Improve your IT maturity to better achieve your business objectives.
We know that improving the maturity of an overall organization reduces risk while improving scale, effectiveness, and resilience. Developing your IT maturity to better achieve business goals works much the same way.
In the past, maturity models were typically the domain of large enterprises. However, IT Maturity can be a game changer in the SMB space.
These days, all businesses are technology businesses. The growth of a technology organization takes place in stages. From ad hoc to fully optimized, where does your business fall on the IT maturity spectrum?
Early Stages—Fight or Flight Mode
In the beginning stages of the IT journey, organizations operate in an ad hoc manner. Typically, they have what they need to get the job done, but they can’t proactively manage or plan for their use of technology in a strategic way.
These growing organizations live in a fight or flight mode when it comes to their technology. Tech is implemented haphazardly, because it’s a quick patch or there’s no other way to do something. They react to problems as they happen, which leads to significant disruption in the flow of their business.
As organizations become more mature, they slowly gain control of their processes and systems. Internal discussions focus on how technology can be planned and staged to solve problems.
However, that doesn’t always mean the business will act on these recommendations. Activity remains reactive and focused on putting out the fires causing the most friction.
Mid-level Stages—Seeing IT as a Strategic Enabler
At the mid-level stage of IT maturity, organizations start to tip the scale in the right direction. First, they change how their existing technology is supported.
Tech support transitions to a proactive model as companies outsource to Managed Services Providers (MSPs) to support their needs. Now, the organization has the bandwidth to introduce standards and best practices.
Realizing the benefits of proactive IT, interesting things start to take root in the business. Now, the lexicon driving the business forward is measured processes. Leaders leverage technology to respond to market forces, while the timely support, availability of IT, and abundant data becomes invaluable.
Most importantly, business leaders start to see IT as strategic enabler, not simply a cost.
As the company increases its reliance on technology to serve its markets, a highly-skilled workforce is necessary. Having the right people in the right roles—not just IT roles—is crucial.
High-level Stages—Well-oiled IT Machine
The final stage of IT maturity is occupied by the top performers. Highly-mature IT organizations heavily leverage technology to differentiate themselves.
Historically, business leaders would approach their IT department with a problem. In mature organizations, IT is part of the operational team that uncovers problems that need to be solved.
To strengthen the bond between IT and the business, it’s common to find tech personnel embedded in operational areas. A tightly woven collaboration leads to better decision-making and more qualified investments.
Highly-mature organizations are strategic. They never chase the latest technology hoping it will take their business to a next level. They understand how to leverage technology best and invest in the tools and expertise required to ensure their investments pay off. Results are qualified and monitored by KPI metrics, which allow the business to adjust course in near real-time.
Competition for company resources will always be a tight-rope walk. To optimize those resources, you must work on maturing your IT organization.
Recognizing the importance of IT maturity is the first step you can take towards aligning technology with your business objectives.