A not-for-profit organization which provides education services for children with special needs faced challenges that jeopardized the organization’s ability to meet their mission, goals, and reporting obligations to various governmental agencies. The organization encountered widespread user dissatisfaction with their complex, integrated technology systems. The most challenging issues included poor network connectivity and application performance, excessive manual “work-around” processes outside of systems, and slow response times from the limited IT support resources. The executive director and senior management needed an independent assessment of the IT processes, people, and technologies, as well as practical, cost effective recommendations for improvements.
Baker Tilly’s Not-For-Profit technology risk professionals conducted an assessment of the IT environment, identified opportunities for improvement, and provided pragmatic, cost conscious recommendations to improve IT processes (e.g., policies, procedures, practices, controls) and technologies (e.g., network, applications, databases). Baker Tilly interviewed key stakeholders, reviewed documentation relevant to the management of IT, and conducted walk-throughs of the organization’s IT operations, facilities, and critical applications. Our team identified numerous challenges with the client’s current network infrastructure, server resource allocation, configuration of critical applications, outdated technology, IT governance, and roles & responsibilities. We developed actionable, prioritized, and budget friendly recommendations for addressing the observed IT challenges. Given the organization’s limited resources, our recommendations followed a phased approach with short-term, urgent action items to remediate challenges and ensure the organization could meet its various reporting compliance obligations, as well as long-term recommendations to increase the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the IT function.
The organization’s executive director was so pleased with Baker Tilly’s work that she directed senior management to implement the short-term, urgent action items, most of which required no additional capital investments. Immediately following implementation the organization saw the elimination of the IT challenges with network and application performance issues. Additionally, the action items requiring funding and the long-term recommendations were added to operational budgets and project plans for implementation in the next fiscal year. The organization was able to address the IT challenges and increase efficiency across all mission critical operations, empowering them to achieve their mission and goals because of Baker Tilly’s ability to effectively and efficiently diagnose root cause IT challenges and make pragmatic, and cost effective recommendations.