IT Operations Survey: The Evolution of IT Maturity

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Part Four of a Four Part Series

The annual Kaseya IT Operations Benchmark Survey tracks the IT operations of mid-size enterprise (MMEs) — as organizations with up to 5,000 employees. Every year we discover new ways that the needs of MMEs are distinct from Global 2000 enterprises, and an MME’s level of IT maturity is one such area.

This year we surveyed some 1,300 MMEs. To download the full report go to: https://www.kaseya.com/resource/2018-state-of-it-operations-for-midsize-enterprises/

IT maturity defines how the organization operates and contributes strategically to business value. This maturity is a vital way management judges IT as a strategic contributor to the business. To achieve maturity, smart MMEs are adopting automation that makes sure critical tasks are performed regularly and properly, freeing IT staff to be more strategic and prove their value.

Here are ways that best of breed MME IT shops demonstrate maturity.

  • Focusing heavily on backup — On average, survey respondents rely on four backup and recovery technologies.
  • Developing expertise and automation in key areas — When asked to rate effectiveness in optimizing IT efficiency, more than three-quarters are performing regularly scheduled centralized anti-virus/anti-malware scanning and data storage backup.
  • Embracing SaaS — Whether it is the low maintenance or scalable costs to widespread accessibility nearly 3 out of 4 respondents rely on SaaS-based productivity software and nearly 1 in 3 use SaaS-based storage.
  • Paying close attention to compliance requirements — From healthcare to retail to financial services, regulatory compliance requirements are a fact of life that cannot be ignored.

The bottom line is that midmarket IT is developing the same processes, using the core technologies, and achieving close the same maturity levels as larger enterprises. This means MMEs are holistically managing the network, guarding against outages, recovering instantly, and achieving good compliance with relevant regulations.

A Look at IT Maturity

While MMEs are showing high levels of maturity, they are not necessarily climbing the maturity ladder in terms of levels. They are, however, viewed in our 2018 report as highly strategic.

IT management maturity measures how well the IT management function supports the IT needs of a business ― from systems and service readiness, to technology choices (e.g., cloud services), to responsiveness and through to strategic alignment and business enablement. Kaseya has a groundbreaking maturity model was developed specifically for MMEs based on insights and feedback from midsize Kaseya customers. Previously, all established IT maturity models were relevant only for much larger enterprises.

In our piece “Benchmarking Your IT Maturity,” we explain that, as you increase your maturity level, your IT team spends less time fighting fires and more time contributing to strategy creation and execution. Your IT group moves from a cost center to a generator of innovation that drives business success.

Here are the five stages of Kaseya’s IT Management Maturity Model:

  • REACTIVE: Responding to individual user challenges and requests
  • EFFICIENT: Having a systematic approach to solving known issues and dealing with daily tasks
  • PROACTIVE: Taking a proactive approach to IT management, automating repetitive tasks and many remedial actions
  • ALIGNED: Tracking and managing against service level agreements (SLAs) or availability/ performance expectations
  • STRATEGIC: Achieving IT operational excellence and taking a strategic role in driving business innovation

Over the past three years, on average IT organizations have self-identified as:

  • Aligned/Strategic – 16%
  • Proactive – 29%
  • Efficient – 20%
  • Reactive – 34%

However, there has little movement up these scales over the last few surveys. Despite this, our survey shows MME IT pros truly get it, and have security and backup strategies to prove it!

Posted by Doug Barney
Doug Barney was the founding editor of Redmond Magazine, Redmond Channel Partner, Redmond Developer News and Virtualization Review. Doug also served as Executive Editor of Network World, Editor in Chief of AmigaWorld, and Editor in Chief of Network Computing.
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