A guide to implementing IT best practice

According to Gartner, best practices are a group of tasks that optimizes the efficiency or effectivenessof the business or process to which it contributes. Best practices must be replicable, implementable, transferable and adaptable across industries.

IT has today moved from simply delivering technology to businesses, to providing and driving business value. Best practices are implemented so businesses could improve their services, products, security, and productivity while utilizing the full potential of the value of investments. Integrating best practices into a business is a huge task but it brings in benefits like:

  • Drives efficient business activities

  • Harnesses industry research and success

  • Improves customer satisfaction and loyalty

  • Increases productivity and innovation

  • Savestime, money and other resources

  • Sets a benchmark for assessment and value maximization

Each IT field will have different best practices which could have significant overlap too. Best practices come with a degree of flexibility andpoint out the best way to get the most out of investments service delivery and customer support. It is crucial to find the best practice and use it in a way to bring in success and benefit both the business and the clients helping them to leverage the services offered.

According to Gartner, there are two kinds of best practices - cost and risk best practices and service level best practices. However, implement best practices is not the end goal but implementing best practices that benefits the company with specific results.

  • Cost & risk best practices It is extremely necessary to plan and manage the cost of projects so that there is no risk of overspending, overrunning deadlines and having unhappy customers. This is possible by implementing effective and efficient best practices. In the long run, there will be visible benefits and improvements with the business delivering products and services, honouring commitments and bringing value to customers.

  • Service level best practices A robust service level agreement from a good ITSM framework will help to implement the best practices for service management. While the agreements will change from contract to contract, the understanding of best practices will rein in success for the company as well as the client.

Let’s look at a general checklist on implementing IT best practices -

  • Aligning the best practices project with long term strategic objectives and making sure it benefits the organization and empowers the clients too.

  • Taking inventory of the systems and identifying the process gaps and flow of information

  • Once the specific needs are identified, it is necessary to consider if the timing is right to implement the solution because the right timing in terms of costs, resources, etc., is crucial for implementing any best practices solution.

  • Identifying resources to champion the project, ensure success and keep the timeline on track.

  • Researching and identifying solutions by building a roadmap designing and developing the solution. This also involves streamliningthe solutions by building processes that accommodate the future.

  • Finding anefficient and experienced technology partner who understands the purpose of implementing best practices and helps through the process and also provides post implementation support.

  • Managing change with training and patience which are essential in adopting a new mindset for making upgrades to existing systems.

  • Get automated data and reports as besides having a great system it is important to measure outcomes and share information about everything.

  • Regularly evaluating the process to measure progress and stay on track while keeping the system updated for producing results. The evaluation process could include specific metrics, milestones and timelines, and finally accountability by single champions.

  • Beyond the implementation, it is necessary to assess if the new best practices has accomplished what it was supposed to.

Finally, the main goal of best practices is to drive positive business activities that provide value to clients and focus on efficiently adapting historically valid guidelines.