Directing IT

Building on experience of long term IT leadership assignments with Ovo and Good Energy, Tilix provides a range of IT management and IT governance services to SMEs in the energy, sustainability and clean-tech markets. Key areas of focus for Tilix consultants are:

  • Office365
  • Governance
  • InfoSec
  • Azure & AWS
Tilix Business Architeture

For organisations without an IT Director, Tilix offers a fractional CIO service. In these cases, our clients enjoy the benefit of first class IT governance and management without the overhead of employing a full-time member of staff. For SMEs with an in-house IT capability, Tilix provides ad hoc advisory, interim management and project based solutions on an as needed basis. Some of our success stories include:

  • Champion Energy
  • Pivot Power
  • Good Energy
  • Ovo Energy

IT Governance

Businesses need confidence in information systems and the information produced by those systems. COBIT 5 enables executives to better understand how to direct and manage the enterprise’s use of IT and the standard of good practice to be expected from IT providers. COBIT 5 provides the tools to direct and oversee all IT related activities.

Leaders need good information to make good business decisions and Tilix expertise helps them increases value creation through effective governance of enterprise information and technology assets.

Tilix provides authoritative governance advisory for enterprise information and related technology. The markets we serve are focussing on:

  • Complying with increasing legal, regulatory and contractual obligations.
  • Establishing and maintaining an efficient and cost effective IT core.
  • Increasing end user satisfaction with IT and using IT as a key enabler to achieve objectives.
  • Improving bottom line performance through growth and transformation.

Tilix promotes more efficient and resilient organisations by providing advisory on managing risks, optimising costs and realising benefits.

Tilix provides governance support to all enterprises, including public, non-profit and government. Our experience is broad and our approach is flexible. Therefore Tilix brings customised, end-to-end solutions to its clients.

Tilix bases its work on globally accepted frameworks based on industry standards and best practices. We help our clients ensure IT is effectively aligned with business goals and better direct the use of IT for business advantage.

IT Management

IoT, block chain, AI, machine learning and bots are certainly on most agendas. However, the really pressing issues, risks and dependencies in IT are:

  1. Skills & Staff: Maintaining an understanding of what capabilities exist and what is desired going forwards.
  2. Platforms & Architecture: Doing the right IT is at the heart of doing IT right.
  3. Vendors: Choosing the right partners and effective governance of the relationship.
  4. Cloud, Mobile & Big Data: Leveraging “IT’s 3rd Platform” as a critical component of business now and in the emerging future.

Tilix helps here through:

  • Aligning IT to the needs of customers and users
  • Increasing professionalism and organisational maturity without “over-engineered” process frameworks.
  • Delivering practical insights on managing IT with limited staff and skills.
  • Advising on the most cost-effective combination of people, process and technology for meeting business requirements.
  • Providing access to skills and experience necessary to drive forward technology investments.

Cloud, Mobile & Big Data

Cloud computing and mobile technologies are redefining how IT solutions and services are sourced and delivered. Furthermore, easily-accessible business data empowers faster and more informed decision making. This is “IT’s Third Platform”.

Many organisations know that being slow and unresponsive in the face of rapid technology and business change is not an option. They consult with Tilix to:

  • Discover business solutions that are fit for purpose.
  • Identify cloud and mobile platforms that are cost effective, easy to deploy and straightforward to manage.
  • Leverage data and analytics to reduce costs and increase sales.

Skills & Staff

Lack of IT skills and staff are hurdles in many organisations. The resources needed to run the infrastructure, protect the enterprise, prioritise and supervise projects, manage the application portfolio, and so on are often stretched to breaking point.

There are a number of pragmatic steps for getting the most out of over-stretched resources:

  • Avoid long-term contracts.
  • Keep things as simple and standard as possible.
  • Empower end users and enable self-service.
  • Continually review what can be outsourced.
  • Be clear about desired outcomes, cost of delay and how success will be measured.
  • Set and control work in progress limits. Only take on what can be realistically achieved.

Tilix can help by:

  • Highlighting best practice for IT teams.
  • Advising on optimal IT organisation.
  • Establishing prudent governance and metrics.
  • Identifying and selecting outsource options.

Platforms & Architecture

Designing, planning and implementing IT at business, application, data and technology levels is as much art as it is science.

Important value adds from Tilix are our practical experience of platforms (e.g. Salesforce, AWS, Azure, Office365) and our use of vendor-neutral reference architectures for managing the business of IT.

In the market Tilix serves, the recurring themes are modularisation, and standardisation. Whilst leveraging existing, proven technologies and products is important, a recurring question is where should we build inhouse. The Tilix approach is equally well suited for existing landscapes and for adopting emerging IT paradigms.

