One of the key issues facing today’s Chief Information Officers is deriving greater demonstrable business value from IT spend, amid challenged IT budgets. The IT-CMF (Capability Maturity Framework) is a tool developed by IT industry leaders and academics, to address this issue.
Developed collaboratively, the IT- CMF is a framework to evaluate an organisations’ IT maturity level, benchmark against industry peers and identify a roadmap for improvement.
The IT- CMF has identified the 4 macro process that any IT function will be involved in:
- Managing IT like a Business – shifting the focus from technology and production to a focus on customers and services
- Managing the IT Budget – investing in innovative IT solutions that deliver better value and performance
- Managing the IT Capability – managing IT assets throughout the value chain and developing core competencies
- Managing IT for Business Value – linking IT investments to overall business benefits
In turn, the 33 critical processes within these macro processes have also been identified (e.g. two of the critical processes identified within “Managing IT like a Business” are Innovation Management and Service Analytics & Intelligence, “Managing the IT Budget” contains Funding & Financing and Portfolio Planning & Prioritisation etc.)
To evaluate the maturity of an organisation against the IT-CMF’s model, two layers of assessments are provided. First, a high-level assessment covers the complete IT organisation and highlights particular areas in need for improvement. Second, drill-downs are conducted in these areas with detail-level assessments to identify specific gaps and give recommendations on how to close them. The IT-CMF contains collections of industry practices to benchmark, identify gaps and develop recommendations for improvements.
The IT-CMF highlights the company’s key maturity gaps and any potential overinvestment. Contrary to many other frameworks, it is not assumed that a higher maturity level will automatically generate business value for the company (for example, a coal mine would not need to be as mature at IT security as a major bank). The assessment result provides the CIO with a clear roadmap to avail of any value-creation opportunities and guides them in reaching the optimal maturity level for their organization across all 33 critical processes.