Top 6 Ways to Reposition Your IT Systems

In most companies, corporate strategies are owned by the business, along with the necessary funding to fulfill that strategy. Business owns the associated requirement definitions that will execute the strategy. Corporate IT departments are there to implement solutions that satisfy those business requirements. Typically however, business stakeholders lack IT knowledge; they ‘own’ the requirements and the data those requirements produce, but it is IT that provides the solutions that leverage technology that creates that data; the business doesn’t always know what to ask IT for as they don’t understand the possibilities. Very often, these two groups do not necessarily work well together with IT feeling that they are simply ‘order takers’; not being seen as true partners of the business. Therefore, it is imperative for the fulfillment of any corporate strategy in a fiscally efficient way for these two groups to work very closely together to completely understand how leveraging technology can drive strategies forward.

Migrate your infrastructure to a cloud platform

Legacy IT departments create on-premise infrastructure solutions to support all of their IT needs. These solutions may be implemented across multiple physical locations and require very large investments in hardware and software to support a wide area network. This configuration can create many potential issues around backing up data, replicating data, security, etc. With very sophisticated cloud platforms (i.e. AWS) today, companies are migrating their on-premise solutions to the cloud and seeing immediate savings in their TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) expenditures, just by stabilizing their existing systems on a new cloud-based platform. Additionally, cloud migrations are highly-secure and offer tremendous flexibility in storage requirements that provide immediate scalability as companies grow and expand their offerings and geographies.

Use of Data

Business applications typically produce massive amounts of data, based on their requirements. The data is not ‘owned’ by IT, but rather by the requirement owners: the business stakeholders. The ability for Business stakeholders to understand this data and what it tells them is absolutely key to leveraging technology, creating scalability and driving meaningful business strategies that enhance customer experience and improve profitability. Understanding their data can lead to more effective change management, delivering solution improvements more quickly and saving on costs overall. Many business stakeholders do not understand the data that they are producing and lack user-friendly, efficient tools to help them analyze this data effectively. It is imperative that the business uses the necessary time and resources to accomplish this, as it will directly lead to long-term improvements and cost savings for the enterprise as a whole.

Use of the ‘Right’ Metrics – Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Understanding their data allows business stakeholders to determine what are the leading indicators that drive their business. Many businesses look at their data to determine how they have performed over a recent historical period. This data is considered to be ‘Lag’ data in that it only shows what has already happened, and by itself, is not predictive of future results. Companies that understand their data quickly start focusing in on those data elements that are predictive or are ‘Leading’ indicators of future results. Those metrics allow companies to see well in advance how they are performing and if they are going to achieve their goals. In this way, they may have the ability to make adjustments along they way, possibly ensuring a better result.

Business Process Improvements

Many companies stifle their ability to scale and grow by not addressing ever-green improvements to their business processes. As an example, companies will continue to add employees to handle increased workloads of emails and phone calls, both internal and external facing, based on siloed business processes. It may be very advantageous for them to look at their business processes end to end to see if a Case Management solution could drastically decrease the number of necessary communications. The resulting Return on Investment (ROI) could be very substantial. Leveraging technology to satisfy business process requirements should be periodically evaluated, as new and more efficient technologies are appearing more frequently, each having potentially large ROI.

Have a Digital Strategy Roadmap

Any business to business or business to consumer strategy today should be moving toward digitalization. Having easy to access and use web-based solutions that allow for maximum self-service capability is essential for continued growth. Reducing more traditional methods of interacting with all customers (i.e. email, paper, phone, etc.) should be a priority in all technical and business roadmap strategies. The resulting improvements in revenue growth and customer satisfaction far exceed the cost of implementing a digital strategy.

Strategy Roadmap

Most important to repositioning IT platforms is to maintain alignment with corporate long-term strategies as closely as possible. Most large scale enterprise solutions require very long Discoveries in months and potentially another year to implement. Not understanding the over-arching corporate direction and timings can make the leveraging of technology to support them almost impossible. IT organizations should be at the corporate strategy table, providing possible solutions and time tables for the most important strategy implementations. Solutions should not be implemented that do not directly support and further the corporate strategy.


