Can Service Integration help CIOs add business value?

Service integration is a hot topic in outsourcing at the moment. Although the process of managing multiple suppliers has been around for years, it has been completed in-house. Today with the maturing of cloud computing it is increasingly outsourced.

Chris King, Capgemini’s global service integration lead wrote this guest blog on the subject.

Service Integration: Helping CIOs regain control of a complex IT landscape

By Chris King

“Cloud computing, the consumerisation of IT and BYOD have all placed increased demands on the CIO, with many coming under pressure to improve the efficiency of IT operations and free up funds for new investments.  In the past, technical decisions, such as the choice of infrastructure components, were left up to the IT department, but with the increasing popularity of the cloud, these sorts of decisions are increasingly being made in the boardroom. As a result IT departments are finding themselves in a precarious position; if they can match the perceived low cost and flexibility of the cloud, then at best they will find their role diminished, but at worst, sidelined altogether.

The decision to move to the cloud is primarily a business decision; on paper it appears to be an easy solution to cutting costs and streamlining the organisation. However, the challenge faced by IT managers is how to best provision the highly flexible and low cost systems that the business now expects.

At this stage it is highly unlikely that a business’ IT requirements could possibly be met by a single cloud solution. Instead, the combination of a cloud and conventional delivery model is the most effective. Experience shows that if these two entities are to interact successfully, the IT department will need to acquire new skills and take on new roles if they are to support the business in getting the best out of the new sourcing arrangements. 

It is here where Service Integration can help; offering the business the flexibility that cloud offers, but with the levels of control the IT department would like to retain. It helps organisations enable separate IT services to consistently work together in order to deliver real business benefits while managing the sprawling IT landscape.

One example of where Service Integration has made a real difference to IT delivery is the State of Texas which adopted and implemented this approach. The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) is responsible for administering citizen and state IT services. During a recent large consolidation project which encountered many obstacles such as project overruns and service outages, Texas DIR worked with Capgemini to move to a new, integrated IT service model which standardized infrastructure processes. Capgemini also helped Texas DIR maximise the value of its IT services delivered by various suppliers and consolidate operations in 28 government organisations across the state, while driving real organisational change.

Service Integration plays a key role in helping CIOs deliver real business benefits and an organisational change in the current IT landscape. It represents a first step towards re-empowering the CIO with the ability to support the business and add value as cloud service adoption accelerates. It may sound simplistic but with clearly defined services it is possible for the IT department to retain its place as an integral part of the IT supply chain, albeit with a different skill-set requirement, and instead of becoming sidelined it has the opportunity to become the businesses rainmaker.”