The hidden cost of inadequate IT infrastructure

Role of IT Within an organisation

The client retention issues that can arise when IT infrastructure is inadequate

When people think of the cost of inadequate infrastructure, it’s typically downtime and increased replacement cost that come to mind. However, there’s a whole other layer of hidden cost, including client retention issues, staff turnover and lost business opportunity. This week we’re looking at the client retention issues that can arise when IT infrastructure is inadequate.

Smart infrastructure investments are a key advantage to any organisation, but especially so in the traditionally over-stretched and under-resourced areas of the Healthcare and NFP sectors. The key to those smart, strategic investments is an infrastructure plan that encompasses all 4 quadrants of the Majestic Organisational Maturity Model.

An inadequate, or not-fit-for-purpose IT infrastructure creates a number of issues. The most obvious issues that often come to mind are an increased technology debt, increased downtime due technical failure, but the less obvious impacts include the ability to both attract and retain your clients.

For example, let’s assume that you’re an NFP organisation and you’re delivering amazing social services into the marketplace. Obviously, part of your ability to survive is by having a growing membership or having philanthropic input into the organisation, by having people invest or bequeath funds to the organisation. Those things don’t just happen by themselves. They happen because people are able to engage with you from the outside, and that typically happens through technology.

Long gone are the days that the only way to collect funds was through a telethon or via phone. We have a number of different mediums today that are available equally to everyone. An ever increasing number of charitable organisations in Australia mean that everyone is fighting for funds that can support the organisation and help them champion their cause. The organisations that invest in the type of technology solutions that reduce friction and make the experience of interacting with them a more pleasurable one, are ultimately the ones that win the lions share of those funds. On the other hand, the organisations who don’t end up missing out, because :

  • It’s too hard to interact with them.
  • It’s too hard to sign up as a member.
  • It’s too hard to subscribe to receive information that the organisation delivers.
  • It’s too hard to receive care services etc.

And when it’s too hard, people simply go somewhere else.

InfoXchange have released their 2021 report into Digital Technology in the NFP Sector. Now in its 7th year, the report provides detailed technology insights. Some notable statistics from this year include:

  • 69% of not-for-profits are in the process of moving or have moved to the cloud.
  • 53% of not-for-profits are satisfied with the way they are using technology.
  • Only 38% of organisations reported that their primary information system allows them to understand the impact of their services.
  • Almost 50% of organisations do not have effective organisational information security plans.
  • 25% of not-for-profits felt they were completely or largely unprepared to support staff working from home.
  • 44% of not-for-profits said improving their website is a top priority.

These findings point to an overall level of digital immaturity within the NFP sector. Does your organisation reflect these results?

You can read the full report at Digital Technology in the “Not-for-Profit Sector

 

The most expensive mistakes organisations can make

Majestic's CEO Tal Evans discusses most expensive IT mistakes organisations can make

Today Majestic’s CEO Tal Evans will be discussing the most expensive IT management mistakes that organisations make when they fail to consider the 4 measurement quadrants behind the Organisational Maturity Model:

  • Process
  • People
  • Customer
  • Growth

 

When an organisation identifies a technology problem that is hampering its operations in some significant way, the natural response is to invest in a solution. And yes, from one perspective that sounds like a great idea. From another, it’s dangerous – because it smacks of knee-jerk reactivity.

We often see organisation wasting significant amounts of money as they attempt to fix one problem but then create others through the implementation of short sighted solutions. We’ve seen it happen with organisations that are in the early days of their relationship with us, who were either making the best decisions they could by themselves, or perhaps working with an alternate provider. Either way, decisions were made that didn’t take a broader organisational view into account. Those mistakes, which are excusable, can also happen in another context – when an organisation continues to invest in a particular area of the business that is already going well. After all, it’s an attractive option to foster the part of the business that’s running the most profitably.

