In 1935, a golfer by the name of E.F. Staugaard carded the lowest score ever recorded in a golf game. His reported score was 55 on the par-72, 6,419-yard Montebello Park course in Montebello, California. Tiger Woods’s lowest recorded score, by comparison, was a 61. Regardless of whether you are a pro-golfer or technology executive, scores matter.
Scoring in sports is important because it lets players and fans know on a consistent basis where they stand. It is an equally important tool for managing your technology operations, risk and compliance. A score provides (took out someone) instant feedback that is tangible and backed by real data. It also indicates where improvement is needed and what is being done well. A score can enhance (took out your) performance by providing benchmarks for an easy peer to peer comparison.
When a scoring methodology is applied to critical technology operations, clear, objective and quantitative decisions can be made. Being able to score your company’s application architecture or infrastructure configuration, for example, against industry standards removes the guesswork from managing operations.
The following are just a few of the reasons why scoring your technology operations can be of great benefit.
Thoroughness of the Assessment
Scoring cannot happen without rules on which to base a score. This forces a company to establish a detailed system of requirements in the form of policies, procedures and day-to-day activities. A well-defined set of rules can be focused on particular aspects of your operations and tailored to specific business needs. Most importantly, its level of specificity can ensure that you get a thorough an evaluation of your technology without missing critical business details.
Decisions are Clear and Impartial
Scoring simplifies decision making. The volume of technology solutions available today can be overwhelming to any organization. By employing a process of scoring operations that map back to corporate priorities, best practices and governance requirements, decision making can be simplified. Additionally, scores provide the data necessary to facilitate faster decision making and the basis for explaining or defending decisions to others.
Benchmarking Against Peers
A score allows you to benchmark your performance and determine if you’re operating at your best. These benchmarks can be internal within your company or in comparison to your industry peer group. Benchmarking can then be used to identify gaps in your company’s processes and can help you achieve a competitive advantage.
Scores Can Be Customized
An organization's priorities change over time and certainly differ from the priorities of their peers. As such, having the ability to weight scores based on what matters most to executives and technology managers is important. Acknowledging that all tasks aren’t equal in importance and being able to customize how important each task is to a company’s overall score is necessary for a score to be relevant to you.
If you ask any professional golfer or athlete if scores matter, the answer will undoubtedly be yes. In business, when conducting an assessment of your operations, evaluating the performance of an employee or determining where to invest next, scores help by creating tangible measures that are easy to understand and clearly show where improvement is needed.
Many companies feel that information security and compliance spending is a necessary evil and just another cost of doing business. However, Corsis has found that with the right planning and implementation, investment in information security technologies can yield valuable opportunities and attract customers.
Using Corsis+Data, we recently analyzed 40 technology service organizations with revenues ranging from $30 million to $100 million across many industries. What we found was that companies with the highest score exhibited several common traits. These companies deploy technologies and provide independent oversight that automate and enforce security measures to ensure compliance with regulations and best practices. They have turned this expense category into an asset that can attract customers and provide confidence to investors. Below are the top five things that high-scoring companies are doing:
Your company’s technology assets may hold enormous value or could pose a huge risk to your business’s valuation. Whether it’s through the actual state of your technology, or the perception of it, the technology that runs your business should always be in a position to be bought or sold, or even just evaluated by potential partners and customers. Methodical documentation of your assets is the key to maximizing your company’s intellectual property. Despite this, the Corsis Confidence Index has shown that this activity is often the most overlooked aspect of a company’s technology operations, leaving tech staff to scramble at the last minute to compile necessary information.
Our professional services team has decades of experience performing technology due diligence on behalf of buyers and sellers and, with the help of our IT assessment tool, have put together the following observations.
Cloud computing has revolutionized information technology by making unlimited scalability available to every startup. With this power and simplicity, the temptation to skip traditional engineering fundamentals is strong. However, our decades of experience measuring and operationalizing technology throughout hundreds of organizations, indicates that there are several key steps that many firms bypass, increasing risks and costs.
Scalability is achieved in one of two ways: horizontal or vertical. Horizontal scalability is the ability to increase your compute resources by adding similar nodes or servers to a particular architecture tier, such as an application pool or database cluster. Vertical scalability is the ability to add more resources such as CPUs or RAM to individual servers. Horizontal scalability is essential to most businesses and the focus of this article.
The majority of technology company executives we encounter believe that they have successfully implemented horizontal scalability. However, data from the Corsis Confidence Index (CCI), a proprietary technology benchmarking standard that measures confidence in a company’s IT operations, tells a different story. Our assessment data shows that critical engineering control processes which make horizontal scalability efficient and reliable are frequently overlooked.
Corsis Confidence Index Finds Many Executives Fooled By Their Own Business Continuity Plan
How confident are you that your business continuity plan will actually work if your business experiences a technological failure? Do you even have a plan? If you do, are you sure it’s being followed?
Data from the Corsis Confidence IndexTM (CCI), a proprietary technology benchmarking standard that measures confidence in a company’s IT operations, shows that while the majority of technology company executives feel that their business continuity plans are adequate, critical details are being overlooked.
Corsis has found that the overwhelming majority of companies being assessed operate under the misconception that they are safe from disruption because they are consistently performing nightly backups. Detailed data from the CCI indicates that while 94% of technology companies had documented Business Continuity plans, and 72% of companies included policies on backing up their critical technologies, only 6% of companies had actually bothered to make sure their backups were working properly and would be useful in the event of a failure.
The ecommerce platform landscape has matured considerably over the last five years, making platform selection a harder task. Recent studies have found that 20% of companies are in the process of re-platforming, and a third (32%) said they were considering re-platforming in the future.*
An important perspective to consider when selecting an ecommerce platform is being able to discern which of the many platforms available will have the best fit with the organization’s resources. The purpose of this article is to help decision makers choose the best ecommerce platform for their organization from the plethora of options available.
Corsis has evaluated many ecommerce companies as part of our IT Assessment service offering and has found that successful implementations can generally be categorized by the organizational capabilities of the company and their revenue size. To help navigate the selection process, the table below illustrates how these two variables can impact an organization’s ecommerce platform selection.