To become a Service Defined Enterprise (SDE) and to enjoy all the competitive benefits that this brings, the IT department needs to adapt and work to the new SDE agenda. Any enterprise evolution requires effort and becoming an SDE perhaps more than most.
This summary of what the IT department should be doing comes from a Logicalis white paper entitled ‘Why Every CEO Wants to Lead a Service Defined Enterprise and why the CIO Needs to Make it Happen’.
The white paper outlines an eight point summary of the mindset and actions that IT departments need to consider to become part of a SDE.
- Focus on delivering a 360 degree user experience – IT Experience management.
An SDE places its customers and users front and centre, and this requires a different mindset from current practices. Every IT decision should be framed by how it will deliver the best business outcomes, regardless of whether the technology is sourced externally or delivered by internal resources.
- Move from managing technology to offering a well defined service portfolio.
The focus needs to shift from managing technology and dealing with decisions made a decade ago, to the overall service portfolio, both internal and external. Knowledge of the best external managed service providers and outsourcing organisations is vital for an SDE.
- Sell itself to the organisation based on service, value and business case differentiation.
The IT department must focus on internal public relations to demonstrate the value and extent of its plans for becoming part of an SDE. Other business unit leaders become, in effect, the ‘customers’ of the IT department. Marketing and PR efforts need to be directed at them to ensure that everyone believes in the importance of the SDE mindset.
- Adopt prevalidated architectures as the first choice for internal IT architectures.
The best service providers likely offer prevalidated designs, such as VSPEX or Flexpod, so your enterprise benefits from the accumulated knowledge and cloud wisdom of past years. As we have discussed in a previous blog, these facilitate the journey to converged infrastructure, enabling enterprises to buy applications, servers, networking and storage together as pre-integrated or validated solutions rather than as individual components.
- Embrace IT automation to drive IT and business agility.
There is now a range of software driven elements – Software-Defined Networking, Software-Defined Data Centre and even Software-Defined Storage – that can be incorporated in an enterprise system. This software takes the load off the CIO and IT department by automating certain systems. The time freed up can be used by CIOs to be innovative and to focus on core business outcomes. It is well worth discussing software-defined elements with your managed services provider because automation is one key to becoming an SDE.
- Transition staff from being experts in technology management to best practice exponents of service delivery and user experience.
This may require a shift in internal training, or specialised training sessions to inculcate the service mentality across your enterprise and to shift IT department thinking away from tech management.
- Focus on KPIs that demonstrate delivery of business agility and improved user experiences.
KPIs show that an issue or enterprise change is being taken very seriously, and having a service mindset show through in new KPIs sends a clear message about the commitment to becoming an SDE.
- Be confident to look externally first for solutions and service providers for the majority of their business IT needs.
This may require breaking out of your comfort zone to look more closely at external providers but it’s a solid step in developing the intelligence and industry awareness of outside services, which is a key part of the SDE journey. The whole point is for an SDE to consider both internal and external services to ensure the customer gets the best value and smoothest, most efficient experience.
The journey towards becoming an SDE is not really a daunting one, but needs to be taken one step at a time.
To learn more about becoming a Service Defined Enterprise (SDE), download our free ebook here.