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A more human, holistic approach to driving IT value

Optimisation-as-a-service ensures companies embrace a culture of continuous optimisation across their technology estates, people and processes.
Read time 4min 40sec

In a world where companies must move fast to meet customer expectations, deliver intuitive employee experiences, and keep up with evolving compliance demands, organisations should see modernising IT infrastructure and applications as the mere beginning of the digital transformation journey.

With the advent of the fourth industrial revolution, businesses compete on their ability to effectively orchestrate their people, physical assets, business processes and technology platforms.

Investing in new IT infrastructure or applications is just a starting point – the ongoing challenge is to make modern technology work harder in service of the business and its people.

To drive true value from their investments in modern IT platforms and hybrid cloud strategies, organisations should embrace a culture of continuous optimisation across their technology estates, people and processes.

They can no longer look at optimisation in a piecemeal or siloed manner. Instead, they need to embrace a comprehensive approach to optimisation that enables them to align their human, digital and physical resources to compete in a complex, digital landscape.

Enter ‘optimisation-as-a-service’ – using the ITIL best practice framework as a methodology for facilitating an effective programme of optimisation across the enterprise. Optimisation-as-a-service identifies and implements modernised methods to make the business as functional and effective as possible.

Benefits include continuous streamlining of operations, lower costs and increased agility during changing business conditions, in turn driving continual IT and business value as well as an improved user and customer experience.

Siloed and out of sync

While cost and performance optimisation is a major goal for most technology departments, many continue to take an approach that is out of sync with the demands of a complex, hybrid cloud world.

Many throw automation and technology at various optimisation challenges, without embracing the need to drive a change of culture. Others fail to measure value accurately, or get mired in exorbitant consulting fees.

IT should evolve to meet end-users’ needs, rather than the enterprise expecting users to adapt to technology.

Research from Flexera shows that enterprises estimate they waste 30% of cloud spend, while 61% plan to optimise existing use of cloud, making it their top IT initiative for the fifth year in a row.

Rather than focusing only on cost, businesses should be considering optimisation of the performance of their people, processes and technology as a way of life.

A sound approach to optimisation should be based on the following principles:

  • It should put the user at the centre of design considerations − focusing on their needs. IT should evolve to meet end-users’ needs, rather than the enterprise expecting users to adapt to technology.
  • IT-focused performance metrics should be abandoned in favour of business-focused service level agreements and end-user / end-customer oriented measurements.
  • The focus should shift from total cost of ownership to total value of ownership, recognising that technology can drive value through creating efficiencies or boosting productivity.
  • Risk needs to be managed in line with business needs.
  • The framework should enable and facilitate business change.
  • Optimisation is a way of work, not a project.
  • It needs to span the whole enterprise – optimising in siloes will not yield the full possible benefit.

Furthermore, leading organisations will put end-user experience management (eUXM) at the centre of their optimisation efforts.

eUXM seeks to deeply understand the user base, then pre-empt and rapidly execute user service requests by using the best mix of technological and human resources, integrated across a broad spectrum of interaction channels.

A modern approach to eUXM leverages automated tools and real-time insight into user requirements and business services to power enhanced experiences, while coordinating governance, security, user requests and service level agreements.

This helps an organisation to deliver secure, consistent and intuitive business and IT services wherever and whenever users need them.

Digital operating model for creating value

I believe ITIL 4 is the best enabler for optimisation as a service. It provides a digital operating model for creating effective value from IT-supported products and services, in the context of customer experience, value streams and digital transformation.

ITIL 4 also promotes greater alignment with new ways of working, such as Lean, Agile and DevOps, to co-create business value.

It is the next iteration of ITIL that incorporates all of the best parts of the framework, and expands IT and service operations to a new level. Moving from traditional process-led delivery, ITIL 4 supports faster quality and value-driven delivery for people and organisations.

Right from the foundation level, ITIL 4 emphasises the importance of collaboration, transparency, automating where possible and working holistically.

Businesses need to navigate constant change, and the right process and technology framework can help them to stay agile.

With ITIL 4 as a foundation, optimisation-as-a-service guides a business towards collaboration, transparency, automating where possible and working holistically. It supports value-driven delivery and the nurturing of a change-ready culture of continuous improvement.

For many organisations, digital transformation means shifting from a product to a digital service company. In this environment, each business needs to orchestrate and harmonise interaction between humans, digital technologies and physical assets.

Old approaches to IT optimisation and management are not enough. Only an optimisation culture approach that joins up people, technology and processes will enable them to keep pace with the speed of innovation and change. 

Gert Groenewald

Optimisation executive consultant, +OneX.

Gert Groenewald is optimisation executive consultant at +OneX. He started consulting for the +OneX team in April 2021, to create its IT optimisation offering. Groenewald conceptualised and developed the company’s optimisation-as-a-service offering, which uses the ITIL best practice framework as a methodology for facilitating an effective programme of optimisation across the enterprise.

He has 23 years of IT management experience and deep skills and experience in the ITIL framework. He holds ITILv3 Expert and ITIL v4 Professional certifications from Pink Elephant and Foster-Melliar.

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