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Digital transformation and multicloud continue to shape IT services
Digital transformation initiatives and the growing adoption of multicloud continue to shape the IT services market. Client expectations are increasing and service providers must be a mile wide and a mile deep. They need to deliver across the entire services continuum, cover multiple technology domains and relook at how they can innovate to meet the needs of clients in a standardized way, at scale.
The rise of everything-as-a-service
To meet demands for innovation and growth in organizations, service providers must deliver everything as a service.
Efficiency and scalability are standard; innovation and growth are essential
Many organizations are seriously re-evaluating the way they deliver services and solutions to internal and external stakeholders. This has given rise to the everything-as-a-service (XaaS) model, where every aspect of a service provider’s engagement is delivered as a service.
Platform-enabled tools and a standardized set of building blocks allow service providers to create an end-to-end managed services solution that delivers efficiency, reliability, security and scalability. From consulting through to design, tech supply, installation and support, the XaaS model has become vital to any approach – but XaaS goes beyond that.
Technology is now so integral to business strategy that service providers must clearly demonstrate how the fundamental redeployment of IT operations resources and cost savings will fund innovation and growth in your business.
Align services outcomes with business value
While there’s a move to a standardized approach, that doesn’t take away the need to work with vendor partners at every stage of the process to deliver against a specific set of needs. They need to articulate how platform-enabled tools will generate outcomes that align with strategic initiatives:
- Proofs of concept must have clearly defined success criteria to show how a platform-delivered service enables your organization’s strategic initiatives.
- Technology is now so integral to business strategy that metrics have to be clearly defined in a way that measures business value.
- The impact of any change, both upstream and downstream the business, has to be clearly understood, with plans in place to ensure the business strategy is not affected.
- A roadmap of future features and capabilities is a must, along with the outcomes they deliver – such as reducing outages in the network, leading to improved network availability and reduced costs over the term of the contract.
'Your biggest concern is getting multiple partners to work together for the greater good. That means co-creating joint offers, along with using platform and API-led operating models to spur innovation, gain a competitive advantage, and ensure collaborative partnerships will flourish.'
Daniel Greengarten, Senior Vice President, Client Success, NTT Ltd.
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Next-generation technologies and hybrid IT require service integration across the estate
Organizations expect service integration across the entire IT estate, from back-end operational systems to customer-facing digital platforms.
Hybrid IT is the operating norm
The expectation for completely integrated services is growing and will increase further with the adoption of next-generation technologies and demand for hybrid IT management.
The demand for multicloud and hybrid IT is a major driving force behind the growth of software-defined everything (SDE) – where networks, data centers and storage infrastructure can be virtualized to reduce complexity in your infrastructure. Software-defined computing in network infrastructure, for example, allows you to host multiple virtual networks without the need for common separation isolation methods.
While the adoption of multicloud, SDE and Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated rapidly, legacy systems and technologies remain firmly in place – which means hybrid IT is the operating norm.
Bringing it all together
System and operational integration are vital to these complex, multivendor hybrid IT environments. Application programming interfaces (APIs) and automation enable the integration of multiple services and tools throughout the enterprise, across multiple platforms and vendors.
To deliver value to your organization and help you develop and execute a hybrid IT strategy, your service provider needs broad, deep expertise and experience across a range of platforms and tools. They must also be able to innovate, architect, operate and scale your digital engagement ecosystem.
As the span of control evolves from the organization to the services provider, it’s vital to have dashboards that cover all systems, technologies and assets – and show how business outcomes are being achieved and promises kept.
Turning technology services data into business insights
Insights and analysis from data are essential to drive innovation in business models and strategy.
Data currently has a fairly rudimentary focus: storing it, securing it, backing it up and making it available. In the past, only operational data may have been interrogated to improve and automate internal processes.
With an increasingly broader scope of technologies and platforms deployed in a hybrid environment, extracting value from the data these technologies generate is vital in driving innovative change in business models and strategy. And, for the most part, many global CEOs are confident they can do so.
But gathering, processing and accessing this data to turn it into valuable information requires help. Navigating challenges such as poor data reliability, scarce analytical talent, data held in silos and an inability to address new regulations for data protection and privacy all contribute.
Advanced analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities are all required to extract value and insights for driving technological and operational transformation.
Interrogate data for information and insights
With IoT set to thrive over the next five to ten years, data volumes will only increase.
Work with your service provider to tap into a variety of structured and unstructured data from both internal and third-party sources. They can help you aggregate and analyse the data to produce meaningful insights for automation, process improvements and, most importantly, innovation to inform business strategy.
'Data is the biggest, most valuable driver for digital transformation. There isn’t a client, business, service provider out there, including NTT, that isn’t trying to work out how to get more data, store that data, analyse that data and gain more insights from that data to drive business strategies for its clients.'
Damian Skendrovic, Executive Vice President, Managed Services Go-to-Market, NTT Ltd.
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Developing deeper, more strategic engagements
In a world of ‘trusted advisors’, only those who engage at a deeply strategic level will provide real value.
Providers must deliver more than technology services
Organizations that are winning in the innovation stakes have recognized that transformation requires a multitude of experts to deliver the business outcomes they need.
In technology services, the dynamics of the client–service provider relationship are being upended. The days of providing only system availability are gone, to be replaced with deeper, and far more strategic, engagements.
Service providers are now required to do more than simply deliver a set of technology services. They’re also expected to advance the transition and adoption of those services, ensuring they’re used in the way they were intended to deliver the outcomes that were promised. In this way, providers play a key role in making an impact for your business – and transferring more risk and accountability off your plate.
Creating the context for co-innovation
Using skills, expertise and resources outside your business brings in the latest thinking and development on trends like AI, robotics and security. Your technology service providers can play a significant mentoring role in driving innovation into your customer base and service offering.
Co-innovation facilitates this by delivering tangible business outcomes, not just technology solutions. This helps advance the way your business is run significantly.
IT services are now everybody’s business – but only co-development will deliver true organizational value
Co-creation, platform innovation and joint delivery models with strategic partners will deliver a competitive advantage.
Failure to co-develop will more than likely mean project failure
Gartner forecasts that by 2023, USD 415.7 billion1 will be spent on managed services alone, which means everyone’s in on the action. Technology vendors are delivering support services, cloud service providers have grown their service offerings, while Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) providers have expanded into managed services.
More services from a growing number of sources means greater choice in the management of your IT environment. But these environments are also increasingly complex to manage. Your biggest concern is getting multiple partners to work together for the greater good. That means co-creating joint offers, along with using platform and API-led operating models to spur innovation, gain a competitive advantage and ensure collaborative partnerships will flourish.
Start with the end-to-end solution in mind
Getting started means having a clear vision of the end-to-end solution and how your provider can deliver it:
- Do they have the skills, platforms and multivendor expertise to deliver end-to-end solutions across the enterprise?
- Do they have the insight, understanding and ability to be a strategic partner to your organization?
Working in cooperation with other vendors and partners is likely the most prominent factor in successful services delivery for your organization.
The time for ego has unquestionably disappeared.
1 Gartner Forecast: IT services worldwide, 2016-2022, 4Q18 update
'Co-development and co-innovation by integrating our systems and platforms across multiple vendors through APIs and automation will strengthen strategic API-enabled joint offers and joint delivery models, adding more value to both our vendors and to clients.'
Dilip Kumar, Executive Vice President, Service Delivery and Operations, NTT Ltd.
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