We live in exciting times. As long as I’ve been in this business (and that’s quite a while), I’ve never encountered the level of disruptive change that our industry is currently going through. Our customers and partners require closer collaboration than ever before to empower their organisations and to make the right choices in their drive for sustainable profitable growth.

The rapid rise of ‘Cloud Services’ has triggered the naysayers and doom-mongers to prophesise the demise of “traditional” IT service providers. They are just plain wrong. Let me explain why.

A number of key factors are converging to change the face of IT. They are:

  1. Virtualization has enabled the delivery of cloud-based services that, in turn, have changed the way IT services (such as compute, storage and connectivity) have been commoditised and are now procured. Businesses can now – if they choose – procure infrastructure and applications “as a service” on a subscription/pay-as-you-go basis.
  2. Interoperability and Standards bodies like The Open Group, OpenStack, the ODCA and, of course, the ITIL service management framework are making it easier for businesses to switch on and off IT services.
  3. The reduction in average duration of outsourcing contracts and rise in multi-sourcing of IT services is requiring new operating models, policies and guidelines.
  4. Business users now have much greater influence on IT strategy (and, conversely, the CIO role now requires considerably more business orientation and alignment to the business success factors). This is driving even greater demand for cloud services. 

Economic fragility may have accelerated the prominence of some of these factors but the constant and permanent downward pressure on costs, and the emergence of new ways of working together with new era of innovation means they would have happened anyway.   

Within Capgemini, we recognized some time ago the impact that these change agents would have on us and on our clients and have re-shaped our business accordingly. Our strategy ensures that (a) we and our clients can fully exploit this modern-day information and technology revolution, (b) we remain competitive while continuing to bring value and assurance to our clients and, (c) we can act as the trusted services integrator and aggregator in this new era of IT.

With this in mind, and as acting Global CTO for our Infrastructure Services division, what excites me is that I now have new tools and options to help deliver on my priorities. In parallel I can continue to evolve our strategy while enriching our services. We have now bundled our infrastructure offerings with innovative services from other areas of the Capgemini business and those of our partners. These aggregated services are focused on supporting our clients required business outcomes and no longer purely about provision of the underlying technology. For example, end-to-end smart energy services such as for E.ON Elnät Sverige AB  or SAP by the transaction at ABB

But that’s just half the story: to my mind the really exciting part of this journey is the new shape of the IT organization within the enterprise and the new roles that the revolution brings. More than ever, governance becomes essential. The ‘as-a-service’ promises of corporate flexibility and agility will not be realized unless IT services are properly integrated and orchestrated.

I can demonstrate with a very pertinent allegory: I mentioned earlier that we have reshaped our business for the future. In practice (and on a macro scale), this meant rounding up the amazing skilled people we have in this organisation and reshaping them into teams that are optimally placed to deliver new services to our client-base – rather like orchestrating giant, complex human patterns in an Olympic opening ceremony. Businesses will need to do something similar in the sense that they will have to round up all of the services that drive their business, allocate the timely delivery of those services to the providers best placed to deliver them (cost, competency, compliance, etc) and then ensure that the complex delivery framework is efficiently governed.

So to the naysayers and doom-mongers I say, watch this space.