Critical Success Factors for The Service Defined Enterprise
The IT department will need to adapt and work to the SDE agenda. This includes:
1. Focusing on delivering a 360° IT end user experience
Recognising that the organisation is being bombarded with external sourcing options for all of their IT needs. Each one promises to bring the organisation something unique, compelling or transformative.
The SDE will recognise that all of its services will need to be compared with those available externally. It must proactively evaluate all relevant options that are able to deliver the user experience that the organisation is able to fund.
2. Moving from managing technology to offering a well-defined service portfolio
The growth in consumer IT gives users a distorted sense of how 'easy' it is to access IT-based services. Consumers buying a SaaS service are never exposed to the underlying technology platforms, complexity or operational challenges that the SaaS operator deals with every day. All they see is a product offered at a monthly pay-per-user rate and available virtually immediately.
The SDE will embrace IT services portfolio management as the most effective way to engage with, and serve, the organisation. The portfolio will comprise internally built and operated services, and a variety of external service partners.
The SDE will ensure that the organisation will not be able to differentiate between services delivered internally and those delivered via external partnerships.
3. Selling itself as a service, value and business case differentiation
The ability to respond to and fix a failed piece of equipment, or being able to implement a new server platform is no longer of 'value' to the organisation. While every external service provider is selling the value of their offering to the CEO, CFO or a line of business head, IT will continue to have to consume budget simply to run and maintain the technologies and services that are already in place, i.e. today's budget funding yesterday's decisions and investments. This puts the IT department at a serious disadvantage in delivering what is perceived to be business value and innovation.
Therefore the SDE will take on the characteristics of the service provider. It will communicate the full value of its portfolio and its ability to deliver innovative services, and it will do so passionately and persuasively. In the past, IT might talk about the dangers and risks associated with BYOD, whereas the SDE will communicate how effective mobility policies and services will improve the productivity and experience of executives, the workforce and customers.
4. Adopting pre-validated architectures as the first choice for internal IT architectures
All major vendors are now producing pre-packaged or pre-architected infrastructures for use within organisations of all sizes and in all sectors. These off-the-shelf systems come with many thousands of hours of pre-flight testing and the warranty and support of single or multiple industry leading vendors.
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