Info-Tech Research Group: Research that Boosts IT Performance, Delivers Measured Value

Joel McLean, Founder & Executive Chairman In the excitement surrounding new technological advances, it is easy for IT leaders to place an overemphasis on the process and technology side of the iconic “People – Process – Technology” triangle. With new possibilities created by emerging technologies, IT leaders are increasingly turning to technology and automation to streamline their processes. But process and technology cannot come together without the critical “people” component. This means that organizational leaders need to build strong teams on a foundation of trust, resilience, and experience to optimize both process and technology.

With more than 20 years of experience in IT research and advisory services, Info-Tech Research Group provides in-depth diagnostics and key strategic insights that help IT leaders enhance the value proposition of IT within their organizations. The research and advisory firm provides the data to effectively evaluate, design, and implement IT and ITSM strategies, thus helping align IT to the business.

Info-Tech Research Group has a team of more than a hundred analysts, covering the core IT areas, focused on understanding the top issues that IT leaders face. Based on member programs and projects, the analysts use the research findings to put together best-practice blueprints and toolkits by documenting how members successfully implement critical IT strategies and projects. The in-depth diagnostics and research findings are the engine behind Info-Tech Research Group’s data-driven membership programs.

Info-Tech Research Group builds tools, templates, step-by-step methodologies, and insights to help members make the right decisions to implement IT strategies and expedite IT project execution. One of Info-Tech Research Group’s innovative formats for solving IT problems for members is to conduct a five-day workshop that offers an alternate approach to IT consulting. The team of analysts and workshop delivery experts from Info-Tech Research Group work extensively with the CIO and the IT teams in the lead up to the workshop and through the process, gaining a deep understanding of key challenges and current roadblocks, envisioning solutions and executing strategies that deliver immense value to members.

According to Joel McLean, CEO of Info-Tech Research Group, “One of our most successful innovations has been our reimagining of the IT workshop, in its execution and delivery to our members. Working collaboratively with the team on-site, our expert facilitators work through critical IT problems and project deliverables while training the team, using a learning-based approach. Our analysts spend five very productive and collaborative days helping the company finish at least 90 percent of the key project it selects.

Our solutions and services are rooted in years of research and insights from best-practice data and deliver real measured value, both in terms of time and dollars saved.”

Speaking about the success of workshops for members, which include organizations such as NASA, Spotify, University of Exeter, and University of Texas, San Antonio, McLean added, “The workshops are completely customized to each member’s needs and on average save our members more than $50,000, per engagement.”
James Alexander, SVP, Executive ServicesSome of the core IT areas Info-Tech Research Group analysts and experts work on with members include developing a visual IT strategy, building risk management frameworks, creating robust business continuity, developing disaster recovery plans, and redesigning governance frameworks for driving measurable results.

Importantly, the company creates ITSM benchmarking programs designed to collect data and have better data-driven inputs to augment IT strategy. “Most CIOs look at data for the growth of the business but do not have the data analysis required for the improvement of the IT department. We base the entire ITSM strategy for members on the data we have,” said James Alexander, SVP of Executive Services, Info-Tech Research Group.

Info-Tech Research Group has a detailed methodology to help benchmark members’ current performance and enable them to assess and improve each one of their core processes. “With larger organizations, it becomes essential that different leaders hold ownership of certain practices so that they can independently drive improvements in these categories. We ensure clear accountability in such organizations,” he added. These benchmarking processes include security assessment programs, staffing assessment, project management assessment, application portfolio, and project ROI to determine the performance of various aspects of the IT department.

For a business to succeed, it is important to become stakeholder focused. Based on an extensive time study that has analyzed the current state of CIO-CEO engagement and an in-depth stakeholder engagement mapping, Info-Tech Research Group advises CIOs and IT leaders to bring about a successful balance between technology, sales, service, and supply chain teams. “We have discovered that highly successful CIOs spend about 10 percent of their time on stakeholder management. We are convincing CIOs of the benefits of carrying out such stakeholder management programs because of its positive impact on IT effectiveness and a very clear ROI,” says McLean.

Apart from processes, Info-Tech Research Group also helps senior IT professionals focus on the technology aspect of their IT infrastructure. "When it comes to technology products, services or enterprise software, the hardest thing to do is to make a selection decision, as there are numerous vendors in the market and not all of them fit what the member needs,” said McLean.

