Do you have the 11 core capabilities of a transformative IT operations strategy?
Dimension Data's "now-to-future IT operations strategy" requires 11 core capabilities, but its doable.
Rich Schofield, Vice-President, Product Management Technical and Support Services, says businesses going through digital transformation have to operate in two modes – run the existing business while creating a new, digital one.
He adds that IT support services need to be correspondingly bimodal: they have to operate existing physical infrastructure as efficiently as possible, while acquiring the capabilities to operate the programmable infrastructure on which the future digital business will run.
But this doesn’t mean two sets of capabilities can be delivered by separate departments or suppliers. Schofield explains that you need one complete set of capabilities that can take you seamlessly from where you are now to wherever you may want to be in the future – especially if you’re not quite sure where that is yet.
Fortunately, Dimension Data's now-to-future IT operations strategy only requires 11 core capabilities. These are:
1. Process efficiency
Standardise and automate as much as you can, or use a specialist service provider with broader experience who can standardise a wider set of processes.
Once you have gained sufficient experience to standardise processes, you can automate them. This increases process speed, accuracy and helps ensure compliance and reduce risk.
3. Service integration
E-bond your service operations with your service partner and vendors, so you can exchange ticket information automatically and reduce time to react to incidents and restore services.
4. Economies of scale
Having – or having access to – economies of scale reduces the unit cost of IT service activities. Scale also brings richer analytics, enabling you to spot patterns, standardise and automate processes.
To see everything in your environment, you need a business portal with an intuitive interface, with single sign-on access to your whole environment, that’s accessible from any mobile device.
Analytics will help you improve operational efficiency, identify opportunities for further automation, and do granular metering and cost-allocation.
7. Platform-based operations
Delivering IT operations using service platforms makes outcomes more standardised, repeatable and reliable. It’s also essential to deliver services at the speed the future digital business will require.
8. Flexible service models
You need access to a continuum of service models that includes proactive forms of support service in which tactical control of operations is passed to a service provider, while you retain strategic control.
9. Programming skills
You can recruit and train to acquire the programmable infrastructure skills you need, or you can partner with specialist service partners that tend to accumulate skills earlier in the adoption cycle.
10. Commercial options
Look for service partners willing to embrace risk-reward style contracts, which combine fixed, variable, consumption-based, and outcomes-based charges in a way that works for both parties.
11. Service operations roadmap
A service roadmap will help you plan which next-generation technologies you are going to adopt – and when – so you can prepare how you are going to support and manage them.