Our IT Director was brought in to an organisation that manages and trains match officials to perform a complete IT audit, as well as acting in an ongoing mentorship capacity to ensure ongoing IT excellence.
Formed in the early 2000s to manage top-tier refereeing for a sport central to UK culture. The business has grown over the last 20 years and manages training, development, and refereeing across many of the top leagues covering 100s of top officials.
The Director was asked to perform a full IT audit of the business. As the organisational structure does not include a CTO this was initiated by the commercial director. The project involved analysis, investigation, documentation with recommendations for improvements. The scope included:
- Off-the-shelf and bespoke IT systems used across the business for key day-to-day running.
- Interdependencies between these internal systems and any systems required by other related sporting bodies.
- Housekeeping processes are in place for these systems.
- Processes used and housekeeping performed by the external development team.
- License checks for the chosen off-the-shelf systems.
Post-audit, working alongside the Head of Systems, the Director continues to play a retained advisory role to support supervision and management of the development team, and to help fill the technological knowledge gap in the business, as well as providing mentorship to leadership personnel.
What Our Director Did
Perform A Full IT Audit
The Director completed the audit within the specified timeframe and documented accordingly. They then helped by providing appropriate recommendations to the commercial director and MD of the business. The audit covered:
- The interdependency of systems and recommendations on ways to improve development processes while removing some of the roadblocks.
- Documented gaps in the housekeeping of the systems and made recommendations as to how to remove those gaps/risks.
- Documented areas where the development team could improve and helped the Head of Systems to implement these changes.
- Recommended a licensing solution saving approx. £50k per year.
The audit’s findings and recommendations were then presented at board level for consideration and full approval was attained.
Provide Ongoing Consultancy and Mentorship On An Advisory Basis
As an ongoing consultant the Director has continued to drive change in the development team and the processes they use, and has been instrumental in creating the following improvements:
- Assist in the management of pen-testing and pen-test results. Helping to present the “business-ready” version of these, so the very technical issues could be understood and prioritised.
- Kick-started a cloud migration project. This required getting internal and external team buy-in, before helping to navigate technical teams to get to a solution that was acceptable to all parties.
- Supported negotiations with the external development partner on contract renewal.
- Provided advice and mentorship for the Head of Systems who is not from a software development background focusing on managing the development and getting the most from developers.
Migration Of Key Systems To The Cloud
The IT Director then began to look at the benefits of the cloud for the business and to identify and help prepare the system for the expected migration to the cloud. Due to the ownership structure of the business, this is complex from apolitically and resource level as well as technically challenging.
The Director has helped to identify and remove some of the business’s key systems risks and complexities. While cost is not a primary driver for this business, as quality is of paramount importance, the Director has helped reduced cost in several areas.
The IT Director has helped to improve the productivity and the communication and interaction between the development team and the product team while developing a world-class product in this sport. This can be seen with improved development team dynamics including better ownership of problems, estimating, communication and reporting.
While balancing other competing priorities for resources in the business, the Director has helped to enforce more robust and secure development practices and ensure the security of the product is upheld.
Lastly, the business has recently been keen to move some of the technology to the cloud to gain access to more scalable infrastructure and to ensure the system could start to be rebuilt with more modern development patterns. A migration path to move the systems to the cloud has now been identified and is in the process of being mapped out and planned.