October 7, 2015

How to bring business closer to IT services?

Manish Kumar

Head Offering Management & Customer Enablement Consulting, Tieto

Service Integration and Management (SIAM) can help companies in tackling the dual challenge of achieving both growth and cost competitiveness at the same time. Manish Kumar looks at SIAM from the perspective of aligning business needs to IT services.

As a reaction to the accelerating rise in the complexity of IT, the consumerisation of IT is gaining ground at an intensifying speed. Instead of starting over in a garage, enterprises need to embrace the powerful data-driven market forces and start treating IT as the core of their business, rather than a peripheral support function. So how can IT actually be a business enhancer for traditional businesses rather than being a cost burden? How can the businesses get the best out of their IT investments? Is there a way to make IT truly work for business?

SIAM Business Service Catalogue links IT to business

The real-life challenge for most of the companies today is the need to buy IT services from multiple suppliers. This results in a nightmare of overlapping and disjointed governance and management structures. We often see each supplier claiming to have delivered their part, however the business side is still not able to meet its objective. So is there a solution to this? As I see it, there is a possibility to organize and manage the multiple IT suppliers in a way that it delivers business value. This could be structured in the form of a 'Business Service Catalogue', a service outlined in this document; a change in the mindset and the way of working where the management of IT services are grouped in accordance with the business service that it’s expected to deliver. In this way we are then able to monitor its effectiveness to business and not just the availability of a given IT system and its infrastructure.

Let us explain this with a tangible example which we all can relate to. Let us look at the business service of 'Employee Onboarding', that is, a time when a new employee joins a company and the set of related activities that need to be performed to give that employee everything she needs for work. We need to ensure that the employee has the needed access to the systems, a physical space, laptop and an account in the ERP system, just to name a few. All this might come from different providers, and in order to have a smooth onboarding experience, the employee needs all this to work seamlessly. Not just the IT, but also the non IT part. Just imagine if this entire process could be captured, monitored and measured in a business service catalogue? How easy that would make our daily lives and how easy it would have made our business operations, so that we can have the time to focus on our core business activities and not worry about sorting out operational stuff.

Elevating and accelerating IT

In essence, the intention of the 'Business Service Catalogue' is to enable and deliver business services that ease our daily lives and thus makes room for us to focus on business growth opportunities. This thinking could be applied to any number of activities requiring repeatability and the need to be performed systematically for the business to function effectively. It requires us to look at these business services from a business operations standpoint across the supplier base. It further warrants the need for having the right kind of communication, operating level agreements and accountability established and clarified across the extended enterprise. On top of that it requires a systematic and integrated monitoring mechanism that can proactively alert the business stakeholders if any activity is delayed or withheld, regardless of the reason.

This approach and thinking gives an excellent opportunity for IT service providers to elevate themselves in the service delivery hierarchy and offer something that truly adds business value. It enables them to be a true business partner and provides an opportunity to deliver that much needed customer delight.

Please download our SIAM-whitepaper to find out more.

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