"The performance of world-class IT organisations demonstrates that it is possible to 'do more with less,' minimise cost, and deliver higher qualities of service," says Reeves.
Finally, The Hackett Group identified four best practices that set world-class IT organisations apart from their more conventional peers, says The Hackett Group's Dorr. These findings are outlined in "The World-Class IT Advantage, Part 2: The Four Fundamental Practices of Top-Performing IT Organizations."
Keep Score: Align IT Metrics and Formalise Communication with the Business — While most IT organisations track performance metrics, few companies have formal IT scorecards that provide a holistic view of IT performance and link these performance metrics to IT strategy. These scorecards, according to the research, are used to engage business leaders, demonstrate IT's contribution to the business, and identify areas of improvement.
Customise: Standardise Applications and IT Processes — While most companies try to minimise customisation by using a larger number of one-size-fits-all apps and platforms, the research shows that world-class IT organisations focus on creating a common, enterprise-wide platform that can then be customised to address the needs of different business units. Fewer applications result in a less complex IT environment.
Blend: Integration of End-to-End Business Processes — World-class IT organisations make integration considerations a high priority from the start. Higher levels of integration strengthen both IT and business performance by seamlessly incorporating IT into every aspect of the business.
Watch: Monitor Business and IT Outcomes — For IT to succeed, it has to monitor both IT-specific and general business outcomes. On the IT side, one of the most critical outcomes is making sure architecture and infrastructure don't become too complex. In addition, world-class IT organisations hold IT staff and business owners accountable for realising promised benefits.
While making the grade as a world-class IT organisation won't happen overnight, it's not impossible if you emphasise these four best practices, says Dorr. "The four practices we've identified in our research are things that any IT organisation can address," he says.
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