IT and Business Operations: Changing mode of Service Transitions

Jun 24, 2020
IT Transformation | 4 min READ
This article was originally published in PCQuest - Source link
Outsourcing of IT and business operations and services has always been a topic of understandable sensitivity and concern to many customers. While the logic of rationalizing costs and improving scalability and access to global talent pools has had an impeccable logic – the discomfort of having to consume remote services had never truly gone away.
Bheem Adavikolanu
Bheem Adavikolanu

Former Senior Vice President and Head of Europe


The IT service management skills needed for consumption and provision of services will call for significant change management at both the customer and the supplier ends. The competencies needed will be much wider than technical capabilities and / or siloed command and control mindsets. The times call for leadership which can influence than command which can motivate than control. The use of audio visual technologies and collaboration tools will become all pervasive and critical to the success of service provision and consumption.
"One of the key changes that we foresee in the post-Covid-19 world is a wider acceptance and appreciation of remote modes of working and provision of services. During the crisis without exception, everyone who has been working from home has been consuming services provided remotely and the same set of people have provided their services to their customers remotely!"
Studies suggest that in any large enterprise with a complex vendor ecosystem there are in excess of 10 strategic vendors on an average and frequent transition of services happen. The start of failure of most outsourced engagements doesn’t happen during the steady-state but the foundation for such failures is laid during the transition itself. Lets try and look at the affects of this new normal onto transition of services in the future.
It will be important for the service providers and customers to ensure the following are in place before embarking on these new-age transitions-
the emphasis will be on the IT service and transition management skills with distributed agile experience
lay down the processes for such remote transitions for every stage of the transition – taking the variations into account for remote interactions, Security and data protection agreements and Knowledge Management processes
remote interaction platforms, network bandwidth at remote locations, backup plans for network failures and knowledge management platforms
The following table gives a summary view of what will be relatively important in the new world during such service transitions:
What was Important
What will be Important
Travel logistics to client & incumbent locations
Bandwidth and backup connectivity for staff at remote locations
Transition planning and time scheduling
Transition planning, Time Scheduling and Tool efficacy testing and backup planning
Transition meeting notes
Session recordings and shared storage locations for team access
Re-doing sessions with current service personnel
Replay the session recordings
Watching over the shoulder of current service personnel
Screen share and online recording of shadow support sessions
Time management alone
Time and Productivity management
Knowledge Management is typically a separate stream – managed separately
Knowledge Management is built into the process with the usage of collaboration tools – management of knowledge moves to being Governance of knowledge
Team Management is key
Distributed team management and agile mode of working
Site / ODC level security
Security at the distributed points of service delivery
Technical checklists and effective knowledge transition
Technical checklists and effective knowledge transition AND change in work culture
While reduced cost of transition is a direct advantage – there will be several other tangible benefits. In the past, however well documented, there had always been a loss of knowledge in the transition sessions. Add to this the fact that not all employees of the new supplier would be able to travel and attend each transition session – there was a significant amount of secondhand knowledge transfer resulting in increased time to stabilization and enhanced risk to operations. In the post-covid-19 world – EVERY transition session can possibly be recorded and replayed. This would minimize loss of transmission and provide for ready reckoner to onboard newer staff. A firm foundation for enhanced knowledge management would be laid. As transitions progress from the theoretical phase to more hands-on phases – collaboration tools usage can drastically reduce the loss of productivity of the current service personnel and reduce the risk of business disruptions. Intuitive knowledge management also drives effective onboarding and reduction of risk due to attritions.
At a wider scale this shift to distributed consumption of services could also lead to distributed delivery of the same – where the entire talent pool of delivery need not necessarily be in the same city let alone the same building.
The scalability of services and pace at which they could be put together can only be limited by the ability to manage the distributed remote workforce effectively. The people and delivery management skills needed by suppliers for this new world could be very different than those that are in demand today.
The wider ramifications of this shift could be societal in the long run. The towns and cities which are not IT and business operations hubs today can come into reckoning and the ability to tap the talent pools in these places can become very real. We are at the cusp of potentially a major shift to the way services are designed and delivered.
Contrary to the popular view that the world is shrinking due to fear of pandemics and the need for physical distancing, which is likely to be with us for a while to come, in the world of IT services this situation will open new frontiers and possibilities. It will likely be the key to opening up the talent pools across the globe – irrespective of the physical location!
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