The Average Inc. could do quite a lot to improve the ways it uses technology in order to reduce risk, ensuring business continuity, and to cut unnecessary cost. If Average Inc. needs to improve its use and management of its ICT infrastructure, then that means most real companies do as well.
- Average Inc. has a single HQ with about nine branches. Its main IT resources are based in its data centre at the HQ. This is a business continuity problem waiting to happen. An outage of the HQ, for whatever reason, will leave most employees with nowhere to work and, even if they can set themselves up remotely, no IT to access.
- The data centre has no backup power supply and a mix of underutilised servers. Much time is spent managing servers that are only used to about 15% of capacity. Average Inc. knows this and has started a virtualisation project, but it is early days.
- There are servers in all its larger branches, which local staff with limited IT skill are expected to manage. Not only does this take up valuable time for branch-based staff, but there are often outages and backups are not guaranteed.
- Across its locations, Average Inc. has a jumble of printers, scanners and faxes from many different manufactures. This is expensive to manage as there are no real economies of scale when it comes to buying consumables and employees waste lots of time fixing devices when they could be carrying out more productive tasks.
- Average Inc. sees a lot of benefit in enabling its employees to work remotely but this is done in an ad hoc manner. There is little standardisation of the devices used, the way remote network access is procured and the security of access. There is much that Average Inc. could do to reduce cost and risk of remote access to IT for its employees.
Conclusion: Average Inc. is reliant on technology, but there is much it can do to ensure critical resources remain available at all times and are not a cost drain. Only when it gets these issues under control will it get full value from its technology investments.
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