Independent Reviews and Governance
In addition to skills audits we offer broader independent third party reviews of your technical platforms, technical and support services, processes and policies.
Application Functional Reviews and Gap Analysis
Performing a Gap Analysis is the typical method of assessing the differences in performance or functional ability of information systems or software applications to determine whether business requirements are being met and, if not, what steps should be taken to ensure they are met successfully. We would always recommend these are conducted before you purchase new solutions on both the legacy software as part of Requirements Analysis well and the new solution candidates.
Budget Review Allocation and Planning
Many IT Officers simply do not possess the skills and abilities to plan their budgets for the coming 12 months let alone over a 5-year period. Basic accounting skills and or IT technical knowledge is simply not enough. The comprehension of industry trends, changing architectures, risks and demands is more than all but the very few corporate ICT groups can navigate by themselves. Currently there is a trend towards increased operational spend with cloud based services and many organisations move too quickly or two slowly in their transition with costly results. Some independence is always in good measure when requesting reinvestment or performing audits. Often increased spending can be avoided with a reallocation of spend from one area that may not be required into another area that delivers more value for your business.
IT frameworks are used for managing the delivery of cost-effective IT services. Many frameworks will cover a specific aspect of IT such as information management, service management etc. Frameworks help tie together organizational and departmental objectives with procedures and policies. The absence of which will typically be picked up during any ICT Audit. We will work with you to develop pragmatic light weight frameworks based on proven templates inside short high value engagements. The size of your organization should not limit your organisational quality. Any organisation, even those with 100% outsourced ICT services should maintain a ICT Governance structure.
IT Governance and Modelling
ICT governance is a term that has evolved out of use within the Australian government and formalised within the Australian standards community. The Australian Standard for Corporate Governance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), AS8015, defines Corporate Governance of ICT as "The system by which the current and future use of ICT is directed and controlled. It involves evaluating and directing the plans for the use of ICT to support the organisation and monitoring this use to achieve plans. It includes the strategy and policies for using ICT within an organisation." – Wikipedia}
Not every organisation has the resources to devote to the composition and operating overheads of large scale organisational governance mechanisms. However, every organisation could benefit from having some governance process around ICT expenditure at the very least and perhaps the independent measurement of the effectiveness of agreed outcomes.
Platform Configuration and Maintenance Assessments
After surprisingly short periods of time the best installed software if not managed expertly and diligently can become outdated or misconfigured. This may not be the fault of anyone in particular. There are many different scenarios that lead to the breakdown or misconfiguration of applications and platforms that can in some cases cause serious outages and loss of business. It is quote common for Internal ICT departments as well as Service Providers to lack in specific expertise of certain technology platforms. It might well simply be a case of forgetting to include a particular process or step in a maintenance routine. It is not unheard of for perfectly innocent technology platforms to be decommissioned or replaced from nothing other than mismanagement or misconfiguration. We can either supply or in the case we don’t have specific in-house expertise source accredited technical resources to review platform configurations and maintenance procedures.
Pre Audit Preparedness
Many organisations have found their IT Functions require regular auditing in recent years as core business process are increasingly reliant on IT, and various legislative and compliance requirements call for it. Sadly, audits are rarely by choice. Compliance is viewed as a necessary evil and rarely is any energy applied to the process. Typically, after an Audit the Executives whom are ultimately responsible for IT will be handed a report that will contain an overall view of the issues and some guidance on remediation. Considerably more value can be extracted from your Audit should you make the effort to prepare for the Auditors. Much of their time is taken up with information gathering activities, having to make assumptions and documenting fairly obvious problems. Although typically being prepared won’t reduce your Audit fees, we can ensure the overall engagement will deliver more value by preparing you and making your Auditors life easier ‘lining up their ducks’.
It is still common place for significant purchases to be made without a formal procurement process under the guise of ‘best of breed’… If your IT advisor or IT Officers cannot provide a detailed, independently vetted and circulated ‘matrix’ of features and benefits for any significant ICT purchase or service agreement you should contact us. Overseas trips, free computers or others less obvious rewards are common place. Many IT managers are simply unaware they are doing anything wrong.
Service Delivery Assessment
User sentiment and budgetary allocation alone are not sufficient indicators to measure the service quality of your IT department. We offer a three phased, 12 step approach to research, analyse and report on the maturity of your IT teams service delivery maturity. IT team are after all a service provider and typically an increasing cost centres for most organisations. This puts increased pressure on IT departments to deliver not just quality services but services your internal and public customers feel good about.