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The Only IT Operational Maturity Model You Really Need

David Eichkorn
03/18/2021
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For most of us, finishing school meant never having to worry about grades again. But what if I told you it was time to take a quiz and get a grade for your business technology strategy? If your company was to get a grade for its level of sophistication, how do you think it would do?

It turns out that you can measure the overall reliability, security and sophistication of an IT system. We call it an Operational Maturity Level (OML), and it is one of the best tools for making sure your technology is keeping up with the challenges we all face in today’s networked, digital world.

Here’s what you need to know to ace the OML pop quiz.

WHY DO YOU NEED OML?

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.

First, I want to explain what an OML is not. OML is not a process to determine if you have enough RAM in your server or if you have the right anti-virus tools. OML is different from a security or network assessment where those tools are specifically focused around the specifications of the technology and tools to manage it.

At Elevity, 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. At Elevity, we focus on aligning the strategic and business value for a business, focused on how technology supports the business, how it’s governed and to what degree it is aligned with your needs.

WHAT’S IN A MATURITY MODEL?

Operational maturity is about the consistency, reliability and resilience of the IT infrastructure, as well as the way it’s managed and maintained. The OML will measure 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. The OML has proven extremely valuable to key personnel understanding the role Information systems play in the business.

For example, an organization at the beginning of this investigation might find that they have little or no formal measurement of workloads and processes and 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.

FIGURING OUT WHAT NEEDS WORK

For many organizations, it is obvious something might be holding your organization back. It might be in the form of frequent outages, lost productivity 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. The OML will identify the specific problems that lead to these issues.

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

If you’d like help with an IT Operational Maturity Level assessment or want a security assessment or employee training, please reach out to the managed technology experts at Elevity.

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