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Maturity model misconceptions debunked

Per Bauer, Director International Services, TeamQuest | Feb. 17, 2016
Per Bauer, Director of International Services, TeamQuest writes about how analytical processes can be employed to enhance and optimise a company’s infrastructure performance.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

A maturity model, a system that employs advanced analytical processes to optimise an infrastructure's performance, has become an increasingly important part of modern IT business practices. But some organisations remain unclear on how to utilise this system properly, which can often end up doing more harm than good.

Here are the most common misconceptions about moving through a maturity model, and a few tips on how to get past them.

Start with an end goal in mind

Technology is constantly evolving and transforming faster than companies can keep up. When considering a transformation of any scale, it is imperative that a guide be put in place.

When it comes to IT, there's always room for improvement. However, problem areas aren't always immediately obvious, and it can be difficult to predict when or where to begin. TeamQuest's IT service optimisation maturity model serves to illustrate just that. 

In the five levels (Chaotic, Reactive, Proactive, Service, and Value) of the model, 53% of IT organisations rank in the first: "Chaotic," meaning that they lack the ability to handle fluctuating business demands and troubleshooting problems as they arise.

TeamQuest's ITSO maturity model

The key to taking the first step down the path towards IT service optimisation is actually knowing where it is you'd like to end up. Without a concrete end-goal, you'll likely climb out of the model's first level only to find you don't know how to reach the next one. Any maturity model can help guide you along your way, but where you let it take you is ultimately your responsibility.

A maturity model isn't a ladder

One of the most common mistakes made when moving through a maturity model is thinking of it as a ladder. Businesses start on the bottom rung, and once they're comfortable there, they then start trying to figure out what to do next. This creates a tunnel vision, which can make optimisation more difficult or lead organisations down the wrong path altogether.

Forrester predicts that 2016 will be a pivotal year for companies adapting to digitally savvy and empowered customers and when CIOs will begin to embrace design thinking. As such, there is the imperative that businesses take a step back, look at the big picture and assess the situation in its entirety.

A maturity model can be likened to a flight of stairs with a set "top floor" - each individual step is important, but take one away and the entire structure crumbles to the ground. Familiarise yourself with both the overall architecture and each step of the model ahead of time, then use them to guide the decisions you make throughout your journey. Doing so will reduce the likelihood of short-sighted mistakes that might come back to haunt you a little further down the road.


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