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Case Study:

IT Assessment – Full Assessment

Background

Having completed their strategic business plan, the company wanted to ascertain IT’s ability to deliver an aggressive set of technology-based business initiatives. Users were generally happy with the IT department and no major outages had occurred over the past two years.

What We Did

Harvard Partners began by understanding the company’s business objectives and IT organization. Over a 3-week period, we interviewed 66 people consisting of executive sponsors, senior managers, company staff, and IT staff located in every US office and many global locations, as well as telecommuters. This created a qualitative framework and baseline for deeper exploration into the company’s IT capabilities.

We identified security, business continuity, disaster recovery, and data centers as areas needing more in-depth analysis.

We did an on-site visit with the outsourced network and server monitoring vendor to learn about their company, how they operate with the company’s IT department, and their impressions of IT.

We looked inside IT to evaluate staff skills, processes, implementation of technology, current technology portfolio, and client analysis and communication skills. Quantitative scorecards were used to measure the current state of IT.

Weekly meetings were held with executive sponsors to share findings in a timely manner. This provided direction and a better understanding of the historical context behind some findings.

What We Achieved

At our recommendation the company implemented an IT Steering Committee comprising senior business leaders and empowered them to set IT’s priorities. This helped IT become better aligned with business users and strategic business priorities.

The move of their corporate headquarters was fully outsourced and IT staff were able to provide day-to-day support while being “general contractors” for the move.

With our help, vulnerabilities were remediated, and updated policies were established to prevent future issues.

A more systematic approach to IT planning and decision making, focused on risk mitigation and user acceptance, is being followed.

Follow-On Activities

Harvard Partners was asked to return a few months later to perform a technology and risk assessment for the company’s upcoming corporate office move.

Summary

Industry: Non-Profit
Scope: Corporate-wide exposure
Impact: A clear understanding of how well the company’s IT organization operates for a company of its size and complexity and where there are opportunities for improvement.
Duration: 3 months

Harvard Partners Skillsets

  • Business analysis
  • Project management

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ABOUT HARVARD PARTNERS

Harvard Partners brings practical solutions to strategic IT issues in a collaborative and engaging manner. We inspire excellence from IT organizations by identifying opportunities for improved performance, minimizing risk, and training and coaching staff.