization’s own evaluation to measure productivity and remediate when necessary). A more specific list of examined areas includes:
- IT budget allocations
- IT leadership and organization
- IT and business process maturity
- Architecture and infrastructure
- Data flows and warehousing
- Business intelligence
- Vendor management
- 3rd-party applications and tools
- Ability of IT to support the company’s business needs
- Application stack
- Approach to application development and integration
- Causes for downtime and other operational problems
Since there’s no one perfectly standardized approach to manage and mitigate IT challenges and complexities, performing a 6-8 week comprehensive diagnostic like the above will quickly and efficiently form a perspective on both an IT group’s current state and its near-term, medium-term, and end-state priorities.
And then comes objectivity.
The vast majority of larger strategy and IT consulting firms have acquired a myriad of proprietary software firms (and less frequently, hardware) to complement full IT solution services and implementation. In addition, the largest firms offer Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and related ‘managed services’ solutions for many core processes and technology stack solutions. It is inevitable that any IT strategy engagement with one of these large traditional firms will result in a recommendation which includes their own outsourced service or technology. This presents a major dilemma when the goal of an IT diagnostic is objectivity and practicality, without any predisposition. An objective, independent third party – one that isn’t pushing its own proprietary solutions – is more uniquely positioned to offer that experienced and unbiased perspective.
Objectively diagnose and plan your future technology roadmap with HighPoint Associates.
HighPoint’s IT Strategy lineup includes technology strategists and tech leaders from an array of verticals to help businesses successfully navigate their future roadmap. Our leaders have worked in both the boardroom and the server room, and use their expertise to ensure our solutions simplify without compromising on effectiveness, enabling your overall business strategy. HPA offers strategy solutions in current and future IT architecture related to ongoing business strategy and operational change; project management resources on large technology and IT-related efforts; and IT operations, governance, and organizational design and capability reviews. Contact us today to start the conversation.