Business Focused Technology Consulting

CIS can help your business leverage technology, increase efficiency and maximize profitability.

We have been helping businesses embrace and implement new technology for over three decades. So whether you need help with a technology assessment, security, or compliance project or are interested in a top-down review of how technology can help your business grow and prosper, CIS can help.

How Can We Help?

  • IT infrastructure assessments

  • Workflow automation

  • Regulatory compliance

  • Digital Transformation

  • Cyber security assessments

  • Cloud migration readiness assessments

  • Needs analysis, RFP prep, and vendor selection

  • Tech due diligence for mergers & acquisitions

Small and midsize businesses often operate without a technology roadmap. Projects and budgets are typically organized around upgrading broken or outdated systems rather than embracing innovative technology that can help your business grow and compete. As a result, tech staff and service providers can be relegated to maintaining your current workflow without having insight into the larger vision and strategy of the business owners. 

CIS can help bridge the gap between the upper management team, driving vision and strategy, and the tech team responsible for keeping things running.

Aligning Technology with your Business Strategy.

Once your technology is aligned with your corporate strategy, amazing things become possible.  Your business will be built on a solid foundation, utilizing the right technologies, combined with the necessary business capabilities, all in sync with a roadmap that will help your company grow and prosper.  

At this point, technology will allow you to work smarter and faster, to enhance and automate things in your business that were not possible before.  You will be able to make decisions based on real-time data, which can help you respond to competitive threats, establish new customer value propositions, and adapt to changing customer needs.

In the Enterprise market, they call this process Digital Transformation,

embracing technology and innovation from the top down in all aspects of your business, customer relations, and corporate culture.
We have developed a simple three-phase process to help guide small and mid-size businesses through this tech evolution.  We don’t promote technology for technology’s sake; we focus on business problems and business opportunities, working closely with your management team to explore ways that technology can help your business succeed and grow.

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

A real world approach for small and medium size organizations.

Tech Infrastructure & Management

- Workflow Digitization -

Assessment, Optimization, & Execution

- Operational Efficiencies -

Strategy, Innovation, & Culture

- Roadmap for Success -

“You can’t move forward with your strategic goals if your technology and management systems aren’t built on a solid foundation.”
Technology Infrastructure & Management

Technology Infrastructure & Management

PHASE 1 - Digitize Your Workflow

Establish a solid foundation.

  • Standard operating procedures

  • Industry best practices

  • Business continuity planning

  • Vendor management

  • Infrastructure management

  • Cyber security

  • Documentation & knowledgebase

  • Regulatory compliance

A Technology House of Cards?

All business is tough, but small business is tougher!

Small companies usually have less time, fewer resources, smaller budgets, and fewer choices, than their larger competitors.  Management usually spends most of their time working IN the business, rather than ON the business. They rarely have the time or budget required to focus on technology, so it is typically left to an unlucky employee to deal with as best they can, amongst all of their other responsibilities (whether they do it themselves or outsource).

New technology is typically added by just “bolting it on” to the existing systems and workflow without much planning or training. Unfortunately, this can lead to more complexity and single points of failure than is necessary due to how these networks have evolved.

There is usually very little documentation, and procedures tend to be very ad-hoc, with everyone doing things their own unique way. Out of necessity, users often find “workarounds” and creative solutions to get the job done. As a result, new employees get “trained” on these techniques without realizing that it may not be the most efficient or secure way to perform the task at hand.

At one point or another, most small businesses end up dependent on mission-critical technology, which was bolted together without a plan. There is no documentation, no user training, and as a result, management has little or no confidence that they are prepared for a significant failure or interruption of service.

If this is your current condition, whether you are a very small, or a “not so small” business, we can help.

We have the experience, and the resources, to help you shore things up and follow a proven process to eliminate the technology house of cards.

The CIS Framework for Professional IT Management

A common set of principles, standards, and practices that help maximize productivity and minimize business risk.

Shown below are the first ten principles of our Professional IT Management Framework for small businesses.  Implementing these very basic guidelines, whether you have a few internal IT staff, or outsource the function, will help lay a solid foundation for success.

