Businesses need consistent, agile and good-value IT services to compete effectively. IT organisations are increasingly multi-sourcing - outsourcing from a network of external partners and cloud providers - to deliver these services. Yet many organisations are not receiving the integrated services they need. As a result, service integration has risen up the COO and CIO agenda.
While suppliers bear some responsibility for the lack of integration, our view is that the ability of organisations to create complex multi-sourced IT service environments has now outstripped their ability to manage those services and associated complexity effectively.
The PA Consulting Group/Harvey Nash CIO survey 2011 found that nearly 40% of organisations expect the use of multi-sourcing to increase in the next 12 months. Getting the most from these arrangements will depend upon organisations' ability to address the service management and service integration challenges that follow.
Service integration impacts all parts of service management
Service integration is a key tool in addressing service management shortfalls. As a result, it must be addressed at a portfolio level, covering contract, supplier, financial, change and governance management.
Sophisticated skills are required to manage this new complexity – people are the key
Those responsible for managing services are increasingly becoming responsible for integrating services and ensuring they are fit for the future. As a result, they are starting to ask what effective service integration looks like and how they can build that capability within their business.
In many cases the focus is on developing organisational structures, processes and tools. To do this effectively, IT organisations need:
Outsourcing is an option, but few organisations wish to relinquish control of this important management layer
Many major IT service providers are positioning themselves to move into service integration. However, most customers are looking to keep control of service management and integration, rather than divest responsibility to third parties.
The concept of outsourcing service integration to IT service providers is problematic. Independence is critical to success - but service providers are not independent. They compete with other providers in the multi-sourced environment and this precludes co-operation, a fundamental building block of integrated services. In fact, it is questionable whether a service provider can ever give truly objective service management and integration support.
To find out more about how PA can help you drive value by integrating and optimising your sourcing solutions, please contact us now.