He and his team worked tirelessly on an innovation to help software users understand the vendor landscape in a way that caters to their specific needs, equipping them with the data they need to make better IT decisions. And in 2017, Software Reviews was born. Since then, Software Reviews has been collecting and validating real data from IT and business professionals to produce the most detailed and authentic insights into the experience of evaluating and purchasing enterprise software. As one software vendor, Malware bytes, has wisely put it: research is good, but user reviews are even better.

Our learning-based approach: Some case studies

After each Info-Tech experience, members are asked to share qualitative feedback and quantify the real time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements that the research helped them achieve. The measured value data that is gathered shows that the workshops deliver an average savings of $56,411 and 29 business days. The following member success stories outline the benefits and results achieved with the workshops and diagnostics delivered by Info-Tech Research Group.
Amy Meger, Information and Cyber Governance Manager at Platte River Power Authority speaks highly of the quality of engagement and results achieved. “The Incident Response Workshop allowed us to walk out of the week-long workshop with buy-in from the primary stakeholders and a draft for our plan and runbooks,” she said.

"Today, technology has permeated all aspects of businesses and IT is no longer the domain of the CIO’s office. We are enabling IT leaders to bridge this demand gap and successfully foray into the new frontier of technology-based solutions and platforms, to support every aspect of their business"

Fernco, a U.S.-based manufacturing company, has been an Info-Tech Research Group member since 2015 and recently concluded its eighth workshop. The workshops have covered critical IT areas such as change management, risk management, IT strategy, information security strategy and disaster recovery planning. With help from the team at Info-Tech, the Fernco team has been able to systematically implement an ERP solution, launch a three-year IT strategy, and take a strategic approach to disaster recovery and business continuity. Fernco was able to quantify the measured value from one of the workshops at $50,000 and time savings of 20 business days.


Learning and Development: Polishing IT Professionals’ Skills Constantly

Info-Tech Research Group strongly believes that organizations need to continually invest in the learning and development of IT leaders and professionals to constantly improve and sharpen their skills, based on their roles. Info-Tech Research Group offers its members a “Key Initiative Plan” that outlines critical aspects of leadership and core development areas to help build a successful pipeline of IT leaders. Devised from Info-Tech Research Group’s two decades of experience, this plan enables IT professionals to understand and improve their performance.“Our leadership development programs are focused on key aspects that are important to help align IT with a CEO's expectation,” said McLean.

Info-Tech Research Group has a team of expert counselors to coach IT leaders, not just on improving the value proposition and performance, but to enhance their own personal performance, making IT departments accountable and aligning them with the needs of the business. The firm has data to prove that IT departments that measure IT performance dramatically outperform their peers.

"Today, technology has permeated all aspects of businesses and IT is no longer the domain of the CIO’s office. We are enabling IT leaders to bridge this demand gap and successfully foray into the new frontier of technology-based solutions and platforms, to support every aspect of their business,” noted Alexander.

Info-Tech Research Group’s growth plans include further consolidation of its presence across North America while building on the success of its strong member acquisition in Australia and New Zealand where the firm recently opened its newest operations.

With eyes set on growth and expansion in the future, Info-Tech Research Group has a three-pronged approach to ensure success.“At the front end, we have data-driven diagnostics, in the middle, we have our best-practice research, and at the far end that touches the member, we have actual boots on the ground, helping implement a solution that drives immense measured value for the member organization,” summarized Alexander.

To access an Info-Tech Research Group signature research blueprint, click here : https://www.infotech.com/cioreview2019

Company
Info-Tech Research Group

Headquarters
London, Ontario

Management
Joel McLean, Founder & Executive Chairman and James Alexander, SVP, Executive Services

Description
Provides insights to IT professionals for enhancing the value proposition of IT within their organizations and delivering measurable results. Info-Tech Research Group is one of the fastest growing full-service research and analyst firm in North America, serving more than 30,000 IT and HR professionals. Info-Tech's mission is to help IT leaders systematically improve their core processes and governance and implement critical technology projects. Info-Tech Research Group’s divisions include McLean & Company and SoftwareReviews

Info-Tech Research Group