Having completed its 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.
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 conducted 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. Our team 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.
- Recommended the implementation of 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.
- Fully outsourced the move of corporate headquarters, which allowed IT staff to provide day-to-day support while being “general contractors” for the move.
- Remediated any vulnerabilities and updated and established policies to prevent future issues.
- Developed a more systematic approach to IT planning and decision making, focusing on risk mitigation and user acceptance.
- 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.