Maxwell Health CEO, Veer Gidwaney wrote that as-a-service trends were poised to change the world. Even in 2014, as-a-service models were sweeping industries from software to healthcare. Giants such as Amazon and Netflix are now fully cemented in the entertainment space based on their aaS models; from business to personal life, such trends are creating evolution in the way people work and live. Companies can capitalize on aaS models by implementing IT as a service, or ITaaS.
Why Implement an ITaaS Strategy?
ITaaS removes unnecessary considerations from the technical equation: when you implement ITaaS, it matters less where resources are or who specifically handles a task. Instead, enterprises ensure that tasks -- and associated staffing resources -- are allocated to the right level of service. By driving workflow based on service requirements instead of at an individual staffing level, enterprises can be more fluid and efficient, resulting in opportunities to scale. Other benefits of ITaaS include better ability to predict costs associated with technology, increased options for standardization, and maintain higher levels of productivity.
Key Elements of Viable Strategy
While it's a smart move for almost any organization, ITaaS isn't always easy to implement, especially if you're looking for maximum return and want to create a strategy that grows with your enterprise. Understanding your company’s goals, and how those goals can be serviced by ITaaS, should be the foundational component of your ITaaS Strategy. Some things to consider include:
- Value Creation. How is the service going to create value for your entire enterprise and customers, including shareholders?
- Return on Investment. What is the budget? Is it enough, and how is the investment going to pay itself off?
- The Service Lifecycle. Does the solution you are considering impact the entire organization in a positive way? Do you understand the service lifecycle of your organization so you can appropriately answer this question? Some enterprises might need to conduct define and process map steps prior to cementing an ITaaS strategy.
- Repeatable Business Activities. Understanding all processes in your organization – and how they rank in priority – is critical to understanding how ITaaS can play a role in success.
- Manage Demand. As a business organization, you probably already deploy this concept in other areas. Business analysis works to provide enterprise leadership with the data required to proactively manage staffing demands, for example, so you're never dealing with serious shortfalls or overages in labor. Incorporating this same idea into an ITaaS strategy lets you proactively manage technical resources based on demand.
- Standardize. Streamlining and standardizing technical infrastructure throughout an organization helps you create reusability and control both costs and compliance throughout the enterprise.
- Automation. Where can your organization function more fluidly? Where can automation bring efficiency? One of the strengths of ITaaS is automation, but that strength is for naught if it isn’t deployed appropriately in an enterprise.
- New Products and Services. ITaaS is extremely agile, so organizations seeking technology as a service should avoid in-the-box thinking. What new things do you want to accomplish now? What do your employees want to do that they can’t? Where are your current pain points? Avoid implementing an ITaaS solution that simply serves current needs in a slightly better way – capitalize on new services and solutions by adding to goals and growing the business in incremental ways.
Think Big, but Step Small
Don’t dampen goals for the future, but avoid the mistake of going all in without doing your research and taking time to map your goals against ITaaS functionality. By taking incremental steps, you can save your organization large and unnecessary expense in the future while maximizing returns on your ITaaS implementation.
Starting with small steps and ensuring you take time for defining and researching also gives you time to facilitate communication about ITaaS throughout the organization. First, all IT or IT-adjacent staff members must have an understanding of the aaS ideology. Encourage IT resources to activity participate in defining functions with the new model to help create buy-in and strengthen internal teams. Develop business-based communications that explain ITaaS in non-technical terms so business partners within the organization know what is going on and can support or accept the changes as needed.
For more information on preparing your organization for ITaaS, check out the white paper “Making the Transition to ITaaS – Ten Steps to Help Guide the Transition.”