Not sure where to get started?

Start building your strategy roadmap with Innovative today by booking a NO CHARGE 2-hour consulting engagement with one of our Certified Cloud Solution Architects.

5 Steps To Address Your Illusion of Control Over Internal I.T.

The only thing worse than a lack of control is the illusion of control. Deficiencies in IT controls could result in a serious breach for a company, or worse – a CIO’s job. Despite these drastic consequences, improving the system of internal controls remains a low priority for many IT organizations and their leaders.

You don’t need to implement every control, but to maximize your risk mitigation at a low cost you should focus on your organization’s greatest risks. How do you begin to understand your organization’s greatest risks you ask? Get the ball rolling with these five steps:

  1. Assess Your Need for Control – Identify and analyze the severity of IT’s risks; the level of control will be determined by the severity of the risk
  2. Assess Control Coverage – Map current controls to risks and create an action plan to close the gaps in your current control coverage
  3. Establish Controls – Develop and communicate controls effectively to ensure adoption
  4. Monitor and Evaluate Controls – Adapt to changing risks by continuously and effectively monitoring and evaluating your system of internal controls
  5. Assemble Proof of Effective Controls – Provide artifacts to auditors demonstrating your effective system of internal controls

Want to get started but don’t know how, or simply don’t have the time? Contact Innovative Solutions today to gain back control of your I.T.

– Powered by Info-Tech Research Group

Don’t Forget to Ask Questions! And Other IT Tips

As all businesses become more and more digital, and technology’s disruptive effects are felt across industries, it’s important for CEOs and business unit leaders to keep in mind worst case scenarios.

Technology can help companies streamline operations, improve customer relationships, and develop insights never before possible through innovative data analytics. That being said, when companies invest too quickly in these technologies, they can expose them to new 21st century risks.


1. Data Security: Before looking to build a robust disaster recovery plan, look to how you can prevent disasters in the first place.

As companies start looking to capture more customer, supplier, and employee information, questions of how to protect that data jump to the top of the list. A majority of disasters that shut systems down can be tied back to security breaches, or malicious viruses.

2.  System Failure: It’s a lot easier to talk about pros than cons. Don’t make this mistake, and make sure before signing any proposals, you ask your IT dept/partner how you’re going to be supported in the event off a crash.  

The more value a technology drives for your business, the more devastation it will cause when it fails.  Despite this fact, many companies get so caught up in the benefits of technology, they forget to stop and think about what to do when it fails.

3.  Angry Employees: Make sure as your business becomes more digital you keep an eye on who can see what, and how much risk that information could pose.

The disgruntled employee has always been a concern of management teams and HR departments alike.  In our ever connected world of digital business, they now have the ability to wreak havoc, and potentially access data they couldn’t before.

Preventative Measures

1.  Have your systems tested

The best way to know your security holes, is to have a company come in and perform tests. These tests take a variety of forms, but essentially focus on trying to break the network, and gain access where it shouldn’t be given. The information gained from these tests can help you create better security policies going forward. Companies can also perform disaster recovery and backup tests that run a potential recovery scenario and ensure that all data can be retrieved in the amount of time needed.

2.  Document, Document, Document

Thinking about the types of problems that could face your organization is a good start, but taking the necessary steps to document them into formal plans and policies is 100x better.  Whether it’s your disaster recovery, business continuity (for the difference see this previous post), HIPAA security, or employee termination plans, accurately documenting and distributing to your team will help people stay on the same page.

3.  Ask Questions

When learning about the benefits of technology, some business leaders shy away from asking questions for fear of looking dumb, or offending a partner/vendor.  No matter how good your IT department, your partners, or your process/procedures, it is up to you as the leader of a business or business unit to know the consequences of your IT decisions.  Ask a lot of questions, and if you don’t know what questions to ask, make sure to find a partner who can help define what you’re looking for, and ask some good questions for you.


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