But however well either of those strategies may appear in the short term, be it that a problem is solved, or the part of the business that’s running well runs even better for a while, ultimately, it’s a flawed approach. Because the investments aren’t viewed across the full four quadrants of the maturity model, they won’t ultimately deliver the outcome the organisation needs, or worse still, it causes the organisation to step backward.

David Blumenthal’s quote highlights the role of technology as the facilitator for delivering health information. The healthcare or NFP organisation that fails to take their process needs into account invariably winds up with a completely inferior ‘information circulatory system’.

The beginning of 2020 saw a sudden wave of organisations moving to remote work as the first of the COVID lockdowns hit. Employers and employees alike scrambled to setup the necessary infrastructure and procedures that would support operational continuity while they were without access to their offices.

Just over 18 months down the track, here in Australia we’re tentatively hoping that those lockdowns are a thing of the past. But one element of those lockdowns is here to stay – and that’s the remote workforce. Employees at all levels across many industries are showing an immense reluctance to return to the office on a full- time basis, with many relishing the increased satisfaction, flexibility and savings in both time and travel that the ability to work remotely has brought them. As such, we’re also seeing workplace flexibility being used more than ever before as a drawcard to attract talented staff.

For many organisations, remote working has become an integral part of the organisation’s culture. However, the rapid nature of the way the infrastructure and processes around it were setup has, in many cases, led to a less-than-ideal operational maturity in this area. If your organisation hasn’t developed a robust strategic approach to remote working, from both a technical and procedural perspective, then that should be a high operational priority coming into 2022.

A Case Study: The Peninsula Home Hospice

The Peninsula Home Hospice engaged Majestic Computer Technology in 2019. During the early days of that engagement, an analysis was done and the organisation’s maturity determined. A number of high priority issues including cyber security, business continuity, and support were identified. With Majestic’s help, Peninsula Home Hospice went on to implement a number of changes, including moving many of their operations to the cloud, adding a document management system, equipping the team with secure, remotely monitored laptops and replacing ageing network infrastructure.

When the COVID pandemic hit, PHH’s CEO reported that the measures put in place helped the team to cope more easily than they might otherwise have been able to.

You can read more about the Peninsula Home Hospice story  here.

What happens to organisations who fail to measure themselves against the four quadrants before they act?

Role of IT Within an organisation

Discussing how our our Assessment model’s four quadrants flag the highest priority IT investments

Two weeks ago we introduced the Measurement Quadrants that underpin Majestic’s 5 level Organisational Maturity Model.

  • Process
  • People
  • Customer
  • Growth
 

These four quadrants are used as a measurement tool to help an organisation determine where they are on the maturity scale. However, they have an additional purpose – they also flag our highest priority IT investments. As such, today we return our attention to those four quadrants, but with a different perspective. What happens to organisations who fail to measure themselves against the quadrants before they act?

Without the measurement quadrants, organisations will tend to prioritise their investments on areas of the business that are already doing well. The areas that are not are often left to drop further and further behind in terms of investing. Or alternatively, a push to fix the ‘squeakiest wheels’ mean the areas causing the most disruption get the attention, but that also may not be to the organisation’s advantage. Either way, poor choices are made and money is wasted. It is only when all four quadrants have been assessed, measured and defined that an organisation can consistently make IT investment decisions that will deliver the required outcomes.

Digital Leader Pearl Zhu highlights the fact that digitisation is no longer just an element of the business that affects the IT department – it’s now an all-encompassing, major player in the overall success or failure of an organisation’s operational success.

We looked at what happens to organisations that fail to assess their maturity across the 4 quadrants of the Majestic Organisational Maturity Model. When we talk about an organisation’s maturity, it must be assessed across all four quadrants. The first quadrant is Process. Elements to look at when assessing your process maturity include:

  • Are processes clearly documented and is that documentation readily accessible?
  • How well are the steps being followed?
  • Where possible, are steps automated?
  • What are the handoffs between steps / between processes?

