A beverage manufacturing company had grown to $550 million in net revenue. However, IT systems that were brought in to serve specific needs at the time were not coordinated with each other or able to scale as the company’s needs expanded. The technology team had grown organically, which had allowed the company to grow from small to medium size without much thought to standards, system compatibility, and staying power of vendors. Also, the IT group had left the company exposed to cybersecurity risk with no plan to deal with it. Leadership of the team had created an organizational structure that was too flat, which caused jealousies and strife among middle managers. Clearly, if the company was to continue to the next phase on its successful path, it would need to be supported by an IT team that was more sophisticated and capable of delivering the ever-changing technology tools and risk mitigation that were needed.
The company’s Human Resources Officer, now a NextLevel principal, was asked to take over the IT group on an interim basis to correct these deficiencies and reshape it for the future. In a short time, she did the following:
- Analyzed the budget, comparing it to that of other companies in the industry, and worked with the CEO and CFO to adjust the budget for the department to reflect the size and future needs of the organization
- Completed an analysis of skill sets of each team member and established a structure with limited span of control for each manager and clearer lines of reporting. This reduced chaos and created a clear plan for employee development and succession planning.
- Analyzed all the IT services of external providers and determined which were important to remain outsourced and which should be brought in-house for better control and strategic development of expertise. This rationalization also resulted in significant savings.
- Created and implemented a cybersecurity plan and hired the right expert to establish the path to gaining certification that was the industry gold standard: ISO 27001 certification
In a matter of months, the company had all the cybersecurity mitigation elements in place to achieve certification. The new organizational structure proved to be efficient as well as effective when needed systems applications were in process, but under the new rules as to compatibility, scalability, and creditworthiness of support organizations. The reshaped IT team showed itself to be ready to support the next phase of company growth so that, under a new CFO with IT experience, a permanent CIO could be hired with adequate experience to direct it.