Are you putting a sticking plaster over your IT infrastructure?
IT infrastructure can be years in the making, with layers of complexity servicing your customers and employees. As systems and tooling age, its effect on the end user experience can become unpredictable.
- AUTHOR|Neil Sutch
- DATE|19 May 2023
- READ TIME|5 min read
Service availability and reliability often become an issue that requires significant resource allocation. IT services companies operate these environments with cost constraints that inhibit quality. System outages and effective change are often replaced with a temporary fix due to efficiency and knowledge.
A vicious circle of layers of temporary fixes, ‘sticky plasters’, can lead to commercial or even legal dispute. This often changes the relationship between client and supplier to reactive panic stations. The focus becomes commercial resolution and not the actual business target. In many cases it turns into IT special measure programmes at an escalation level.
If you are in a turnaround or suffering from IT service reliability challenges, now is the time to step up the level of digital transformation maturity. Investors and stakeholders are listening and want to take back control.
Impact and result
Customers require excellent transactional experiences and more robust systems, which are key to growth and customer satisfaction success. There is a clear opportunity to use digital as a mechanism to move the IT quality experience up the stack of importance within your business. Excepting that there are gaps in quality and that operations need to move from reactive to being insightful and proactive business functions.
Establishing a sense of urgency with some structure behind it starts with the following…
6 steps to building business collaboration and a roadmap
- Bring the business and IT together, creating a shared business Strategy which is aligned to the customer needs. Manage stakeholders carefully and bring technology solutions and vendors in to benchmark and demonstrate delivery of the desired customer outcome. Ensure senior decision makers allow the time and space to go back to the beginning to design new fit for purpose experiences.
- Developing a culture of digital DNA within your business, starting at the top, is key and success begins with leaders influencing. Digital DNA requires strong leadership to identify new approaches. Organisations must also assess their innate ability to thrive in a digital business environment and nurture digital talent. Using a development framework for digital proficiency and a checklist on digital expert’s competencies and organisation can embed digital DNA throughout the culture.
Maturity level assessments apply a consultative gap analysis of the current landscape against the digital experience required. This activity helps you to understand every bit of data flowing upstream and downstream and how it’s aligned with business processes. Analysing the customer journey experience and looking at its root cause to enable future proactive changes and the opportunity to automate or provide self-help.
The change required is operational excellence and building infrastructure with the correct customer experience in mind. Building documented run books (step by step instructions) that enable resilience, automation, and continuous improvement. Set targets and unmitigated raw KPIs that monitor success.
Establishing facts through data analytics and machine learning enables you to move from intuition to data driven decisions. Data is therefore at the heart of a digital transformation. Every user touch point, every click, every interaction provides digital context.
The goal is to move from constant information overload, to real-time facts that enable you to pivot and make agile decisions. When working with customers, asking the right questions to anticipate future consumer behaviour through analytics allows data driven decisions.
Shifting the IT and business to an agile methodology and ensuring swift and deep-seated change an agile model of transformation is important. Finding vendors who can provide personalisation for your business, rather than trying to bend your customer experience processes out of shape. Focus on delivery through automated processes, which are less likely to be affected by human error.
There is often a gap in expectations which can be solved in a digital world if the agile problem solvers are allowed to work proactively on the client’s strategic target. In fact, successful digital business models reinforce the brand strategy, promise, and promote the brand mythology.
- Getting your digital investment right. Mistakes are made when business cases are written to gain in-year saving. Shortening a return on investment (ROI) on an excel spreadsheet to gain approval is quite normal but can compromise the agreed outcome. Another approach to simply cutting costs is using suppliers that can help with the business case and use different methods such as outcome-based incentives or capitalisation to improve the ROI.
Digital does not mean wholesale replacement of existing technologies; applying new technologies to existing infrastructure is possible. Digital does not mean just putting a mobile front end or adding a social collaboration feature to a process. The introduction of mobile, social media, cloud, analytics, and unified communications start the digital journey.
Adding machine learning sensors to old machinery provides facts, data, and context. Gathering analytics from legacy mainframe data for use in new experiences and will provide insight into new opportunities.
Early digital adopters in technology markets have applied concepts in design thinking from the beginning of Covid-19 and thrived as they understood what the markets and client’s needs are. Imagine how digital disruption could impact an organisation’s business model with growth and user experience. No company can succeed on their own in digital transformation – an ecosystem of co-creation and co-innovation through market leading digital vendors awaits.
Embracing this knowledge and insight and using it in the business cases need to be carefully considered and be compelling for board approval. Org recommends co-creating and co-innovating with new partners as key to success and allowing them to work with you in more agile methods to solve the “sticky plaster” challenge.
Give them the challenge and agree on an outcome-based reward. An effective partner will take risk with you on the Digital Infrastructure Roadmap.
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