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How to Tell if You Need an IT Service Assessment

Aug 7, 2014 5:00:00 AM

by Charles Bystock

it-service-assessmentIf you’re considering an IT service assessment, you’re thinking strategically about your corporate future. Is the timing right? Do you need an IT assessment now?

When was the last time you conducted an IT service assessment?

If your response to that question was, “um …,“ that indicates it’s been too long. Or, worse, that your organization has never undergone this kind of self-study. Either way, it’s definitely time for an IT service assessment.

Like a full physical health checkup, an IT assessment is something you should schedule regularly. It gives you an in-depth look at your current status, and that’s important even when everything seems to be going fine. One fact you can count on in today’s business environment is that things will change, usually without warning. You have to be ready.

You probably have a system in place that enables you to track certain service factors against a few key performance indicators. That’s certainly a good plan, but it’s easy to overlook indirect costs of providing IT services, and you might even miss the signs of budding service problems.

Over time these things accumulate, and your picture becomes skewed. On the surface, everything appears to be going well, but in truth you’re basing critical strategic decisions on erroneous data. So you have to delve deeper on occasion, to catch potential problems and fix them before they start to erode the quality of service your customers and employees expect.

A comprehensive IT service assessment allows you to inspect every detail.

You’re delivering something, but is it the best possible service?

There’s more to quality service than simply being up or down. An IT service assessment can help you see whether you’re achieving all your possible service goals, and if not, where you need to improve. That could be any or all of these:

  • Reducing energy costs.
  • Scaling power consumption to output need.
  • Improving overall efficiency.
  • Better managing capacity.
  • Sharing resources.
  • Simplification and streamlining processes.
  • Reducing cost per unit.
  • Ensuring the fastest possible response rate.

Consider these questions, all of which pertain directly to your ability to provide reliable, consistent service quality:

  • Are you as flexible as you need to be?
  • Are you as fully automated as you could be?
  • Are you making the most effective use of IT personnel?
  • Should you consider outsourcing some IT services, or significantly restructuring how you handle service delivery?
  • Can you smoothly and easily integrate new business applications?

Change is in the air.

As CIO, you’re pushing for significant IT transformation, but you need a business case the C-suite can trust. Or maybe change has been mandated from upstairs and it’s up to you as CIO to make it happen -- soonest and at least cost, of course. An IT service assessment is a great starting block for that sprint toward the future.

With a clear, complete picture of your current capabilities, and a list of opportunities for improvement, you can identify the smartest options to accomplish whatever change is in the offing. Your enterprise can become more powerful right now, and remain poised for action in the future. Your competitiveness is assured.

One change a growing number of companies are addressing is their “green footprint.” Think of sustainability as your environmental friendliness quotient. You can evaluate that as part of your IT service assessment, and it’s smart to do so, because often the choices you make to improve service delivery and costs also reduce power consumption.

Increasing your focus on sustainability can make you new friends in the accounting department, because you could save money. And it will certainly make you more popular among customers and the community.

It all starts with an IT service assessment.

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