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Achieving enterprise IT maturity

By Charles Wilson

There are so many types of businesses today and they all have one thing in common: They all want to make money.

To make money, businesses need to deliver value to their customer. As self-help guru Jim Rohn stated, “If you just give enough people what they want you will get what you want.”

Part of delivering value to customers is providing the services and products those customers need. Today, this can’t be done without an IT organization, and today’s IT organization must be mature to be effective. IT maturity is a must.

So how do I define maturity? The most mature IT organization are those that have the Agile Continuous Deployment process in place. This process has four attributes that an organization has to adopt:

  • All work is planned
  • Continuous delivery across all IT organization is part of daily operations
  • All organization have implemented a feedback loop with a continuous improvement process.
  • All organizations monitor the improvement process for continuous delivery of process improvements

If your organization has some of these attributes, then your organization has room for improvement. And even if your organization has all of these, there is a good possibility that a group within your organization doesn’t have all of these attributes implemented.

Okay, now that I have said that, I want to raise three topics that are at the heart of a mature IT organization.

The first is Hybrid Cloud, achieved when an organization takes its current virtual environment and extends it to the cloud. A lot of organizations today have VMware environments, for example. They use VMware to get the most out of their hardware and to simplify the deployment of infrastructure. Cloud service providers have started offering these types of services in the cloud, allowing enterprise IT customers to extend their on-premise VMware infrastructure into the cloud.

Hybrid cloud provides both rapid deployment of a new VMware infrastructure and Disaster Recovery capabilities with less overhead and cost than maintaining a large on-premise data center. 

The next is DevOps. Every time I bring up this topic with a customer, it seems that they have it on their radar but they just don’t have the time to implement it. DevOps is a massive way of changing everything you know about IT.

It’s really about just about everything your organization does. But you don’t have to change everything your organization is doing to get started with DevOps. The simplest and easiest way to get started with DevOps is the grass roots approach. This approach works with small businesses, the Forturne 500, and everything in between

It works like this: A group within IT, such as the server deployment team, can implement parts of DevOps. Slowly a IT organization, project by project and organization by organization, can adopt DevOps practices and processes. Before you know it, the whole IT organization can say, yes, we have a DevOps practice and we do Continuous Delivery.

Did you catch that? I just tied DevOps and IT maturity together. Most organizations that are good at IT, after all, are also good at DevOps. And most organization that are good at DevOps are good at continuous delivery, which is one of the key attributes for being a mature IT organization.

I can’t finish this blog post without mentioning Process Maturity. When an organization adopts cloud, one of the many things they have to do, and I mean they absolutely have to do, is create, implement, and mandate a Process Maturity process.

You may be thinking your organization implemented cloud just fine. Maybe it did, but how many road blocks or stumbling blocks did you run into? I have heard over and over that an organization’s cloud migration didn’t go as expected. Why? Because the processes they had in place didn’t migrate to the cloud very easily, and the organization didn’t have a defined way of improving their current IT processes.

Again, a mature IT organization must have process maturity featuring a continuous feedback loop for improving processes so the organization can improve and change as business changes.

To summarize and wrap up this post with a nice bow on top, IT organizations today are adopting cloud incredibly fast. Most organization want to reduce their spend and gain the ability to provide products and services on demand to their customers. Enterprise IT maturity, or enterprise cloud maturity, takes a mature IT organization. Hybrid Cloud, DevOps, and Process Maturity are all aspects of maturing your organization and helping your IT organization deliver value to your customers.

LRS IT Solutions has a team of professional that has experience in helping IT organizations gain maturity. To find out how we can help, fill out the form below.

About the author

Charles Wilson is our Cloud Solutions Advisor. He has extensive experience in designing and implementing cloud solutions for companies in such industries as financial services, real estate, manufacturing, and retail. He holds certifications as an IBM Certified Enterprise Architect, AWS Technical Professional, and AWS TCO and Cloud Economics.