The next quadrant is your organisation’s People.

  • What is your staff turnover like?
  • Are your team frustrated by other elements in the quadrant that aren’t performing as well as they should?
  • What is your organisation’s culture?

Our third quadrant is also people focused, but it’s the people outside the organisation – the Client Retention. Note that ‘client’ can be used in a variety of contexts, including patients, members etc.

  • What is the organisation doing for its clients?
  • Is it easy for them to interact with you?
  • How do you assist them to ensure that they continue to move in the right direction?

And finally, the last quadrant that we look at is growth.

  • What is your organisation aiming to achieve?
  • What are your aspirations?
  • What goals are set over what period(s) of time?
  • Ultimately, how will technology be applied in order to get there?

Once a full assessment has been undertaken across the quadrants, any skewing or stretching becomes apparent. For example, an organisation that has invested heavily operationally may not have paid as much attention to its people. Or alternatively, they may have chosen to invest in their people, but then forgotten about their client retention strategy. So, the organisation ends up with a somewhat skewed maturity. They might be at a level one or level two in an Operational context, but at a three in the context of their Client Retention. They might be a two on their People strategy, and then a one again in terms of their growth.

Although not ideal, this skewing has an upside – it shows which areas of the business require the highest priority attention in order to align the quadrants effectively. When you make an investment in the wrong area before you try to align those four quadrants, money gets misspent. Time and time again we see organisations investing in areas that aren’t going to yield the best outcome, because their organisation is simply not ready for it. They’re investing at the wrong time or in the wrong area because all of four of those quadrants aren’t considered. So the investment doesn’t deliver the right outcome and that’s an expensive mistake.

Choosing and investing in the right new technologies for your organisation can be difficult. Accenture’s article ‘Getting the most out of new technologies’ describes how CEOs can strategically implement innovative technologies to generate a significant return on their investment.

The 5 levels of Operational Maturity – Parts 2 & 3

Discussing levels 3 to 5 of Majestic’s Organisational Maturity model

Last week we introduced the 5 levels of the Majestic Organisational Maturity Model.

1.   Initial
2.   Emergent
3.   Structured
4.   Integrated
5.   Optimised

We covered the characteristics of an organisation at both the Initial and Emergent levels. Let’s look a little higher now and turn our attention to the remaining three:

An organisation at the Structured level has a good understanding of the tools they require and how to use them. Staff know what technology to use and how to use it to achieve their required results. The challenge now is that the transfer of information between systems is still inconsistent. Some connections have been made already, and they’re working really well. But in other areas they’re not. I’s very hit and miss and as a result of that people are not sure what to expect.

Unfortunately, when you’re not sure what to expect, humans resort to the lowest common denominator, what they see as the least risky way of getting something done and that has consequences. The organisation is in a stronger position than it was at the emergent point, but is still suffering because it’s not using its tools to their best possible advantage. That creates deficiencies which result in additional cost and lost productivity.

The organisation that has overcome that barrier has become Integrated. The tools that they’re using have a clearly defined flow, with each step clear and easy to follow. It could be a workflow. It could be a handoff of information from one department to another. It might be an approval process that needs to go through five different stages in an organisation before it gets the green light and gets carried out. It could be a variety of different steps or processes that are now really nicely automated. We have a very homogeneous architecture that fits together as smoothly as a hand into a glove.

The final step, also best possible position to be in, is when all of that the above is Optimised. The organisation is now operating at its highest possible level. All tools are now perfected and automated. The architecture is completely sustained and aligned and all pieces fit together and flow into each other seamlessly. People just simply follow the bouncing ball when they’re going through the motions of delivering an outcome in their role and that manifests itself in the way in which the organisation is governed, all the way through to how outcomes are being delivered in the organisation.

MIT’s George Westerman’s seemingly light-hearted quote emphasises a vital point – that without a sound strategy in place, digital transformation does at best, very little, and at its worst, can cause more harm than benefit.

