Does the Journey to ITaaS Come with a GPS?

Making the commitment to transform your IT organization into an IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) provider will yield tremendous benefits including agility, efficiency, business alignment and cost/value optimization. The migration to ITaaS will also bring with it a multitude of changes, affecting the IT business model, the technologies enabling that business model and the roles, skills and organizational alignment necessary to operate the new business model.

In most IT programs, the end-state is explicitly specified by a reference architecture and a detailed project plan that together serve as the turn-by-turn directions to accomplishing the program’s objectives. However, in transformational programs like a move to ITaaS, the magnitude and nature of the change involved require a somewhat different approach.

Like most journeys before the days of GPS, orienteering plays a big role; figuring out what the interim stops should be and how best to get through that next leg of the journey. Mistakes (in moderation) are inevitable and serve as valuable learning experiences that can actually accelerate progress if taken to heart. In EMC IT’s case, we’ve been on this journey now for a few years and have achieved significant financial and operational benefits. Yet we have also taken our share of temporary detours.

While we are not yet done with our transformation, we’re far enough along to have confidence in our ability to achieve the target state. We’re also comfortable that the approach we used is one that others could leverage and adapt to their circumstances. So we’ve documented it in detail in our recently published white paper, An IT-As-A-Service Handbook: Ten Key Steps On The Journey to ITaaS. While not a GPS for your journey, perhaps you can use this resource to avoid those unnecessary detours that we encountered.

Unlike many IT transformational programs where employee resistance becomes a major obstacle to benefit realization, the transformation to ITaaS will likely be a journey that is embraced by your employees, despite the magnitude of the change. Let’s face it – it’s been hard for IT to win in the legacy business model. Being put in the position of achieving cost reduction through “managing demand down” for IT services that are increasingly critical for business success is no fun and not a career-enhancing experience. An opportunity to transform the IT business model to one where IT can concentrate on enablement and where business units fund their own consumption of IT services, generates a genuine passion within the IT organization to embrace the change and drive the transformation. Additionally, the ITaaS journey brings exciting new career opportunities for those with ambition, initiative and the ability to adapt.

It’s an exciting and rewarding time to be in IT. Best wishes for a safe and successful journey!

About the Author: Jon Peirce