Advice that Achieves Results

Test Your Company

Are your IT systems a help or a nuisance?

If you find your IT-system a nuisance during normal use, it is often due to one of two problems:

  • The user friendliness of the system might be too poor thus making the system difficult to use. A clear problem indicator in this respect is if mainly new users complain about the system whereas experienced users have no complaints.
  • The system is suited to the way the company operated when the system was first implemented. Since then, business rules and procedures have changed and the system has been unable to keep up with changes.

In both cases, but especially the latter, our recommendation is to request an IT support analysis of the company’s business processes.

Are your IT systems up-to-date?

If IT systems are not technologically up-to-date, they are usually difficult, expensive and time consuming to modify and maintain.
If IT system functionality is not up-to-date, company efficiency is usually on the decline and the number of manual procedures, compensating for system shortcomings, on the increase.

With an application portfolio analysis you are given an overview of potential challenges as well as an indication of the problems causing the biggest impact.

Do you often discuss what the correct information is?

There could obviously be many reasons for doing so, but usually it is due to one of the following issues:

  • The same report shows different figures when printed at different points in time.
  • Two different systems are supposed to provide identical information, but sometimes fail to do so.

In both cases, our recommendation is to request an analysis of the fulfillment of information needs in the company.

Do you have to look for information, when you need it?

The optimal situation would be one where your systems automatically deliver the information you need, when you need it.

An analysis of the fulfillment of the information need in your company provides the basis for achieving this goal.

Do you need Microsoft Excel to make sense of the information provided by your systems?

The optimal situation would be one where your systems automatically deliver the information you need in a format that you can use straight away.

An analysis of the fulfillment of the information need in your company provides the basis for achieving this goal.

Has your IT maintenance budget begun to increase uncontrollably?

When the IT maintenance budget grows despite all good intensions, it is usually due to old technology or lack of competences.

An analysis of the application portfolio helps clarify the severity of the situation and provides some indications as to what ought to be done.

Are your IT projects completed as scheduled and within budget?

They should! Project management is a well-known and proven discipline. If your IT projects often fail, it may be due to inappropriate composition of the application portfolio.

This can be revealed by an application portfolio analysis.

It may also be caused by multiple projects drawing on the same key persons, simultaneously.

In cases like these, the tightening of project portfolio management is recommended.

Are the different systems well integrated?

If you frequently have to find information in one system in order to use it in another system, then your systems are not adequately integrated.

IT support analyses of business processes and analyses of fulfillment of information needs can be used to form the basis for an integration strategy, which may ultimately rectify the problems.

Do all your systems comply with company security policy?

Old IT systems are usually unable to handle the security measures needed today to safeguard important company data.

An analysis of the application portfolio is able to single out the worst information security weaknesses.

An additional analysis of the information needs provides a good indication of the level of underlying risk present today.

Would you like to save 30% on your IT budget?

You can save serious money by focusing and prioritizing, and by doing only what is really necessary. Experience tells us that savings between 10-60% are realistic.

An analysis of the application portfolio provides an indication of where the savings might be found and how much they will be.

Optimization of application and project portfolio management together with technology management can help realize such savings.

EH 2010-02-28

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