Future-ready organisations, or in other words, organisations in the Optimised state, identify the requirements of both their employees and their organisation. They then match those requirements to suitable infrastructure solutions which optimise the processes between them.

A recent Accenture study showed that on average, future-ready organisations experience at least a 1.7x higher efficiency than those at lower maturity levels and at least a 2.8x boost in corporate profitability. Across our client base, we’ve seen some significantly more impressive results.

Operational levels of Maturity part one -Initial & Emergent

Majestic's 5 levels of Operational Maturity

Majestic’s Organisational Maturity model defines an organisation’s operational IT maturity by where it sits within 5 levels.

  • Initial
  • Emergent
  • Structured
  • Integrated
  • Optimised

Our focus for now is on the first two stages – Initial and Emergent. These stages are characterised by an organisation applying foundational technology at a basic level, yet also failing to really consider the strategic connectivity or functionality of the technology within their organisation.

 

 

Pearl Zhu highlights the often less considered elements that help to define organisational maturity. Organisational maturity isn’t just about having great technology and using it within your processes, it’s about using that technology to make your business agile, innovative and people-focused.

The Majestic Organisational Maturity model has evolved from many years of working with SME organisations. From our initial assessment (when they’re not yet a client), all the way throughout our engagement with them, we’ve analysed the patterns we’ve seen time and time again and been able to define them as a model that consists of five different levels that describes the way in which a business operates in the context of their operational maturity.

 

 

An organisation at the Initial state will have a very basic set of technology tools. Most likely an email program, word processor, spreadsheet package and possibly a small application to run accounts and produce invoices etc. Although these tools may be sufficient for the job at hand, nobody has really given any thought to the underlying architecture.

Due to this there is very little, if any, integration between those various tools, so information needs to be manually transferred by human beings from one type of technology into another and that’s very time consuming. When an organisation develops some additional maturity, they move on to what’s called the Emergent state, where there is still a limited number of tools being used, but there are now some more tools available to various departments, people, individuals and so on in their roles.

They evolve into a transitional state in terms of the way in which information can flow from one system into another. It’s far from ideal, but they’ve at least got a basic awareness of the fact that they need to have some better integration between their tools so that the flow of information between them is cohesive. This is the beginning of them creating a strategy that will lead them right up to the Optimised level.

Watch for the continuation of this series next week as we define the Structured, Integrated an Optimised level of the maturity model.

A recent Accenture study revealed that maturing only one level higher on the Organisational Maturity scale results in an average 7.6% efficiency increase and 2.3% profit increase. Across our client base, we’ve seen some significantly more impressive results. With the majority of SME organisations operating at or below level 3 on the maturity scale, there are many ways in which change can be implemented without necessarily making widespread alterations to your organisation’s investment.

You can find out more about the Organisational Maturity Model and how it relates to your organisation in Majestic’s white paper “ Best Practice Approach to I.T. Management for Healthcare and Social Services Organisations”, available here.

How does having and not having an enterprise architecture approach tend to impact organisations?

Role of IT Within an organisation

Benefits of using an Enterprise Architecture approach when strategising for, or investing in, IT

Many poor investment choices are caused by one factor – a lack of consideration for the broader impact that any plan of action can have on an organisation as a whole, regardless of how well that plan addresses the issue at hand. Employing a Solutions based architecture approach solely, without the overlay of an Enterprise architecture approach, is a sure-fire way to create that very issue.

When Majestic engages with new prospects or clients in the SME space, we see a recurring issue that limits the success of their IT strategy. The advice they have historically received, focuses almost exclusively on the application of technology to address very specific issues, usually the most pressing one at hand. While there is an immediate benefit to an investment that resolves the issue at hand, applying that solution without taking a broader view of potential implications down the track often causes trouble. The most common consequence is a poor technology investment. The challenge is to resist fixing the immediate problem a hand and to step back and take a more holistic view. There are four questions that should always be asked:

  • How does this fit within the scope of what we’re doing overall?
  • If it doesn’t fit, What should we be doing instead?
  • Is this this solution going to get the best possible outcome for our organisation?
  • Where should we be prioritising our IT investment to get the best possible outcome for our organisation?

