Understanding Organizational Maturity

By Faisal Hoque  |  Posted 2009-06-05 Print this article Print

Business technology management boosts performance at Coca-Cola Enterprises.

How does an organization improve its strategy and planning?

Our research shows a distinct variance within organizations depending on their level of maturity. The following provides a snapshot of such findings:

At level 1, an organization typically execute some strategic business technology management processes in a disaggregated, task-like manner;

At level 2, an organization often exhibits limited business technology management capabilities, attempts to assemble information for major decisions, and consults their technology group on decisions with obvious business technology implications;

At level 3, an organization is "functional" with respect to business technology management;

At level 4, an organization has business technology management fully implemented across the board;

At level 5, an organization has matured far along enough to know when to change the rules to maintain strategic advantages over competitors who themselves may still be advancing their maturity of business technology management and convergence;

Many, if not most organizations will find themselves at Level 2. We can describe these companies in the four dimensions: process, information, organization and technology (automation).

Process. Processes in these companies are not comprehensively defined. For example, there may be an “IT strategy,” but it is most often a recitation of programs underway, coupled with a wish list of future items, together with a series of unverified financial business cases.

Financial processes are focused on reporting and performance versus stated run rates; budgeting is a yearly exercise focused on percentage increases (or decreases) from current levels. Sourcing is broken into various areas, with that of staff augmentation and “outsourcing” most often separated from that of materials and software, and handled separately by business area.

There is little – or no – consistency in business technology’s involvement in mergers and acquisitions, or in consolidation activities.

Organization. Some organization structures are in place. A CIO with direct reports is generally in charge of technology domains. An “IT finance” function has responsibility for technology business management, filling primarily a reporting and accounting role.

There are various sourcing managers and most often a separate technology procurement area. There are known business technology employees within the enterprise who are called in to work on consolidation and standardization efforts; such work is often done instead (or in addition to) their “regular jobs.”

Information. Data and metrics are inconsistently available and mostly useful in providing general estimates to guide strategic decision-making and performance measurement. Financial data may be generally available, but it is formatted primarily for financial reporting purposes. Other data is kept in separate and difficult to reconcile data stores, which complicates decision, measurement, and management processes.

Technology. The organization relies on point solutions for support of all capabilities. Desktop tools are the system of choice, although most enterprises do have standardized financial systems.

Faisal Hoque, Founder, Chairman and CEO, BTM Corporation Faisal Hoque is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of the Business Technology Management Corporation. BTM Corporation innovates new business models, enhances financial performance, and improves operational efficiency at leading global corporations, government agencies, and social businesses by converging business and technology with its unique products and intellectual property (IP). A former senior executive at General Electric (GE) and other multi-nationals, Mr. Hoque is an internationally known, visionary entrepreneur and award winning thought leader. He conceived and developed Business Technology Management (BTM) to direct the social and economic growth of organizations by converging business and technology, helping transform them into "whole-brained enterprises." He is the author of "The Alignment Effect," "Winning the 3-Legged Race," and "Sustained Innovation," among other publications.

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