Microsoft’s IT Maturity Model

Microsoft’s maturity model consists of four levels: Basic, Standardized, Rationalized, and Dynamic. Each level above Basic steps IT closer to the role of strategic asset.

» Basic—This is a fire-fighting mode. Most organizations find themselves at this level, with IT agility and cost containment constrained by complete reliance on manual, uncoordinated implementation and management of resources.

» Standardized—IT managers, realizing the futility of using manual processes to dislodge IT from its traditional role of electronic data processing, begin to automate critical processes to enable the business to compete more effectively. They also implement enterprise monitoring and management tools.

» Rationalized—Technology begins to remove itself as a business constraint. Instead, IT is able to quickly react to changes in strategic or operational business requirements. IT teams no longer struggle to stay ahead of the changing business environment. In fact, they actually begin to drive business process improvements.

» Dynamic—The final stage in Microsoft’s model is IT’s arrival as a strategic asset. No longer perceived as a hole into which management dumps budget, it is seen by business units as a partner in the development and maintenance of competitive advantage.

Depicts the model, adding two additional elements. The first is our addition of “Continuous Improvement.” Arriving at the final maturity level should never result in a sense of completion, secure in the knowledge that we have “arrived,” while the business moves forward and our position as a strategic asset rests on an increasingly unstable foundation. There is always room to improve, with new opportunities and challenges arising every day.

The second is the triumvirate comprising the foundation upon which an organization drives IT improvements: people, process, and technology. It is not enough to throw virtualization and additional management tools at a struggling IT environment. People must be convinced of the need for change. Maturing an IT organization requires more than intent. It also requires changes in IT culture.

Processes are often documented and never reviewed again, even if they are followed religiously. Managers and staff should regularly assess each process by asking the following questions:

1. Is every task in the process necessary? Are we doing things because of reasons we can no longer remember?

2. Are we doing enough to meet customer or stakeholder expectations?

3. Are we doing more than expected, incurring unnecessary costs?

4. Can someone else do it cheaper or with better outcomes?

The final element is technology. One of the building blocks of a dynamic IT organization is the proper use of virtualization. To help organizations move along the maturity continuum, Microsoft provides virtualization across all components of the IT infrastructure. Using these tools helps arrive at a dynamic datacenter with centralized, optimized desktop management.

Source of Information : Elsevier-Microsoft Virtualization Master Microsoft Server Desktop Application and Presentation

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