01 Dec Deep Breath: It’s Time for your IT Health Check
Deep Breath: It’s Time for your IT Health Check
If only modern IT worked like modern medicine.
If you feel ill then you visit the trusty GP, an expert at analysing the full picture, who will refer you to the proper specialist. It’s a trusted system where we start with the full body and drill down to the pain points. With IT, the approach is somewhat backwards. What we now have is an array of general solutions for specific problems and disparate niche solutions to cobble together for a wholesome solution; a confusing array of hacksaws where a scalpel is needed. Where is the GP?
There is significant pressure on the CIO and the IT team to meet the demands of various stakeholders. Sometimes these demands are conflicting, at least on the surface, and each requires sufficient understanding of objectives and requirements in order to come to a decision that works for the various agendas and the company as a whole. Sophisticated IT demands and requirements have infiltrated very department.
- Finance wants to abandon spreadsheets and look to SAP and Oracle tools for predictive analysis.
- Payroll wants automated imports from centralised employee data rather than paper timesheets.
- Marketing is looking for metrics, delivery platforms and big data analysis.
- The company wants to introduce mobility across the business
- Industry regulation, legal and compliance requirements are driving technology needs
- The business is expanding, consolidating, downsizing or growing into new markets
- Sales is exploring new ways to service customers and/or meet their expectations
The essential question each time is: how do we run better?
Guess what? The CIO is the GP who has to sort it all out.
Whether the prescription is Cloud, as-a-Service options, complex software packages, an on premises infrastructure upgrade or a combination, a healthy IT department continues to pump out integrated technology decisions and solutions to service all the growing limbs of its business, and to suit the overall business objectives, including being asked to do better with less.
Today’s CIO is expected to leverage technology to help the company do a whole host of things, which can often start with improving productivity and extend to improving the bottom line through support for business growth, new revenue streams and more. New technologies and trends promise solutions, benefits and dramatic improvements, but one shouldn’t consider new technologies to automatically be the panacea you seek. Which ones are right for you? The answer will depend on your objectives, your internal skill sets and – fundamentally – the technology you already have in place.
First Things First – a Check-up
We recommend a review of existing IT inventory and capabilities to make sure, first of all, that your IT infrastructure is delivering your current requirements and, secondly, that it is sufficiently robust to support your new direction.
Keeping up with the pace of technology change means your organisation, like many, has likely acquired its IT infrastructure piecemeal. There’s nothing wrong with that, so long as you assess your IT capabilities periodically to ensure you are getting the most out of your investment and can meet additional requirements.
A technology health check is especially important when you are planning to transform your business in any way – from the way you support the manufacturing process to the way you deliver services to your clients. Before committing dollars, ensure your infrastructure (on premises or cloud) will meet the demands of any new system or app.
As business and practices move to take up the range of online, cloud, as-a-service and other opportunities, the critical factor to their success is their infrastructure – reliability, capability and support.
A detailed analysis of your current physical and/or virtualised environments will identify wastage and underutilisation, determine the right sizing for your needs, recommend performance improvements and, where applicable, suggest additional or alternate technologies to meet your business needs. Consider it a preventive measure, one necessary before applying any treatment.