Aiming for a Sustainable IT Transformation? Hit the Bullseye with a Maturity Assessment
Sustainability is a topic many organizations want to take action on. However, with many paths to take, knowing where to start can be tricky. When beginning this journey, organizations often ask, ‘What is the best way to build a strategic and cohesive approach that will work?’
The recommended way to start is to understand where the organization currently sits on this path. This can be achieved by carrying out a maturity assessment.
A maturity assessment will help businesses to:
Understand current practices in terms of digital sustainability and the initiatives already implemented
Determine the current position in the digital sustainability journey and positioning in relation to the market’s best practices
Establish the organization’s ambitions and key focus areas within the sustainability space
Undertaking a maturity assessment will enable a baseline to be set. Following this, the ambitions and goals can then be documented in the form of either a strategy, a roadmap, or an action plan.
6 key topic areas to address when performing a maturity assessment
Review the existing organization structure, governance methods and processes, budget allocations, and whether there is senior management sponsorship.
If it has not been put in place yet, the board should set a clear and compelling mission with the goal of making a positive impact on society and the environment. This provides a sense of purpose which is necessary for the planning and implementing of a sustainable corporate strategy and sustainable returns for stakeholders.
Review project and program management, architecture, and data management practices to understand if the following sustainability considerations are being taken into account:
Analysis of environmental, economic, and social impacts throughout the full lifecycle of projects
Resourcing, processes, and deliverables are carried out in a transparent and ethical way
Efforts made to encourage proactive stakeholder participation
Determine the volume of your end-user devices, how they are managed throughout their lifecycle and how they are used. Your goal should be to achieve the following:
No redundant IT equipment
Efficient management of the IT assets you own (including maintenance, upkeep, updating, security, and patches)
Timely and regular refreshing of said assets sustainably and securely
Understand if employees are aware of the issues related to sustainability and its impact, analyze their skills, and review any required training.
User behavior is a key component of sustainability efforts. Green computing habits can start small, such as turning off screens and computers when not in use or keeping software up to date. It’s also essential to set up effective two-way communication channels between IT and employees.
Examine procurement practices and methodologies to determine whether they include sustainability criteria. Evaluate equipment end of life policy.
Some of the areas that you should look into include:
How long is equipment used in your organization?
Who are your third-party vendors and suppliers? Do they have sustainability commitments in place?
What’s the process of disposing of old equipment? Does the organization make use of refurbishing and recycling services?
Investigate the state and efficiency of your data centers, cloud, and network services. You can evaluate their “sustainability quotient” by looking at power usage efficiency, energy sources, waste management practices, and committing your provider to environmental impact through your service level agreements.
What happens after the maturity assessment is completed?
If there is a requirement to dig deeper after the initial assessment, focus on understanding the future state and build a step-by-step roadmap to get there.
An optional phase is to analyze your carbon footprint to pinpoint the biggest pollutants in the IT environment. This additional information will enable a specific and measurable action plan to be created, which focuses on reducing carbon emissions. There are also practical everyday eco-actions you can take to build sustainability into your digital efforts.
Wavestone is committed to helping clients adapt so that they are ready for the challenges and opportunities of a very different working world. Our Digital Sustainability Team offers a variety of services aimed at helping clients become more sustainable.SPEAK TO OUR SUSTAINABILITY EXPERTS
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