What are the characteristics of a "Great" IT Shop?

What is Great?

A great IT shop allows its business to respond quickly to market conditions. One that is both agile and can handle heavy workloads. One that is truly "High Performing"! What attributes allow this output? In order to find the answer, we veraciously read everything from the IT Process Institute, Infrastructure Technology Information Library and many more sources. We mastered the concepts. We got certified. We hired the right people. And this is what we discovered...

There are 8 Attributes of a "High Performing" IT Shop

Our #1 goal is to help you transform your IT shop to High Performing!

High throughput of effective change

Can handle extremely high volumes of change, often responsible for successfully implementing hundreds or even thousands of changes per week at success rates greater than 99%

High service levels and availability

IT services are highly available and reliable, as measured by mean time between failures (MTBF) and mean time to repair (MTTR)

Higher investment early in the IT life cycle

Continually deploy resources/staff earlier in the IT life cycle, as measured by staff deployed on non-operational and pre-production activities, such as in release management, packaging and testing processes

consistent process integration between IT ops and IT security

Adopt security requirements into the IT life cycle, early and consistently, as measured by % of deployed infrastructure meeting security requirements, as well as % of infrastructure that is officially “blessed” by the IT security organization

Posture of compliance

A trusted working relationship between IT operations and auditors, because controls are visible, verifiable and regularly reported on

A Collaborative working relationships between function

IT operations and security work together to solve common objectives

Low amounts
of unplanned work

Your Team should be spending 5% or less of their time on unplanned and urgent work

Server to system admin ratios > than 100:1

The average server/sysadmin ratios are between 15:1 and 25:1 Where do you stand?

Where Does Your Shop Fit?

Our Litmus Test

Something must need to be improved. Otherwise, you wouldn't be here 🙂

Do any of these 7 questions ring true for your shop?

  1. Do you have change management processes, but view them as overly bureaucratic and diminishing of productivity?
  2. Does "everyone" know that people circumvent proper processes because crippling outages, finger-pointing, and phantom changes run rampant?
  3. Have a “cowboy culture” where seemingly “nimble” behavior has promoted destructive side effects where the sense of agility is all too often a delusion?
  4. Does IT operations believe that true control simply isn't possible, and they are doomed to an endless cycle of break/fix triggered by a pager message at late hours of the night?
  5. Are IT operations and security constantly in reactive mode, with little ability to figure out how to free themselves from fire-fighting long enough to invest in any proactive work?
  6. Are both internal and external auditors on a crusade to find out whether proper controls exist and to push madly for implementing new ones where they aren't?
  7. Does IT understand the need for controls, but does not know which controls are needed first?

* IT Process Institute, “Implementing ITIL® In 4 Practical and Auditable Steps 2005.

Answer yes to any these questions? Together we can reset your baseline.