A Transformation Journey – From IT Department to Service Provider

The world is at the start of a fundamental transformation relating to the role and perception of information technology – changing from a focus on technology to the services it can enable instead.

As Logicalis Group CTO, Chris Gabriel, sees it, there is no turning back from this irresistible service-driven trend.

“I’ve not met a CIO anywhere in the world who is not trying to move to this new services-based world,” Gabriel told a recent analysts meeting. “They’re trying to be more effective, they’re thinking about services and they want to become a service provider, rather than being the IT department with a white board and a project plan.

“What’s interesting is that all the different technologies that we have to play with, are also following this (services-based) model.”

He said the game now is about effectiveness, it’s about turning IT into an effective delivery machine for its organisation, whether it delivers internal services, whether it delivers services from partners or whether it grabs those services from the cloud.

Gabriel said that the world is now shifting beyond proven technologies, such as virtualisation, storage, servers and networks, remote working, video conferencing, data management and ITSM.

“Virtualisation for the data centre, whilst it’s absolutely important to us – and there’s lots and lots of customers who are still in the virtualisation journey – that really is an efficiency and a technology conversation,” he said. “If a customer is looking to virtualise, what they are basically trying to do is to do more with less in most cases. Yes, they’re trying to be faster, more agile, because they can provision virtual machines more quickly, but really they are consolidating their technology around vitualisation. “

The focus is currently on present technologies such as private cloud, convergence infrastructure, Mobility & BYOD, social collaboration, Xaas (everything as a service) and Big Data analytics.

“Where most of my customers want to be in this present world, is private cloud and that is adding another layer on top of virtualisation,” Gabriel said.

The 21st century services-based focus is now starting to encompass emerging technologies such as self service, infrastructure consumption, software defined networks (SDN), bring your own (Wi-Fi) access (BYOA), Hybrid IT and IT automation. These are the key emerging systems in the new world of the Service Defined Enterprise (SDx) which is a key driver for Logicalis.

Gabriel told the analysts that services are the key conversation in what he described as “a triple-play, services-driven, transformation journey” whether that be delivering a new data centre with lots of products inside that service, or whether that be all the way through to cloud and consumption platforms.

This triple-play transformation involves:

  1. Internal transformation, the services that allow us to go and build new platforms – they may be networks, data centres or virtual desktop environments; new platforms that allow our customers to drive internal transformation of their IT infrastructure and operations.“We want our clients’ IT to be more effective in what they deliver to their customers,” he said. “Efficiency will be part of that, but it’s really about effectiveness. It’s not about doing more with less, it’s about delivering more by doing less. It’s about doing more for their customers internally in far more effective ways.”
  1. Partner Enabled Transformation. These are services like life-cycle services, maintenance services, managed services that deliver real agility and maturity to our customers through their services partner.
  2. Consumption-Based Transformation. This is all about buying services from the cloud, whether it be a Logicalis cloud, or others. Logicalis can still help customers use other cloud providers.

The Logicalis Group CTO said the conversations he has with CIOs are now really about these three transforming journeys which is a change from the recent past.

“It’s from them thinking of themselves as the ‘guardians of efficiency’ to really seeing themselves as ‘proponents of efficacy’,” Gabriel said. “It’s about effective delivery of internal services to their customers. We see them moving from ‘technology-based, to services – based. This is not about forgetting technology, but treating technology in a different way.”

“They are going to treat their own internal technology decisions now as services decisions.

“When they build a new data centre or put in a new network, they will understand how they can drive that investment internally as a service offering, not as a technology platform. They are going to stop thinking of themselves as being the IT department and start thinking of themselves as being the internal service provider for their users.”

To find out more about SDE, read our latest whitepaper on the topic.

Tags CIO, Innovation, data, Data Centre, SDN, service centric, service led transformation, IT transformation


Align your business strategies with the business goals