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The Only IT Operational Maturity Model You Really Need

David Eichkorn
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For most of us, finishing school meant never having to worry about grades again. But what if we told you it was time to grade your business technology strategy? If your company were graded for its level of sophistication, how do you think it would do?

You can, in fact, measure the overall reliability, security and sophistication of an IT system and see where you stand. We call that an Operational Maturity Level (OML), and it’s one of the best ways to make sure your technology is keeping up with the challenges we all face in today’s networked, digital world.

So, how can you ace an IT maturity model test? We’ve got you covered.

Why Do You Need an IT Operational Maturity Model?

It's hard to find an organization whose success doesn't depend on IT — whether in support of employees, partners, or customers and other users. An IT maturity model is a benchmark that can assess an IT infrastructure in relation to how it serves your people, processes, technology or all three.

This evaluation is not a process to simply determine if you have enough RAM in your server or if you have the right antivirus tools. It’s a much grander, more holistic process that assesses where you are now and where you need to go when it comes to how your IT can help you achieve your goals.

You can even think of operational maturity as a strategy. At Elevity, we work with technology management using our 4S approach: Strategy, Security, Solutions and Support. An operational maturity model lets you see and manage long-term goals proactively, which is the basis for a solid technology management strategy.

We use maturity modeling to help clients understand where they are from a technology standpoint and, based on their mission and goals, where they want to be. You can apply an IT maturity model, or a maturity assessment, to identify gaps between your current and future state. This assessment helps you create a path where you can make improvements over time.

A maturity assessment provides an indication of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Our focus is on aligning the strategic and business value for a business, how technology supports the business, how it’s governed and to what degree it’s aligned with your needs.

What Does an IT Operational Maturity Model Entail?

Operational maturity is about the consistency, reliability and resilience of the IT infrastructure, as well as the way it’s managed and maintained

Our model measures how well your processes are documented, defined and conform to expectations. This is important for productivity as well as legal and regulatory concerns.

The first goal of our Operational Maturity Level assessment is to produce a unique report on the relationship of a business and its information systems. Our OML has proven extremely valuable to key personnel understanding the roles Information systems play in the business.

This is where our next “S” comes into play: Security. How secure are your systems? Do the right people know how to manage them and keep them secured? Are there process issues getting in the way of proper IT management? Process issues could not only prevent you from reaching your full potential, but jeopardize your security — and entire business — as well.

An organization at the beginning of this investigation might find that they have little or no formal measurement of workloads and processes, and that management makes decisions based on subjective observations. Meanwhile, a more sophisticated organization will have Service Level Agreements and performance metrics in place for all business functions, including those which keep networks and infrastructure secure.

Learn More: How to Evaluate IT Help Desk Partners

What to Do After an IT Maturity Assessment

It’s sometimes obvious that something is holding you back. It might be in the form of frequent outages, lost productivity, security vulnerabilities or unhappy customers. When you dig deeper, you may find that database performance isn’t scalable enough, disaster recovery isn’t fast enough or network security isn’t strong enough. 

All these things point to the fact that your operational maturity isn’t scaling in line with business needs. When you work with us, our OML assessment will identify the specific problems that lead to these issues. That’s part of our third “S”: Solutions.

The application of a maturity model isn't a one-time exercise. It's important to measure progress toward your hoped-for future state and strive for continuous improvement. IT practices and technologies are a moving target, and it’s easy to become complacent after you reach the target state. To avoid complacency, we encourage you to review your IT maturity model periodically along with its application to teams, business units and the organization as a whole.

We also invite you to work with us in strengthening your overall technology management. That’s our fourth “S”: Support. We can work together to find the best ways to leverage your resources for a productive and secure IT system that works to move you forward. Want more details on what makes our approach different from traditional IT models? Click the link below to get started on receiving  your free copy of our infographic, Traditional IT vs Technology Management.

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