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Straight Talk IT

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Like many mega-trends that came before it, digital has gradually transitioned from a vague and often misinterpreted buzzword, into a more established and understood paradigm of IT service delivery. However, numerous organizations that Ovum engages with have struggled to transform their IT function to support a digital business agenda. This is because many sought to transform without determining the delta between how their IT services currently operate and how they need to operate to support a digital transformation delivery agenda.

In fact, what has been commonly labelled "digital transformation" has been for many organizations a period of adjustment and experimentation in preparation for supporting the transformation of how their organizations consume business services. Throughout 2017, we have continued to see IT leaders assess their IT functions' organizational layout, capabilities, and cultural behavior to better align with how their organizations are evolving into a digitally enabled business. However, many IT leaders do not have the luxury of being able to reconfigure/rebuild their organizations, but are expected to evolve IT service delivery in-step with their organizations' digital agendas.

When IT leaders engage Ovum to discuss how their IT service delivery capability must evolve, the conversation typically revolves around how to provide measurable, flexible, adaptive, and scalable IT services – the goal being to reframe the IT function as a collaborative broker of IT services, and not an insular IT solution builder. Anyone who has worked in the IT industry long enough will admit that often this is easier to discuss than achieve.

From the perspective of IT service delivery, Ovum advises IT leaders that the following three capabilities are core to transforming IT service delivery to support an organization's digital agenda:

  • Innovation: Stimulating and determining an organizations appetite for both business and technology driven innovation and disruption, in order to identify whether continuous or cyclical innovation is culturally the best fit.

  • Modality: IT delivery is often framed from the perspective of how IT departments can deliver services, rather than the pace and cadence that different business functions react to business change, which requires a multimodal business-outcome focused approach.

  • Sourcing: Flexible sourcing models, multi-vendor hybrid cloud service delivery, product selection, and underlying contracts are all core to providing technology services that scale to meet today's demand and tomorrow's opportunity.

To transform IT service delivery, it is essential that an organization's IT leaders take a top-down approach. Engage your organization's board/leadership first, before then nominating key stakeholders and decision-makers. This ensures that any reconfiguration of the IT function, in regards to the three capabilities mentioned above, is tied to a measurable and agreed business value derived from the organization's digital business strategy, and not to an IT function-only activity led by technology.

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