IT Strategy Assessment

Project Background

The Client (a large gas and electric utility) was experiencing rapid growth in its unregulated business as well as a strong regulated client base. Customer satisfaction was high while providing their customers with rates that were among the lowest in the United States. Within the last two years, the Client had been acquired and this new parent was also subsequently acquired by a large global investor owned energy service.

Problem Summary

The internal growth of the Client along with the changes of ownership have caused the IT staff to maintain an on-going due diligence, as well as integration into two successive new parent cultures. To this end, TBI was asked to evaluate the entire IT organization and validate current strategies, determine whether the current cost structure was competitive and prepare a set of possible options to enhance the effectiveness of IT and its overall return on investment.

TBI’s Approach

The scope of the assessment included current practices and costs associated with the data center, help desk, desktop, network, application development, maintenance and enhancements. TBI conducted approximately forty (40) interviews covering various levels of staff from both IT and the various business functions. TBI also reviewed a broad range of documents including strategic plans, past analyses, process documentation, inventories and IT generated statistics.

Observations were provided based on:

  • Consensus of interviews (a view or observation was mentioned by multiple interviewees and analyzed by TBI)
  • TBI observations (issues that may not have been explicitly stated but based on TBI’s experience appear to be present. These may include a single reference which is considered significant enough to warrant further investigation.)
  • Documentation review (interpretations based on document content)
  • Example (specific examples given in interviews or obtained from documents)

Recommendations were than offered that flowed from a synthesis of the IT processes and operational ratings, recurring themes from interviews and Client team discussions, as well as IT marketplace trends and TBI’s relevant experience.

Successful Business Solutions

The project resulted in a report that provided an assessment of IT practices, environment, costs, processes, organization, etc. as well as a “Best Practices” gap analysis, and cost/benefit/risk analysis. TBI identified real/potential gaps and provided strategies to close these gaps.

The report contained deliverables that included:

  • Dominant themes within the Client’s environment
  • Relevant IT industry trends
  • The objectives to be met by the implementation of TBI’s recommendations
  • Suggested sequence of implementation to achieve the best balance of short and long term benefits
  • Key Performance Indicator analysis that compared Clients current indicators and targets to TBI’s benchmark data in the context of the Client’s environment and business goals.
  • Process Gap Analysis that compared the Client, based on eight (8) standard processes, with industry best practices. This analysis included detailed observations including a Business Impact Analysis of each along with a summarization of key points and scoring by process.
  • Baseline financial summary and analysis

Follow-up & Final Outcome

TBI presented its findings to the Client and assisted in constructing a strategic plan for the approval and implantation of the recommendations. Many of the recommendations were implemented by the Client with no outside assistance required due to the clarity of the overall recommendation and the outline of specific tasks provided by TBI.

The Client asked TBI to assist in the recommendation to investigate the outsourcing of select functions within IT operations. As a result of this process, the Client discovered means to achieve internal savings without outsourcing any of its operations at that time.

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