We discussed what can happen to organisations who fail to apply an Enterprise approach to their IT infrastructure investments. So what happens to those that do? Organisations who make the enterprise architecture approach a focus get great outcomes.

  • They look holistically at their overall plan.
  • They consider their 12 month, two year and five year timelines.

And whatever the case may be, they then cut that into consumable chunks and break it down into projects. They work to understand all the underlying factors and facets of what they’re trying to achieve and then, like pieces of a puzzle, start placing them together in order to achieve a cohesive, well thought out approach. By considering the bigger pieces of the project through planning and analysis, they end up with a better outcome when they eventually invest, receiving a much more significant return on their investment. It’s like the old saying of ‘Measure twice and cut once’ – the same thing applies in a technology context.

 

 

Kevin Lindley, a published educational author, urges the importance of utilizing Enterprise Architecture. When investing in technology, it’s fundamentally important to consider the broader picture of the business’ processes and their goals. Without this broader analysis, the critical aspects will not have been considered, resulting in poor investment choices.

The difference between solutions and enterprise architecture approaches

Why is an Enterprise architecture approach a better alternative?

When we talk problem solving in IT, there are commonly used approaches – we can look at it from a Solutions Architecture perspective, or an Enterprise Architecture perspective. Do you know the difference between Solution Architecture and Enterprise Architecture? Don’t worry, not many do, but when you’re considering the strategic implications of your IT plan, understanding what these two are and when / how they should be applied is essential.

Early pioneer of enterprise architecture, John Zachman conveys the importance of Enterprise Architecture approach. Failing to take a holistic view of business process in managing technology, organisations can’t keep up with increasingly complex external environments.

In the world of technology (and beyond for that matter), there are two ways to look at resolving problems. The first, and most direct, is a Solutions Architecture approach. The other is an Enterprise Architecture approach. A Solutions Architecture approach moves no further than the immediate rectification of the problem at hand. 


On the surface of it, solving the problem at hand seems like a great idea, but what it fails to do is look below the surface. When you have a problem and you only look at how to resolve it, you’re not taking a broader view of how that particular resolution is going to fit within the overall picture of what the organisation needs. As a consequence of that, there is a potential that whilst you might resolve that particular problem, you may then in turn create a series of other adverse effects that you didn’t foresee or even desire. An Enterprise Architecture approach tells us to take a holistic view of what an organisation is all about, what the fabric of the organisation is made of and how the organisation operates. Those operations must be considered in terms of engagement with clients, with the organisations people and the output of work. When this happens, there’s a far greater likelihood that utilising a mix of Enterprise Architecture, coupled with a Solution Architecture approach to a particular problem, is going to yield a far better outcome.

Using a solution-based approach (alternatively called a Solution Architecture approach) to solve IT challenges, can result in unpredictable and undesirable outcomes. By adding an Enterprise Architecture approach into the mix, your organisation can take a holistic view that considers overarching business goals, rather than just particular processes. This allows for better outcomes and less money wasted solving underlying issues. With the average SME spending 6% of total revenue on technology, you want to ensure that you don’t fund solutions that will negatively impact your organisation in the long run.

Joe McKendrick’s article ‘Enterprise architecture is for entrepreneurs too’, reinforces Majestic’s view that Enterprise Architecture isn’t just for large enterprises. When applied with an appropriate economy of scale, it can be used within SMEs to create IT systems that are fully utilised and produce an optimal outcome. It can be argued that it’s even more important to utilise this approach within SMEs than larger corporations, particularly in the Healthcare and NFP sectors that are often substantially underfunded.

