IT Brief New Zealand - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
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The lowdown on best practice and benchmarking
Wed, 1st Jul 2009
FYI, this story is more than a year old

OBS answers the 101 on best practice and benchmarking.

How do you test and assess industry standards? Industry standards are mostly driven by customer demand. From our experience with customers, we are able to assess the benefits of such standards for future projects and developments.

How do you measure the performance of best practice? OBS has built its success on providing best practice technology to its clients. Through a variety of different internal and external measures, including our employee focus and empowerment as well as our strong relationships with global partners and experts, OBS is well positioned to continually review and update our standards and procedures. The continued success of this process is measured in our vigorous review that is conducted after each client project.

What are the key points of comparison when benchmarking? Benchmarking needs to take industry and project considerations into account, as well as more generic project objectives and financial considerations. OBS has developed a set of in-house, pre-defined benchmarks that take into account all of these considerations as well as customer satisfaction, client ROI evaluation and finance ratios into account.

How regulated is the IT industry in New Zealand and Australia? The IT industry continues to evolve at a rapid rate. It relies heavily on individual operators to put benchmarking and customer satisfaction processes in place. Because some clients, such as government departments, require AAA compliance for website usage, the IT industry has been forced to take these regulations and implement them into other projects. But as the IT industry becomes more commoditised, regulation practices may change.

Should there be tighter regulations in place? Most industries perform better when they are self-regulated, as opposed to being forced to comply by the government or a specific body. The IT industry is no exception to this rule. IT operators rely heavily on their reputation within this industry. Therefore it is in everyone’s best interest to perform to the highest possible standards.

Why is it important to up hold best practice? Customers are continually looking for better value. As IT expands, we as an industry must ensure consistent performance across the teams and regions. Best practice standards and benchmarking ensure we continually improve and deliver better value.

Should email archiving be a legal requirement in New Zealand and Australia like it is in the US? Yes, email has become the norm for corporate correspondence and therefore email needs to be treated as other paper documents and filed appropriately.

Why? It is only a matter of time before legal precedent in Australia and New Zealand will drive this requirement forward.

What are your thoughts on Section 92A?Record companies need to focus on how to create new value from the Internet rather than running around protecting old revenue models. I have purchased more music on iTunes over the past 12 months than in the previous 10 years of my life.

Should there be stricter copyright laws protecting intellectual property on the Internet? No, copyright is a bigger issue than just how it is managed on the Internet. Copyright experts need to be able to ‘think outside the square’ on how they manage content on the Internet.

Is there an industry body that measures and monitors standards within the IT sector? No, and in my opinion self-regulation is better.

Can you provide examples of where benchmarking and best practice have been applied and worked? OBS utilises in-house project frameworks to deliver Intranet portals to large corporate customers. By continually reviewing new projects against previous benchmarks, the project framework learns and evolves over time to create a new benchmark. Through the re-use of the framework, OBS is able to reduce risk, increase customer value and overall project profitability.