Finding value through technology maturity

Finding value through technology maturity
By Molly McDaniel
Molly McDaniel
Partner, Cloud Consulting and Client Services
Apr 8, 2022
Editors note: Originally published Jan. 7, 2021; updated April 8, 2022.

Innovation and change have accelerated over the last few years thanks to new technologies. And with the lasting disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations and employees have needed to be increasingly nimble.

The combination of those factors has led to a certain level of chaos as everyone tries to adapt, experiment, and innovate with new products, methodologies, and technologies. However, it’s impossible to be an expert in everything and that includes cloud, automation, and emerging technologies.

We’ve seen clients struggle to make sense of it all. It can be difficult and stressful to know when and where to invest resources—time, labor, and cost—all while trying to align marketing, technology, and business stakeholders.

How to cultivate focus across teams

One challenge of these disparate stakeholders is that they aren’t always aligned on what needs to be done for a solution to happen. For example, the marketing team could be working toward one goal while the technology team is focused on a completely different milestone. How can organizations provide a single destination for these integrated teams?

To answer that question and help focus our clients’ investments, we developed the Web Hosting Maturity Scale. The scale can help both marketing leaders who are looking to add new technology to their MarTech stack and tech teams that are more focused on efficiencies and mitigating tech debt, to determine where they are today, where they want to go, and what the value is to all parties involved. It’s where innovation, partnership, and collective purpose co-exist.

The scale helps identify opportunities for continuous improvement and optimization, from which you can build a roadmap. Getting that right can be a long journey, but it’s well worth it, and in the end, you’ll have a high-quality solution that removes any lasting silos.

How the Web Hosting Maturity Scale works

The Web Hosting Maturity Scale looks at six areas, each with high-level milestones for increased maturity:

  1. Software development looks at everything needed for the end-to-end solution (infrastructure, security, configurations, controls, etc.) and converts everything possible into automatically and continuously running code. 
  2. Portability separates the relationship between your application and infrastructure by removing their dependency on one another—this results in less development and operational effort even as your number of users grows.
  3. Operational capabilities deploy and configure services. They should also stabilize services to prevent them from changing to an unknown state in the future.
  4. Management capabilities maintain what is already there by deploying patches, hotfixes, version upgrades, etc.
  5. Validation and verification focus on reducing manual labor while still ensuring the quality of the product delivered.
  6. Security matures by embedding your security settings, tools, reporting, scanning, etc. into the deployment process from the start, to ensure its end-to-end strength and robustness/vigor.

Across these six areas, any manual, siloed, and non-repeatable tasks are given a low score on the scale. As you increase the level of automation and repeatability in the environment, your scores will start to rise. You will start to implement Infrastructure as Code, DevOps methodologies, and potentially reach a status of Zero Ops—the ideal point, when your methods are so smoothly automated that your Ops team no longer needs to spend its time performing or managing those tasks. The benefits include lower support costs, increased availability and security of the solution, and overall quality improvement.

Discover how organizations can stay nimble while making sense of all the latest products, methodologies, and technologies here.

ICF’s global marketing services agency focuses on helping your organization find opportunity in disruption.
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  1. Molly McDaniel, Partner, Cloud Consulting and Client Services
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