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Is your service transformation a runaway train?

Is your service transformation a runaway train?

Technology is accelerating at an exponential rate. You know it, I know it, and so I won’t dwell on the clichéd examples that you’ve read a thousand times.

At the same time, business imperatives are demanding more and more from the IT delivery organisation. Yet, how are you gluing these two elements of your organisation together?

But what about service?

Gartner help me out here with a quick quote to summarise the challenge that you will face if you forget your service:

“Many enterprises have failed to achieve success with cloud computing, because they failed to develop a cloud strategy rooted in the definition and delivery of IT services linked to business outcomes.”
– Gartner 2017

Regardless of your industry, the business disruption and competitive landscape is increasing to a point where a fear of irrelevance is driving a tactical and strategic roadmap.

As technology accelerates, our ability to manage the new services and systems is being challenged.

In the past, having a highly mature management model was something that could be quantified and measured with approaches like Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI). However, if you’re mature at management in a traditional IT environment, are you going to be equally mature in managing a cloud native environment?

Transform your service and technology together

Technical transformation and service transformation are two axis of the same puzzle. You need to master both and tackle them together if you want to succeed with your business objectives.

Consider the juxtapose position of being technically transformed without having the ability to manage the service; or being mature in service management, but operating without the technical advances to give you an edge.

In the first of these you may be consuming cloud native technologies and services, like big data and Function as a service (FaaS), but your service management team may block anything going to production with heavyweight and old-fashioned change and release processes.

In the second, you may know exactly how to manage a devops team, and you may have the process maturity to handle continuous delivery. But, you could at the same time lack the technical skills, platforms or capabilities to exploit this new found flexibility and freedom.

The last example is a highly unlikely scenario; most customers that I meet are a long way through their technical transformation. They’ve had a cloud-first strategy for years, but they have absolutely no idea how to manage this in order to support their business.

In fact, many believe that their technical teams are on a runaway train…accelerating away from the business needs and imperatives.

Service transformation is crucial but often lacking for many

We all know that good service management glues your technical capabilities into services that can be consumed by your rapidly changing business. So why are you not as focused on this transformation as you are with your technology?

At a high level, you should be focussing on three principles for your service transformation. You should 1) optimise the end user experience while you 2) simplify the back office along with your continual need to 3) exploit technology and data.

With focus on these three principles you can assess your current service maturity, define the dependencies between business strategy and technical initiatives, and draw a transformational service roadmap to your future delivery model.

Undergoing a service transformation is a process that requires support and buy-in from you full executive team. It must be prioritised with the same level of importance that you have given to your cloud first strategy.

I expect that you’ll be asked to sign off on a project to introduce a new exciting technology within the next week or two.

Before you sign this off, I urge you to consider your service maturity. Think: do you need to invest in service transformation first, to allow your organisation to catch up to your runaway technology train before you take your next step?

A big thanks to Fujitsu EMEIA’s Tony Davis, Lead Service Transformation Consultant, for helping distill some of the thinking for this piece.

If you’re looking for support or have an opinion on service transformation, get in touch with me on LinkedIn or drop me a line on Twitter @NickHerbert.

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