CIOIT Best Practices

4 Stages of Maturity in IT Departments: Which Is Yours?

If IT were a plant, and you watered it, could you track the stages of its developing maturity? Would you be able to see clear differences from one stage to the next? In an article for TechRepublic, Alison DeNisco shares CEO Dan Roberts’s idea of the IT maturity curve, consisting of four steps:

  1. IT supplier
  2. Solution provider
  3. Strategic partner
  4. Innovative anticipator

Growing Up Too Slowly

The first stage is the most traditional. An IT supplier provides help service, engages in project management, and works with business requirements—all according to whatever orders the business gives it. Unglamorous as it is, IT must be able to satisfy these fundamentals before it can evolve.

The second stage is solution provider. Basically, it is more or less the same as the first stage, but with more critical thinking involved. Otherwise, IT is still pretty reactionary.

The third stage is much closer to the sort of IT that everyone says they need these days. IT as a strategic partner will work to develop innovation in support of business strategy, especially by way of agile transformation. This IT is valuable.

But for IT to obtain maximum value, it must continue developing into an innovative anticipator. Here is how DeNisco describes this ultimate stage:

These IT shops deliver game-changing value to their organization by bringing new ideas and innovations that help the company disrupt competitors, and drive new revenue streams or customer experiences, Roberts said. “At this level, you’re not in the first meeting—you’re driving the first meeting,” he added.

Ouellette & Associates completed a study with Babson College examining the state of IT shops on the curve. It found that, at top-performing organizations, both business leaders and CIOs said the IT organization needs to take advantage of its unique end-to-end vantage point in the company and reach Stage 4. However, on average, CIOs and IT leadership rank themselves as a 1.5 on the scale—though they realize they need to be at a 3.5, Roberts said.

You can view the original article here:

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