What makes Majestic different to other IT MSPs

How Majestic differs from the way most IT MSPs that service small-to-medium size organisations

One of our primary differences is our understanding that the most critical element in the success of engaging any service is how well that service meets the strategic needs of your organisation.

Peter Cowle’s ‘IT castaway’ concept is prevalent within SME organisations, especially those in the Healthcare or NFP sectors. They have limited resources and either can’t sustain an in-house IT department or can’t sustain one that provides the full range of expertise required to meet their organisation’s needs, especially strategically. Partnering with a managed services provider allows an organisation to strategically achieve their required technology outcomes by taking advantage of the economies of scale that having access to a larger team provides.

One of the most important things to understand about engaging IT services for your organisation is that to simply deliver a good technology product or service is NOT enough. You need to understand how that piece of technology, product, or service is going to fit within the context of your organisation.

  • How is it going to deliver operational effectiveness?
  • How is it representative of your current operational maturity? Or is it something that you’re simply not ready for?
  • Should you even make that investment in the first place, and why?

The difference between the way that Majestic delivers IT services is that we ask these questions, and then work with our clients to help answer them. We’ve taken all our experience of working for many years in the large corporate sector and simplified it down to something that is ideal for an organisation with less people, less roles, and less functions, but has the same kind of capability at a price point that’s consumable for an SME sized business.

I recently discussed Majestic’s Organisation Maturity Model, which assigns a business to a level from 1-5, dependent on the way in which they operate in terms of a number of metrics. Today I want to discuss the other side of that coin, and that’s the measurement quadrants.

Organisational Maturity Model Measurement Quadrants

 

The four quadrants – Process, Customer, People & Growth, measures how well work systems are resourced, how well operational processes are being followed and how well they are automated across the business. When an organisation focuses on one quadrant to the minimisation, or outright exclusion of the others, we end up with a skewed picture of the organisation’s overall maturity. We often see organisations plough additional funding into an area of the business that’s going well, hoping to magnify its growth, or on the other hand, add resources to address a pain point or fix a ‘squeaky wheel’. Either way, those measures won’t be as effective as they could be and are most likely not the most effective use of those additional resources. When an organisation fails to assess its maturity against each quadrant, needs can be missed and expensive mistakes can be made.

Paul Ronalds, Group CEO of Save the Children, addressed Australian NFP leaders at this year’s Connecting Up conference, discussing where, and why, NFPs must leverage new technologies to both thrive and survive and why a strategic approach is key.

Behind the scenes at Majestic, starting with a bit about CEO Tal Evans

Majestic CEO Tal Evans taking us behind the scenes and how he grew from an early start to IT in his teens, through a career that has led him to Majestic

At Majestic we pride ourselves on getting to know our clients, not just being another managed services provider. So, it’s only fair that we let you get to know us too. I’ve been in and around the technology industry for over three decades now, starting quite young as a software developer. In fact, I hadn’t even finished school at the time.

By the time I was 18, I got involved in my own business, developing custom software for organisations at a time when there was a lot less available to buy off the shelf. They were really interesting times. I learnt a lot about how technology can improve processes for organisations. Forging forward, with mergers and strategic growth, we built what was about 10 years ago, one of the largest privately held IT service providers in this country. It had about 200 staff and $180 million in annual revenues for the group. It was quite a significant business and I really enjoyed that time. I took a some time out of IT to get involved in manufacturing and distribution of machinery. It was something completely foreign to me the time, but it nevertheless provided me with some really good insight into how some of our clients operate.

But before long, I came to the conclusion that technology was really in my blood and it was time to return to my original industry. Along came Majestic, which provided a great opportunity to re-engage in the technology sector and jump back on board. My time with Majestic has been quite a ride. We’ve re-focused the business in a different area and grown and nurtured the team. It’s been great to watch as they’ve both developed and delighted our clients and as they continue to do so every day.

