Do You Understand Your Corporate IT Strategy?

If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” – Geddy Lee, RUSH

I meet with IT executives all the time. They usually have a good idea where their IT departments stand when it comes to adapting to the rapid rate of change in today’s business climate. Most of them even tell me they know that “status quo” is a dangerous place to be. But because of a lack of resources like money, people, infrastructure, and time, they can’t do much about it.

I’m a visual guy – if I can see something, I can better understand it. A former boss and friend of mine, Brian Purcell, developed the chart below. He figured that companies were in one of the following three modes: Transact, Transition, or Transform. The chart gives some better understanding of what each means.

Transact: If your business has not had an outside force like a consultant, auditor, or professional services company review your workloads and how they align with the demands of your business, then you’re likely in transact mode. In other words, there’s no formal plan to make your department more agile. Your organization likely uses point solutions to meet the demands of today. “Live to fight another day” is your motto. There’s nothing wrong with this mode. In fact, we estimate that 40% of organizations are in this mode. But at some point, this becomes inefficient and will inevitably break down. Employees get frustrated. Customers get frustrated. Business units get frustrated. Some people think of this as a band aid fix.

Transition: In the transition mode, a company realizes a change is needed. They can be at any stage of the transition process: Planning, acquiring resources, executing the plan, or testing the plan. Many times, companies stall out during this mode. This can be attributed to a lack of resources or time, and can contribute to delays or project suspensions. Companies may look to an external resource to keep them on track during this process. We estimate about 40% of companies are in this mode. They are in the process of transitioning, but have not completed all the necessary steps.

Transform: If you’re a math person, you’ve probably figured out about 20% of companies fall into this category. They’ve realized they needed to optimize their workloads and align with the demands of their business. They’ve acquired the resources to implement their plan, and tested their plan, and it works. But it needs constant maintenance to stay in alignment. Most good plans have desired performance metrics. They may include Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) or include Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to their business units or customers. These organizations are not afraid to make necessary changes. It’s an open environment that invites ideas from everyone to improve processes, to improve time to market, drive down costs, increase revenue, or just collaborate and share information.

Bottom line: Whichever mode your organization is in, it’s always a good idea to get a second opinion. Wouldn’t you rather have someone challenge your thinking, in order to validate the decisions you’ve made? Maybe they will be able to point out something you haven’t thought of, or possible pitfalls of a certain strategy. Perhaps even provide insight into results that other similar companies have achieved.

T5 Data Centers helps our customers use consumable infrastructure service model options to optimize workloads and create better alignment with the demands of their businesses. T5 can help identify critical reasons to execute a colocation data center strategy. Bob Kramlich is the Director of Enterprise Solutions at T5, and deals with companies at every stage, every day. You can reach Bob via email at

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