Underpinning Digital Transformation

We all know Digital Transformation, the use of digital technologies to radically improve performance and reach of the enterprise, is a critical success factor for all organisations today. Capgemini’s pioneering research with the MIT Sloan School of Management Centre for Digital Business in 2012 described the business advantages that accrue to the “Digirati” – those who truly understand how to drive value with digital transformation by combining a transformative vision, careful governance and engagement.

Our research showed that successful Digital Transformation affects three key areas of an organisations value proposition – customer experience, operational excellence and business model transformation. Whilst each of these areas of activity involves more than IT services, all are highly dependent on them; after all, IT services provide the operational platform that brings the organisations value proposition to life.

So the question is; is the CIO delivering services that are aligned with these critical programmes of transformation within the organisation? And if not, why not?

My experience is too often not…              

The primary reason for this is that many CIO’s struggle to cope with the operational consequences of separately and independently procured outsourced IT services which, whilst ostensibly reducing unit cost, have greatly increased operational complexity.  This complexity means the CIO is massively focused on the management of day to day operations and so unable to devote the necessary time, resources or attention to supporting the organisations transformational activities.

Is there a solution? The answer is yes, but it is not straight forward….

Reducing the CIO’s operational headache requires a fundamental re-think about the way IT services are governed, managed and procured. In short a transformation in how IT works to serve the organisation. The good news is there is a new, and proven, IT model that addresses these issues that can readily be adopted, Service Integration.

A Service Integration approach addresses head-on the operational dissonance, organisational misalignment and resource challenges faced by many CIO’s today. To do this Service Integration imposes a structured new way of working which must be adhered to by all parties. Based on industry best practice it unambiguously defines the functional and operational accountabilities and responsibilities between the CIO, service providers and business customers. Service Integration standardises how things are done, how performance is measured and ensures service are integrated end-to-end.  It enables control to be achieved, change speeded up, faster on-boarding of new suppliers, off-boarding retired suppliers, and waste squeezed out of the system.

In summary Service Integration provides the flexible, efficient and adaptable service based way of working required to underpin the organisations Digital Transformation aspirations.

So what does this mean in practice?

It means:

  • customer experience initiatives are able to quickly utilise SaaS offerings and other IT services confidently in the knowledge that their supply and deployment, is governed and managed in a comprehensive way, ensuring end-to-end operational integrity is maintained at all times
  • operational excellence projects can leverage a solid platform of clearly understood and efficiently operated  integrated services
  • changes to the business model can rely on the collaborative culture at the heart of Service Integration to enable, support and accelerate the transformation of the organisations way of working

And for the Digirati there is an additional prize.

Analysts suggest between 10% and 20% of the IT budget can be saved if IT services were operated in a Service Integration like fashion. Using these saving to fund Digital Transformation projects makes the CIO a key partner and participant in the organisations digital journey, aligning IT with the goals of the enterprise.

Service Integration is not an easy choice, but I believe it provides the CIO with the best way to underpin, and accelerate, Digital Transformation.

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