In today’s rapidly evolving business environment, I believe there is a clear need for all members of the C-suite to better understand how their organizations’ technology stacks and personnel are performing.
It’s a trend that’s been a long time coming. Where once technology stacks and the underlying IT infrastructure were mainly prioritized by CIOs/CTOs and their teams, the pandemic and accelerated digital transformation have given every executive, and often the board, a stake in how efficiently these systems perform – and how resilient they are. I met with numerous CEOs and boards during the pandemic, and I have never in my 30 years in tech have I seen this group talking IT.
The stakes for resiliency have never been higher. The pandemic sparked a flood of digital transformation imperatives that introduced incredible complexity to technology infrastructures. I also believe that in the future, every company will be, in one shape or other, a technology company. Adding to that complexity are the ever-escalating threats of cyber-attacks from nation-states and cybercriminals. With these ever-present, ever-growing threats, every enterprise will pay the price for not having a plan in place to ensure business continuity in the face of any kind of outage or disruption.
The reality of today’s interconnected technology stacks means that if something goes wrong, everything in the business will be impacted. Disruption to IT infrastructure can mean an inability to pay employees, a block to customer access, or the inability to produce a product. A ransomware attack can mean data that the business depends on for customer service is unavailable: and so on.
While companies have stepped up their efforts to ensure continuity in the past two years, it’s clear in the face of the newest geopolitical threats that this has to be a constantly evolving process that everyone – boards and the full c-suite included – must invest in.
An observability company that I research, LogicMonitor, aims to help its customers build the mechanisms they need to understand the ROI of their technology investments and the overall resiliency of their technology stacks – from on-premises to application infrastructure, through cloud infrastructure. – starting with their “Assessment of IT Readiness.” You can find it here.
LogicMonitor wants to equip every executive and every organization with some fundamental questions to ask themselves, and each other, to challenge assumptions and drive toward a higher degree of IT resiliency. LogicMonitor’s assessment guide mentioned above offers a framework for discussion of around 40 recommended questions for IT executives to ask themselves, each other, and their teams, on categories such as:
- Visibility – ability to understand what is going on within the IT landscape
- Resiliency – ability to continue operations despite disruptions
- Trust – confidence in technology systems and personnel
- Experience – delivery of a positive and effective user experience
- Consistency – the ability of your technology stack to reliably perform to expectations
- Innovation – the ability of IT and DevOps teams to bring innovations to the larger business
- Human Factor – empowerment and motivation of the people behind the technology
Together, answering questions across these categories should help give executives a model to create a customized IT Scorecard for any type of organization. This is only a starting point but a good one, to get the conversation going. It’s really important to get ahead of this, because if IT organizations and CIOs aren’t on top of this, CEOs and Boards may very well do their own assessment (which is not the desired outcome at all).
I believe that IT needs to internalize that the world has changed significantly in the past five years. Customer expectations and the pandemic’s impact has put more responsibility and accountability on IT’s back which is aired out in executive leadership and boards of directors’ meetings. IT, more than ever, is a key determinant of driving revenue, lowering expenses, and customer NPS. IT “business as usual” won’t fly anymore with senior executives and the board.