Here we combine our practical experience with the body of knowledge from globally accepted frameworks based on industry standards and best practices. Tilix helps our clients managing the business of IT, enabling insight for continuous improvement.

Tilix uses a value chain approach to help our clients identify the IT activities that contribute to business competitiveness. Our approach is vendor-neutral and technology-agnostic. However, it is designed to deal with the sector-specific requirements of smart energy and clean-tech.

Vendors

The IT market is highly dynamic and competitive. However, the wide range of ever changing choices is confusing to most.

It used to be that you never got fired for hiring Big Blue. However, this is no longer true and many of the older vendors are in the throes of reinventing themselves. Their attempts to differentiate, expand options, divest, merge, acquire and compete in new markets add to the complexity for buyers.

Newer providers don’t have the baggage of technical debt and outdated business models. Therefore they can focus can on relationships, provide exceptional customer service, flexible pricing and direct access to their best technical resources.

While there have never been more options, this eco-system also creates new challenges for firms with limited vendor management and negotiation skills. Tilix can help by:

  • Bringing the skills and experience necessary to navigate through the highly dynamic vendor landscape.
  • Negotiating the best value at competitive prices.
  • Knowing what vendors have solutions that are rightsized and scale best to the needs of our clients.
  • Integrating systems to meet needs and go well beyond what “off the shelf” solutions provide.

Vignettes

The following vignettes give a flavour of recent work by Tilix.

GDPR Readiness

Tilix has been assisting a number of firms on their GDPR journey by running awareness sessions, engaging company directors, accountable for the company’s compliance with GDPR to provide them with the tools, methodologies and evidential materials required should an audit happen.

Most have GDPR in hand and look to Tilix for verification and validation. In these cases, we find that our clients have more or less been following the same journey as Tilix.

For some, we get more actively involved. This usually involves working alongside our partners GDPR360, who are a multidisciplinary team of lawyers, privacy experts and business specialists.

IT Review

Tilix recently reviewed IT for an AIM listed firm. The client is an award winning innovator with a London HQ and offices across the globe. As well as verifying and validating current plans, Tilix was asked to identify opportunities to:

  • Improve efficiency and cost effectiveness of the IT core.
  • Boost bottom line performance through IT innovation.

The key areas of focus were:

  • Gauging the maturity of the IT organisation
  • Identifying the capabilities needed to meet the demands of the business.
  • Benchmarking IT resource levels against same-size and same-industry peers.
  • Assessing alignment of IT to business goals and objectives.
  • Determining a target operating model which can maximise the impact of the IT team.

Reporting to the CFO, Tilix provided an objective situational analysis and a number of recommendations. In relation to our standard 100 day plan, this assignment has successfully completed the prepare and assess phases. Tilix will complete the 100 day assignment by providing insights and advice as needed to successfully complete the plan, do and check phases.

The First Step is Often the Hardest

Tilix engagements usually start with conversations driven by a desire to relieve some pain and make a gain in the following areas:

  • Governance & Management
  • Infrastructure & Service Desk
  • DevOps
  • Systems & Applications
  • Buy or build decisions
  • Data Architecture & Retention Policy
  • Unified Communications
  • InfoSec (GDPR, PECR, NIS, CyberEssentials, ISO 27001)

These will often lead to Tilix preparing a tailored proposal encompassing:

  • How to go about strategising, investing, implementing and managing IT.
  • The nuts and bolts of technology, information, processes and IT services.

A Tilix CIO advisory, is typically broad ranging and follows the 100 day plan, as illustrated above in the IT Review vignette.

Project based engagements range from getting bold interventions started to carrying troubled undertakings over the line. The former relies on Tilix experience and skills in ideation, requirements capture and architecting solutions. The latter relies on clear heads, resilience and decades of experience in the trenches. A project engagement was illustrated above in the GDPR vignette.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to a Tilix Consultant for a free, confidential and no-obligation conversation.

  • Neil Williams: Neil has been at the cutting edge of computing for over 30 years and has worked exclusively in the energy sector since 2012 for clients including Ovo, Good Energy, National Grid, Smart DCC.
  • Brian Lynas: Brian is expert in strategic IT planning and portfolio management aimed at ensuring IT investments target business priorities. In addition, he complements this with strong commercial contract knowledge. Finally, he has up to date, hands on skills in application and systems support.
  • David Jarvis: David has many years of successful buy and sell side IT services strategy, sales and implementation experience. Has developed and implemented IT governance models for both in-house and outsourced service delivery scenarios.
  • Stephen Grant: Steve has decades of IT experience. He has led the delivery of IT services to energy sector clients including Conico Phillps, Centrica and Vetco GE.