Gearing up with Service Accelerators to embrace the pace of Digital Innovation
We are living in interesting time. Technology updates and the digital wave is forcing IT industry to constantly adapt with new ways of engaging with customers. It has transformed organizations’ IT landscapes with the emergence of new defaults - Mobile as interface, Cloud as infrastructure and SaaS as preferred mode of consuming IT services. The adoption of digitalization has been consistent across functions and operating units, leading to a shift of decision making power from centralized IT to business lines and with increased requirements and expectations from IT partners and service providers.
Businesses are looking for a solution with shorter lead time, lower costs, and minimal capital investment requirements. The solution should be easily accessible, available 24/7, and usable immediately. Therefore, the classical model of centralized IT department with a single budget and pool of experts developing and supporting applications across the whole organization is not anymore well-suited to meet the business expectations.
It has led to the growth of SaaS solutions over time as they bring in lots of benefits from reduced costs, no vendor lock-in, application inter-operability and simplified data management.
Today, SaaS model has to be customizable to meet the fast evolving business requirements in terms of workflows and processes.
There is a clear need for SaaS solutions that offer standard functionalities, leverage on the latest innovations and enable mass customization capability. Such solutions are known as Service Accelerators.
Service Accelerators are an extension of the SaaS solutions developed as a template application with standard functionality; but it can be customized and extended to meet business requirements and deliver additional significant benefits and values to the customer:
- Business - Customers get all the benefits of typical SaaS solutions as listed above plus customized functionalities specific to their departments. This enables them to focus on business productivity.
- IT Departments – IT departments will typically transform into applications orchestrator, managing support services, networking and integration of applications into the IT landscape, besides security and mobility enablement.
- IT Service Providers – are impacted the most. They are transforming into innovation and product companies. They are developing accelerator packages and still require a service organization specialized in the customization and industrialized delivery of such solution. This also requires reskilling teams to build these Service Accelerators in order to leverage on the latest innovation.
Most product companies like SAP are moving in this direction with SAP Leonardo solution, by partnering with IT services companies and customers to offer Accelerator Packages for industries based on leading edge technologies such as Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain etc.
Based on the advanced services of SAP Cloud Platform and SAP Leonardo, the Eco-dashboard application is a concrete example of accelerators for an Industry 4.0 scenario.
The road ahead
While Service Accelerators are becoming common and streamlined in the IT industry, they still imply further transformation for organizations’ IT departments and IT Service providers.
IT departments will need to reshape and develop business expertise to cooperate with the business and its organizations’ departments while strengthening their competency as applications orchestrator.
IT Service providers, on the other hand, will need to adopt and embrace the transition from project mindset to product mindset. They must transform into more innovative and agile organizations in order to bring real-benefits to their clients through mass customization while still maintaining their core expertise as industrialized provider of standard IT solutions.