Pretend you’re tending a garden. You need to water it, change the soil, and make sure your flowers get plenty of sunshine. But overwatering means droopy, sad flowers, and lack of sunshine means they’ll shrivel up! Nurturing a flower means paying attention to that flower’s needs, reassessing those needs, and changing your game plan accordingly. The same is also true when growing your business; a company can only flourish if you properly care for it.
When it comes to your IT Maturity needs, you might think it’s a simple matter of improving the 6 elements covered in our eBook. On a basic level, this idea is true—a mature organization should value tech, have strong cybersecurity posture, etc. But much like a flower, if you focus too much on one element (such as tech optimization) and not enough on another element (like employee knowledge), your business won’t truly mature. Instead, you’ll have overwatered one need and ignored another, thus stymying your business’s growth.
Nurturing IT Maturity requires a holistic, constantly updating approach. In order to be effective, this approach requires an understanding of your company’s IT challenges, strengths, and general culture. And the best way to understand your culture is by speaking with your employees and looking to your stats. From there, you can reevaluate your strategy and switch tactics to better mature and sustain your IT.
Learn Where You Need to Improve: Speak with Your Employees
Instead of assuming your business’s strengths and weaknesses, speak with your employees directly. Do they understand the tech they’re working with on a daily basis? And is that tech outdated, slow, or otherwise ineffective? Additionally, do your employees value tech? Do they understand how it plays into your business culture? By asking these questions, you’ll have a better idea of your employees’ knowledge and values, as well as the overall state of your company’s technology.
For Hard Evidence, Look to the Data
As helpful as employee responses are, some questions are best answered by clear, hard data. While an employee might think he exhibits good cybersecurity posture, a test can reveal areas in which his knowledge is lacking. Similarly, an audit of your technology can reveal outdated operating systems, faulty software, and superfluous machinery. Thus, by analyzing your employee knowledge and technological effectiveness through tests, you’ll have a better idea of what to prioritize (and how).
Growing Your Business Means Reevaluating Your Strategy
Based on employee and statistical feedback, you’ll want to reevaluate your strategy. For example, maybe you’ve spent the last month focusing on tech optimization. Now, you have the newest, updated laptops… but none of your employees know how to use them. In order to utilize these laptops, your strategy must shift toward enhancing employee knowledge and cybersecurity training. Additionally, you’ll want to consider how these laptops can affect future goals and influence the adoption and value of newer tech.
Adjusting to a company’s growth/contraction cycle is like garden maintenance: the needs change with the seasons. In other words, in order to truly optimize your technology culture, each tech decision must be adaptable and consider all aspects of IT Maturity. If one of these elements isn’t considered, your entire strategy “wilts” and becomes ineffective.
IT Maturity can be a difficult concept, because it’s actually multiple concepts. It involves cybersecurity, influence and adoption of tech, future goals, employee knowledge, and tech value and optimization. Failure to focus on any one of these elements can hurt your company. Similarly, focusing too much on one element and not enough on another creates a lopsided business. In this sense, nurturing IT Maturity is simple: by focusing on everything, everything improves.
If you’re interested in growing your business, start by growing your IT Maturity. Talk to your employees, embrace your data, and continue updating and reassessing your strategy. Through a holistic focus and constantly updated plan, your IT Maturity will blossom and your company will continue to grow.