Without following these basic principles, you will have little chance of;

  • Meeting ANY regulatory compliance requirements
  • Fulfilling your obligations under your Cyber Security insurance policy
  • Protecting your critical business data, and your client’s data
  • Optimizing your workflow to maximize efficiency and profitability
  • Embracing technology in all aspects of your business, to drive innovation and growth

The First Ten Principles

  • 1
    Fully document what you have.
  • 2
    Fully document EVERYTHING that you do.
  • 3
    Constantly monitor for changes and vulnerabilities.
  • 4
    Identify and rank all single points of failure and business risk.
  • 5
    Establish Standard Operating Procedures for all repeatable tasks.
  • 6
    Establish training and staff development plans for all IT staff.
  • 7
    Adopt a Continual Service Improvement model.
  • 8
    Implement Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans.
  • 9
    Become a Security First organization.
  • 10
    Provide exceptional customer service to your staff and clients.

Need a hand with IT Management & Support?

We can help.  CIS has three service divisions focusing on the Management, Delivery, and Support of business technology systems.

Co-Managed IT Services

IT Guardian specializes in providing expert resources for small to mid-sized IT Departments to help achieve operational excellence and manage risk.
IT Guardian serves organizations headquartered throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Our typical clients have between 100 and 1,000 computers and less than five employees in their IT Department. We provide the people, process, and technology to help small tech teams succeed.
Visit IT Guardian

Managed IT Services in NH

White Mountain IT provides a full-service IT department for your business, from onsite services and helpdesk to system engineering, cybersecurity, and network administration, we've got you covered!
Established in 1985, White Mountain has been a leader in the computer support and Managed IT Services field for over thirty-five years. White Mountain IT provides a full service IT department for your small business, from onsite services and helpdesk to system engineering, cybersecurity, and network administration, we've got you covered!
Visit White Mountain

Managed IT Services in MA

Proven IT support with a personal approach. North Central Tech can be a complete IT department for your small business.
Providing communication and technology support services to businesses throughout North Central Massachusetts for over 20 years. North Central Tech provides a full service IT department for your small business. Don’t settle for poor IT service, give us a call today!
Visit North Central
“Are you getting the maximum value from your tech investments?
Are your systems efficient and secure, and are they supporting your business goals?”
Assessment & Execution

Assessment & Execution

PHASE 2 - Achieve Operational Efficiency

Eliminate Ad-hoc systems and workflow.

Businesses today are more dependent than ever on a vast array of online systems and services, technologies that have become the core of nearly every successful organization today.  Cloud and mobile solutions have raised the bar on customer expectations, lowered traditional barriers to entry, and completely changed the competitive landscape for many businesses.
 
To be sure, small businesses benefit from the easy adoption of new technology, but the rapid pace of change has brought its own set of problems to the table.  It is not uncommon for what used to be entirely in-house and manual functions to now require seamless integration of over a dozen vendors and technologies.
 
Most recently, the COVID pandemic has forced the adoption of new digital technologies and remote access systems. In many cases, these systems have been implemented under pressure and without proper planning. Often with little or no regard for training, compliance, or cybersecurity requirements.
 
There is no auto-pilot.
 

With Ad-hoc systems, no single person fully understands how the patchwork of software and systems works together, what to do when there are problems, or how to be sure that your staff is using them properly and safely. Someone needs to be driving the process to ensure your systems are secure, and your business needs are being met; there is no auto-pilot.

It’s no wonder many small business owners feel trapped in a cycle of never-ending inefficiency, business risks, and escalating costs.  Larger companies can easily master the latest technologies and security threats, and they have dedicated people focusing on efficiency and proactive Risk Management, while many small companies are stuck in a continuous cycle of Crisis Management.

In Phase 2 of our Tech Evolution Model, we help you transform from an Ad-hoc workflow to a structured system of procedures for the most critical functions of your business.  We follow a proven process that guides you through Phase 2.  We help optimize your workflow and manage the technology needed to run your business.

Ad-hoc

Operational Efficiency

Do you have Ad-hoc workflow hiding in your business?

Ad-hoc

1:  for the particular case at hand without consideration of the wider application  2:  formed for specific or immediate problems or needs 3:  fashioned from whatever is immediately available 

Ad-hoc

1:  for the particular case at hand without consideration of the wider application  2:  formed for specific or immediate problems or needs 3:  fashioned from whatever is immediately available 

Running a business in an Ad-hoc manner makes it;

  • hard to maintain consistent quality of service
  • more difficult to onboard new clients
  • hard to replace staff and vendors
  • hard to support staff and clients
  • more difficult to train new staff
  • hard to plan, hard to budget
  • hard to innovate
  • hard to manage
  • hard to grow

Every business deserves access to the tools and processes their larger competitors use to scale, allowing them to eliminate waste, narrow the competitive gap, and grow.  CIS is certified in the Digital Maturity Group Framework, which helps us gauge IT operations and workflow efficiency across all aspects of your business. We can then pinpoint problematic processes and convert technology investments into measurable business results. 

