Capping IT Off

Capping IT Off

Opinions expressed on this blog reflect the writer’s views and not the position of the Capgemini Group

The Service Integration confusion

Digital is synonymous with personalised customer experience, operational excellence and rapid innovation. The trouble is, unless your service delivery is super effective, you’ll never turn this Digital vision into reality.

Service Integration, or Multi-sourcing Service Integration (MSI) in Gartner parlance, is increasingly seen as central to enabling Digital aspirations.

Service Integration, a new way of working, of delivering services, is based on collaboration and enables complex services, provided by numerous suppliers, to be delivered coherently, reliably and cost effectively.

So why is Service Integration/MSI regularly confused with being a process or a tool?

The reason,I believe, lies essentially with the CIO who has been cautiously reluctant to recognise the current way of managing multi-sourced service delivery simply doesn’t work...and hasn’t done so for some time.

The favourite approaches to address these shortcomings have been:

1.      Strengthen the policing of commercial arrangements with service providers by employing an ever larger number of spreadsheet wielding service management and commercial experts to try to regain control.


2.      Replace the highly customised, old, legacy ITSM tools, in the hope that new technology will make the problem go away.

But it hasn’t worked, Service Integration/MSI is more complex than that.

The net result has been either the creation of an inflexible operational strait-jacket or confusion and frustration, both of which leaves the CIO woefully ill prepared to meet the Digital challenge from the business.

So what’s the solution?

The first step is to accept that a fundamental re-think needs to happen, and happen fast. In short, recognising that a major transformation in how IT serves the organisation has to be embraced and acted upon. Tinkering at the edge won’t do it; this is open heart surgery...

Next is to rapidly establish the conditions that support and encourage collaboration. For Capgemini collaboration intrinsically means transparency, excellent communications, and the building of trust between all parties by establishing a shared agenda in which everyone stands to benefit.

Building that shared agenda requires developing an intimate understanding, an appreciation, of the operational interdependencies that affect the delivery of end-to-end services for each party in the IT supply chain, recognising individual interests and ensuring these don’t conflict.

Service Integration/MSI impressively addresses these challenges head-on! It describes highly structured new ways of working which bind all parties together. Based on industry best practice, it unambiguously defines the functional boundaries and operational accountabilities and responsibilities between the CIO, the Service Integrator, the service providers and business customers. It enables control and order to be established, change speeded up, and waste squeezed out of the system

And finally, the essential component to bring all this together is visionary leadership. Leadership from the CIO, leadership to drive, at high speed, the cultural and organisational change required to establish alignment with the shared agenda that delivers the Digital vision.

About the author

Chris King

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