Updating IT service management with intelligent integration and orchestration
Through my work, I talk to many business leaders and decision makers. They all want similar things – to deliver great service to customers while running operations that are effective, efficient and sustainable. When they make a change, they want their business to flex and adapt fast – enabled by secure and seamless technologies.
The problem is, technology landscapes have grown and changed. Different IT infrastructures and systems are increasingly fragmented. New digital tech runs alongside core legacy applications. The number of connected services, objects and devices has increased exponentially. More and more data are collected, stored and processed on-premises, in the cloud and at the edge.
From two to over 40 suppliers
The demands of IT management have also shifted. For two decades or more, it was relatively simple. IT providers set SLAs with their customers, monitoring each individual component-based IT service. When a threshold was crossed, a ticket was issued to make a change or fix according to its seriousness – level 1, 2, 3, etc. In most cases, no end-to-end effort, no links between server, application and database or across providers.
Today, it’s different. More diverse and evolving technology and supplier landscapes create far more complexity in how IT is provided, managed, integrated and measured. Instead of just one or two IT suppliers, companies deal with 30, 40 or even more – some running hardware and others running applications or end-user support.
Measuring the value of IT
With virtualization and cloudification, IT ordering and delivery processes have radically changed. The old product lifecycle has disappeared. Things are much more agile and on-the-fly. You can increase server volumes dynamically when peaks or troughs occur (end-of-year sales, holidays) and simply configure the new resources.
In addition, emerging technologies like machine learning (ML) and anomaly management, generative AI and automation must be adapted and integrated. Understandably, internal IT experts struggle to keep pace.
Increasingly, companies look to third parties to enable what can be a complex shift from legacy to digital, but it’s more than that. Research by Gartner found that 63% of CIOs struggle to communicate the value of IT (and only 7% are consistently successful in doing so). That’s because while IT has changed, the way IT suppliers and processes are managed often has not.
From stack IT to intelligent business
Modern enterprises need technology partners that are business-centric, instead of suppliers who just monitor and deliver IT. You need a unified view of your shifting, multi-supplier technology ecosystem. You need partners who connect the dots between technologies, with full knowledge of business impacts. And, you need to tightly control and optimize processes to deliver what your business needs – from increasing consumer loyalty to winning new market share.
Technology partners who understand this have adapted, moving away from old stack-based service management towards a more holistic, intelligent capability that keeps evolving.
Modern enterprises need partners who connect the dots between technologies and business outcomes. Measurements may differ, but IT performance must be directly related to business performance.
Real-time machine and human intelligence
So, what does this new capability look like? Customer centricity is key, enabled by intelligent technologies and tools combined with human skills, experience and a collaborative culture.
A modern supplier and process orchestration solution should be integrated across your entire landscape – from infrastructure to business processes – rather than still being set up as individual and component-based. To determine business impacts, every component must become visible as part of the complete value chain.
This kind of integrated customer care tooling enables the organization and each of its suppliers to have a clear view of what is wrong and who needs to fix it — whatever part of the landscape is impacted.
Intelligent automation is then deployed across this service to deliver proactive real-time, 24x7 monitoring and orchestration. This ensures that every task, every business process and application is aligned with your business goals, rather than individual IT service levels (which is the old style of IT management).
Data analytics create the ability to spot trends or patterns or drill down into detail, offering new insights to drive business performance or cost optimization.
Measuring the business impact
At Atos, we have witnessed the benefits of an end-to-end intelligent approach first-hand – one that takes both IT service and business performance into account.
Attaching a financial cost to IT issues helps provide a sharp focus. For example, we calculated that every hour of outage was costing one of our clients €100 000. Based on this, we were able to quantify not only the performance improvements, but a more than €20 million positive financial impact over eight years.
New metrics for a new world
Although these outcome-based measurements will differ for every company, what’s clear is that IT performance should be directly related to your business performance – whether measured by happy end-users or faster customer service. New businesses and technologies need new metrics that are more closely aligned to value. Yet, most IT providers collect metrics that aren’t always useful.
A forward-looking technology partner will have the capacity to adapt to your unique needs much faster than an internal IT team. That’s why, working collaboratively, a partner is better placed to provide truly end-to-end management and orchestration of the entire infrastructure continuum, from legacy to cloud.
Looking ahead, many businesses I talk to want to be more predictive and pre-emptive. As this happens, we will see the true power of generative AI and ML unleashed, and the setup, delivery and functionality of IT will change fundamentally. By building a bridge between business and IT, innovative technology partners can provide a critical enabler for the ongoing transformation that lies ahead.