We have often heard middle market client executives say, ‘We continue to spend a lot of money on our IT Infrastructure, but how do we know that we are getting our money’s worth? Are our existing technology and software investments effectively meeting our current needs? Are our IT/IS platforms serving the company’s current life cycle needs and are they scalable and flexible enough to support future life cycle needs? In short, does my current IT/IS infrastructure support the company’s strategic direction?” We hear these questions because lower middle market companies typically have IT infrastructures that are made up of systems that are patched together rather fully integrated.
Group50 recommends gauging IT with the same type of balanced scorecard metrics used for any other strategic corporate asset:
How is your IT infrastructure opening new revenue opportunities? Do your applications and/or your computer hardware/network take cost out of your business? How well is your infrastructure utilized? Are your IT investment decisions supported by a Total Cost of Ownership analysis?
Are your IT investments designed to enhance the customer experience and attract new ones? Today’s clients expect to be engaged where, when, and how they demand. Mobile, and computer telephony integration (CTI) technologies have opened up multiple avenues to do so. Big data and Business Intelligence applications provide near real time insights into customer behaviors and needs. Cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings have brought the affordability within the reach of medium and even small businesses.
3. Business Processes
Do your IT systems support your business processes or do they dictate them? How irritated have you felt when confronted with a nonsensical process only to be told by the rep ‘I’m sorry, but our system only works this way. Your systems should promote innovation, not stifle it.
4. Employee Productivity
Collaboration, knowledge management, and document management systems are just some examples of what has driven employee satisfaction and productivity through the roof. How well is your company leveraging these?
Even as you evaluate your IT infrastructure investments with this framework, remember to consider whether to run some of these systems in-house or ‘outsource’ them to an external service provider. Does operating this technology tie in to your core competencies or is it taking valuable cycles away from you working on your mission?
For additional insight into the challenges faced by middle market companies take a look at Middle Market Growing Pains.
Our Group50 experts have developed an IT Infrastructure Company Physical® especially for middle market companies that help answer the questions posed at the start of this blog. This is an assessment, derived from years of practical experience in IT strategic planning and execution, that matches your business strategy and goals with your IT investments. It delivers an executive report that identifies where you are getting your money’s worth, where you are not, and a Digital Opportunities dashboard that highlights ways to further your digital leverage through process engineering, analytics, mobility, automation, or outsourcing. Our approach can help mid-market companies determine how to best leverage market services such as a Cloud pay-as-you-go, scale-on-demand model to take out cost and advance agility.
If you would like to learn more how you can improve your IT infrastructure investments please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact the head of our Digital Technology Practice, Shirish Néné at email@example.com, or call him at 703-201-3936.
About the Author: Shirish Néné is the head of Group50’s Digital Technology Practice. Shirish and the Group50 team are a cadre of veteran executives with a track record of melding people, process, and technology into game changing strategies and tactical advances across a wide range of industries, ranging from start-ups to Fortune 50 companies. Our experience is reflected in a field-tested methodology and framework for establishing Digital Technology in its natural role of a strategic corporate asset. Our perspective from the trenches to the boardroom has instilled in us a respect for, and the ability to fit into a variety of corporate cultures. #group50, #digitaltechnology, #companyphysical #IT, #ITstrategy
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