I sometimes get asked what the biggest lesson is that I’ve learnt during my time in the technology space and I’ve learned so much in 30 years in a rapidly changing industry that it’s been challenging to pick just one.

What has my biggest lesson been in the 30 years I’ve spent in this rapidly evolving industry? I would say that my biggest learning was that nobody uses technology just for itself, in and of itself.

When I was a lot younger, my love of technology led me to believe that everyone else loved it too. How could everybody not see the things that I would see, and want to do the things that I loved doing? It was great! And everybody loves doing great things, right? But in reality, people use technology because it helps them achieve an outcome. It’s a means to an end, helping them to be more agile or helping them deliver something more rapidly / accurately. Technology helps them to do what they do, in a more economically viable fashion or in a timelier fashion.

Ultimately, nobody other than people in technology are really interested in technology. That’s a really important lesson to learn. It’s important for one main reason, and that is that IT has its own language, just like every other industry. Technologists often struggle to communicate ideas or strategy because they talk ‘their language’. They forget that when they’re talking to people who don’t have the same background and knowledge that they do that they need to talk in terms that will be commonly understandable.

Ultimately, what most people want to know about their technology is “If I’m going to make Investment A, how is it going to generate the outcome at I’m after?” And that, in a nutshell, is my most important lesson.

This week I discussed the biggest lesson I’ve learned during my time in IT, but recently I’ve also tackled another lesson that I believe SME’s within the Healthcare and NFP sector really need to learn, and that’s how to achieve a best practice approach to IT Management. To that end, I’ve created a whitepaper that addresses best practice for those industries. It looks not only at what best practice is, but what it looks like, how to achieve it, and why organisations need it.

I encourage you to find out more about best practice approach for your organisation and you can do so here.

The way a typical IT MSP operates

Majestic's CEO Tal Evans discusses the way a typical IT MSP operates

Satya Nadella expresses the importance of technology in business, both in meeting your organisation’s imperatives, as well as enabling and supporting it as it changes and grows.

Through strategic and considered planning for technology improvements – not only in terms of your operations but importantly change management, your organisation will be better placed to maximize the benefits of technology investments. In turn, longer term benefits can be realised too. 

When a more mature, larger enterprise engages a service provider or partner such as an IT MSP, they have a certain expectation about what their service provider or their partner is going to assist them with. That expectation has come about through years’ worth of their own experience in understanding what they’re buying and what constitutes good value for them.

What I’ve seen in my years within the industry is that this way of working doesn’t really apply in small to medium sized businesses. Whether we’re talking about for example, the healthcare sector or for not-for-profits, this statement holds true.

The majority of the service providers that are delivering services in a small to mid-market have grown out of a technology grassroot. They’re typically owned by an engineer, somebody from a technical background, who woke up one morning and said, “I don’t want to work for Company X. I’m going to go and do all these things for myself.”. They start their business and they’re incredibly good and incredibly passionate about what they do. For the most part they deliver a really good technology outcome for their clients.

But, although they do deliver that great technology outcome, they’re missing something. What they are missing is the bridge between the business and the technology, specifically, where technology investment should be made to deliver the best outcomes for their organisations overall. They don’t really take a holistic view of the business that they’re trying to support, not because they’re bad people, but simply because they’ve just never been there. They’ve never been involved in delivering advisory services, at board level or at an executive level, to organisations that are looking to make an investment in the right areas. That manifests itself in several ways that aren’t necessarily the best use of their client’s money.

Majestic’s Organisational Maturity Model assigns a business state, using the way in which organisations operate in terms of their organisational governance, their management structure and systems, operating processes and integration of IT tools and services used to support the organisation’s growth and development as a metric. An organisation that fails to engage with an MSP that takes a strategic approach to growth will never mature beyond being one of the 75% at level 2 or 3.

 

 

Focused Momentum’s article ‘What’s the difference between a strategy vs a plan (and which do you need)?’, perfectly defines the difference between a strategy and a plan, and why you really can’t have one without the other.