It is now the norm for the enterprise to access information and work from any location, at any time, using any preferred device. The silo-based, process centric approach promoted by traditional IT Service Management strategies is redundant.
The advent of choice through cloud computing means the enterprise is increasingly demanding greater synchronicity of purpose, agility of response and adaptation to new innovations, and centricity – with them as a customer of IT. They also require an acceptable or superior customer experience and overall satisfaction from their investments in an IT infrastructure and interacting with the managing IT organization.
IT has the Opportunity to be the Preferred Service Provider
Whether it recognizes it or not, IT is now performance managed by its customers as any service business or service provider organization, and has to check its its organizational culture and practices fit the need, or plan to transform them to ensure the success of those it serves.
Its also becoming the norm for IT organizations to delegate certain responsibilities to a network of sometimes peer-based but secondary ‘service providers’, many of which are following a service delivery and support standards grounded in cloud computing.
IT has the opportunity to become the preferred service provider and assume the role of the primary service provider; with the interests of those they serve at the core of a customer centric ‘IT as a Service (ITaaS)’ approach, backed by an elastic, innovative and hybrid infrastructure strategy.
With this opportunity comes a fundamental need to adjust how IT is organized, to transform the internal working practices and culture, and adopt an operational model more aligned with that of the cloud service providers, and the types of solution providers that propel ‘appstores’ and our social lives.
Before you transform, and launch in new technologies and organizational setups, its important to step back for a moment and partition the problem. Does every customer you serve need to be mobile. Do they all scream for ‘self-help’ solutions, or do some prefer the human touch?
This moment to ponder has given rise to the type of thinking epitomized by the IT4IT architecture and service integration and management (SIAM) set of thinking. Us IT folks have to model things. We have to create lots of boxes and carefully place a concept into each box. Totally alien to how the modern enterprise is thinking and demanding we approach things…
Its fair to say most IT organizations are already living. some just surviving, in a multi-provider service delivery and support ecosystem, spanning continents, languages, cultures, business models, and technologies.
But, there’s no magic formula when it comes to how much of the front office (outsource our contact and help centers?) and back office (move heritage systems to cloud providers) responsibilities of IT – migrate to a secondary service provider. It depends on so many factors, including technologies, pace of innovation, and the customer relationship thats left.
So how do you unravel a sensible strategy to both exploit secondary providers, yet retain the right parts of the IT puzzle to be seen as a valuable component of the enterprise?
Well, there is a common denominator here – your customers, the successful outcomes they desire, the customer experience they expect, and your value to them in helping them succeed.
The Service Provider Organization 2.0 Model
There is also a relatively mature 2.0 service provider model that might help. Its pretty much whats driving the cloud computing service providers, and includes six discrete responsibilities:
- Brokerage: act as a trustworthy intermediary finding solutions
- Aggregation: ensure basic interoperability, security, in scale
- Integration: architectural infrastructure design for tight collaboration
- Customization: enhance given capabilities with net new functionality
- Arbitrage: provide customer choice of capabilities, price, support
- Innovation: maintain a ‘look-ahead’ stance, leverage insights and foresights
This 2.0 model is important because it provides you with an important checklist of responsibilities required to support the expectations of a contemporary enterprise. It can also help you match the expectations of discrete customer communities with your current and planned capabilities.
By mapping these against each of your customer community needs, you can begin the process of developing a sensible service management approach, a meaningful engagement strategy, and a workable communications plan to enable the right adjustments in culture and operational practices.
BTW this might also be a useful overlay for those kicking the SIAM tires.
If you’d like to know more about the service provider operating model, or any of these discrete responsibilities – check out the following two links:
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