Apply our 4 step workflow improvement process,

within each department of your organization.

Digital Transformation
DMG

CertifiedDigital Advisors

Our consultants are experts in the DMG Tools & Process and are DMG Certified Digital Advisors.  

THE DIGITAL MATURITY GROUP PROCESS

Information Technology tools are more robust, more flexible, and more capable than ever. Still, with today’s rapid pace of change, business leaders are finding it harder to know where they stand with technology and how to maintain a competitive edge in this rapidly changing digital landscape.  We follow a proven process for assessing how your existing IT execution and management supports the company’s overall competitiveness to achieve more market share, better margins, and smoother operation. 

Leverage Technology to obtain measurable business improvements.

Step 1

Identify Modernization Opportunities

Business Improvement Review

Step 2

Create a Modernization Action Plan

Digital Maturity Assessment

Step 3

Plan Modernization Projects

Dx Discovery Workshops

Step 4

Execute Modernization Projects

Dx Execution Process

Improve efficiency, productivity and profitability, with technology.

  • Identify all manual and redundant functions

  • Minimize single points of failure & business risk

  • Identify opportunities for automation

  • Document critical workflow & processes

  • Assess areas of business to be optimized

  • Establish short and long term goals per department

  • Match technology to business goals

  • Identify key metrics, develop dashboards and reports

“Is your business positioned for sustainable growth?
How is technology changing your competitive landscape?
Things are changing faster than ever; every business needs a plan.”

Strategy, Innovation, & Culture

Strategy, Innovation, & Culture

PHASE 3 - Develop a Roadmap for Success

The IONOLOGY
Digital Transformation Framework

In phase three, we can focus on the big picture with all of the technical and workflow issues under control.

The CIS team is certified in the Ionology Digital Transformation Framework, which provides a proven methodology and educational foundation to guide organizations through phase three.  The Ionology Framework was developed by Prof. Niall McKeown and is recognized as one of the midmarket’s leading and most practical methodologies. For the full experience, including leadership training, we combine our services with Ionology expert-led courses to help guide your strategy development and corporate culture.

(Part of the Ionology Framework)

Without current and complete data, you will lack insight, and be unable to make evidence based decisions to keep up with constant change.

Technology enables Digital Transformation, it is imperative that your systems are built on a solid foundation using the correct technology.

Without these, incoherent action occurs and roadblocks seem insurmountable.

If engagement with stakeholders is wrong, it leads to resistance.

The most critical building block, without a coherent strategy, efforts result in stand alone digitization projects.

Ionology CertifiedConsultants

Our consultants are certified in the Ionology Digital Transformation Framework, which provides a proven methodology and educational foundation to guide organizations through phase three.  Click Here to learn more about the Ionology Framework and courses, available in person or online. 

Technology is only one of the 5 Change Blocks of Digital Transformation.

Strategy, engagement, innovation, and data are all equally important and require leadership attention; without which, digital transformation will not succeed.

Empower change, growth, and innovation.

The ionology data-driven transformation framework enables you to:

  • Identify opportunities for growth

  • Identify opportunities for innovation

  • Identify new sales opportunities

  • Employ the most effective marketing tactics for your business

  • Understand if and how you can take on your digital competitors

  • Identify capability gaps

  • Select or create the right technology to deliver transformation

  • All using data-driven decision-making

So, what is the difference between

Digitization and

Transformation?

Some businesses set out to digitally transform, but instead, they drift, upgrade, and tweak systems as they go but generally still do business the way they always have.  Instead of evolving and innovating, many companies digitize and stop.

Often, they have been mis-sold the idea that more technology = greater competitive advantage. 

But here's the thing, in the 2020's technology alone rarely creates a new, sustainable competitive advantage.  Having the latest tech is simply a prerequisite to compete.

Technology is just a tool, and with today’s abundance of cloud-enabled apps and other disruptive technologies, even the smallest businesses have access to technology that would have been unobtainable for them just a few short years ago.  If you are not strategic about using technology to differentiate your business, you will be at risk of being left behind.

So, what is the difference between businesses that digitize and those that transform? Strategy and Leadership.

ionology

Digital Transformation Maturity Model

Where are you in your marketplace?

Where will you be in 3 years?5 years?10 years?

If you feel that your business isn't getting the maximum value from your tech investments, give us a call today!

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