A checklist for IT organizations. At any time of year, spring cleaning can offer many benefits to businesses.
It’s that time of year again: The weather’s warming, tulips have bloomed and many of us have embarked on our annual spring-cleaning rituals – in our homes, garages, yards and boats.
For organizations, too, this is an age-old seasonal ritual. When replicated by IT leaders (at any time of year, actually), businesses can reap many benefits. Sometimes referred to as an IT service rationalization, similar “spring-cleaning” concepts apply conducting a thorough inspection of the IT service portfolio (applications and other IT services), cleaning it up where needed and making fixes that enable expected performance or better.
Engaging stakeholders across the business is an important element of the rationalization effort; they should understand firsthand how the portfolio meets their needs, as well as how it enables the business’ strategic plan. Technical planners and delivery staff also are engaged to understand the resource commitments and technical efficacy of the services currently being delivered.
Thinking about dusting off your organization’s technology cobwebs? The following checklist provides an overview of key questions to ask related to common IT spring cleaning tasks (aka portfolio rationalization):
IT cleaning review checklist
- Security: Does the organization have the appropriate security controls in place for this technology? Have we exceeded its life span, and do we no longer receive security patches?
- Maintenance: How much time are team members spending maintaining this technology? Are there many unnecessary complexity and human resource requirements to keep it up and running?
- Cost: Is the technology cost-effective for a business our size? Did we acquire the “A-Z list” of functionality but use only a fraction of it? Can we scale the system and not the price?
- Functionality: Is the technology functionally adequate and meeting the business’ needs and aspirations? Is it highly customized or lacking in functionality? How easy is it to use?
- Technology: Is the application/service technically adequate? Can it be integrated with other technology platforms to support seamless workflows and provide reliable data? Can it easily support changes in business requirements
- Criticality: How critical is this technology to our business? If it were to become unavailable, what would the impact be? Is this technology something we need to have or a nice to have?
These IT “spring cleaning” checklist items represent just a few examples of the considerations and topics business, and technology leaders should discuss on a regular basis, particularly as business conditions change. They can provide a clear picture of the technology portfolio and how individual applications/services may or may not fit into future IT strategies.
These outcomes often include technologies that may be considered for continued or additional investments. Alternatively, the technology may be maintained as-is, improved, sunsetted , or consolidated. Investing time in these spring-cleaning tasks has a demonstrable ROI though cost savings, cost avoidance, gained efficiencies and improved services.
Is it time to grab an IT broom in your organization?
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