Interim/Adjunct CIO and Advisory Services
- Do you sometimes wish you had a senior advisor on information systems?
- Does your team need some veteran IT leadership?
- Do you wonder if your IT dollars are well spent?
It is often the case that as a business grows, the IT function struggles to keep pace. Technology and expertise are expensive and decision makers need to know that their IT dollars are being well spent. Often executives just need a sounding board to bounce ideas or to validate thinking before a large IT investment. We have been managing, growing and nurturing IT functions in businesses around the world working with managers at all levels to help ensure expenditures are in line with priorities and business strategy.
- Does your IT leader have a plan for developing the IT function?
- Do you feel that the IT strategy is aligned with business strategy?
- Is the IT group working on the right set of priorities?
- Is there a clearly articulated IT roadmap that has been vetted by management?
We live in the Information age and managing businesses in this era requires keeping pace with advancements and marketplace expectations. Today every business relationship has or should have a technology component. Cumbersome and expensive business processes call out for reengineering and improvement. But where do you start? What investment will bring the greatest benefit? Wouldn’t it be great to have a roadmap for your IT investments that helps answer those questions? MBL has deep experience with strategy setting and business alignment and has been helping clients answer those questions for over 30 years.
IT Department Audit and Review
- If there was a fire in your data center could you continue to serve customers or issue invoices?
- Are the digital assets of your company being properly safeguarded against malware, etc.?
- Do you suspect or wonder if your IT department is performing up to par?
- Do you have concerns about the process and procedures in the IT department?
- Is your IT function operating at cross-purposes with business strategy?
- Is the IT department organized properly to deliver the solutions needed by the organization?
As businesses depend more heavily on technology to serve customers, uptime and reliability are paramount. Threats can come in the form of natural disaster or Internet malware and either way you need to know proper contingency plans are in place. Very often the threat comes from within your own organization calling for a review of internal security procedures. It may just be that you want to ensure that IT and business strategy are aligned. We have done IT audits and reviews for a number of our clients ranging from SOX compliancy, security, strategy alignment, organizational structure.
- Have your company’s computers ever been hacked?
- Do your computers store personal information about your clients?
- Do you store credit card information on your systems?
- Is your company operation disrupted by virus or other malware infections?
If you answered yes to any of these questions then you have a security problem that needs attention before it severely impacts your business and customers. We often think the threat is from outside the company via the Internet, but too often the breach comes from inside the company. Sometimes the event is inadvertent and other times it’s malicious on the part of an employee. A security audit would identify any weaknesses and provide you with an action plan to close the gaps and keep your company’s name out of the newspapers.
- Are you contemplating a system upgrade or process improvement, but are not sure how to select the product?
- Do you wish you had a documented approach to a business process?
The best way to approach a business problem is look at the business requirements that are driving the process. By documenting the requirements in detail and then prioritizing them as to the impact on business, you make the process simpler. In going through this analysis you make it easier to determine a course of action whether to buy a new software system or simply make adjustments to a manual process to improve efficiency. We can assist you with a structured approach to performing this analysis.
- Are you planning a hardware or software purchase but are not sure how to proceed?
With the growing spectrum of technology offerings available today it is hard to choose the right one for your company. It requires evaluating your specific needs and then matching those requirements to the capabilities of the product offering whether it be hardware or software. Too often eager sales people will push their product while ignoring your technical requirements. Our approach to helping you with this is, to first understand and carefully document your requirements and do an objective survey of the marketplace to ensure the best fit for your company. We can also assist you in bringing candidate vendors in for a proof of concept and ultimately assist with managing the implementation process if you wish.
- Do you have an IT project you need done, but aren’t sure how best to select a vendor?
The choice of a vendor to assist you in implementing a system is a function of requirements and capabilities. Both those of your company and those of the candidate vendor companies. Assessing your team’s needs and capabilities and matching them to the experiences and capabilities of the vendor are key to the process. Surveying the marketplace and identifying viable candidate companies is something we can assist you with.
IT Program/Project Management
- Is there a project you need to have done, but no one on the team has time?
Good project management is key to success on any project, but is especially true on expensive technology projects. The strong guiding hand of an experienced program/project manager who has done similar projects successfully is a valuable component of every team. MBL uses a rigorous methodology to plan and execute while ensuring good communication across the team and upward to project sponsors. Every member of the project team must know their role and be held accountable for his/her deliverables.