Studying Top Performers
At the ITPI – we help IT decision makers make better decisions. We love technology and the innovation it delivers. But we also love studying and learning about the people who manage technology to achieve amazing results. Our singular focus is on identifying and studying top performing IT organizations to find out what they do that helps them achieve world class results. Then, we share what we learn in order to help other IT organizations take steps to improve their game.
We don’t do product reviews, vendor ratings, or rolodex research e.g. “Here is what the last three people I talked to said…” All these approaches are valuable in their own way. And help guide the IT industry through rapidly changing times. But, we stay focused on measurable outcomes and using data driven based research techniques to identify specific factors that improve operating performance.
We orient all our findings to help decision makers identify and prioritize next steps, understand improvement potential, and “sell” plans to their executive team and board of directors, and guide functional teams that often have deep investment in process and procedures that need to change to enable lasting improvement.
Our efforts are based by a set of first principles:
1 – Operation excellence matters. A lot. How we set up and manage complex, interdependent, and distributed systems has a direct impact on measurable results. In study after study, we find that variations in standard operating procedure result in wide variations in agility, cost efficiency, service levels, and security and compliance performance measures.
2 – We can learn from top performers. There are many ways to improve results. We believe in process improvement and measured experimentation as a way to continually ratchet up performance. But we also understand urgency and the need to rapidly achieve step function improvement. Why reinvent the wheel? Why not leverage what is shown to have big impact at those that have already achieved success.
3 – Outcomes-oriented research is both interesting and useful. Classification and quantification helps build understanding. But if research is not focused on outcomes, then the results won’t necessarily help improve performance. For example, learning that 37% IT executives view security as a top cloud computing concern is interesting. But that information is not really useful for those responsible for setting cloud strategy and priorities. On the other hand, knowing that some IT organizations have measurably better cloud security, and as a group they do something that is different than those with lower measured levels of performance — that is something that is both interesting and useful.
Studying top performers doesn’t just satisfy human curiosity about what others are doing. It isn’t simply a way to sanity check existing plans and make sure that others are doing the same thing. It isn’t about benchmarking competitors to see if results are in a normal range.
We believe that outcomes-oriented research produces better guidance for IT decision makers. Research findings taken from a wide cross section of organizations can be directly applied to the goals, objectives, operational maturity and existing practices of a single IT organization. Our research helps people make data-drive decisions and guide sustainable change for their organization.