“The enterprise that does not innovate ages and declines. And in a period of rapid change such as the present, the decline will be fast.” – Peter Drucker
We are in a situation where there are a lot of changes happening within organizations. There are several emerging technologies like cloud, artificial intelligence, machine learning, the combined use of biochemistry and technology, etc. The expectations of customers from businesses have increased. For example, earlier we used to hear music from a music system and CDs/DVDs. Today, we listen to music through the internet on streaming platforms like Spotify, Gaana, etc. It is no longer a CD full of songs but an entertainment experience. Uber is not providing a taxi service but a travel experience. We now are using servitized products with customized mass production.
Information technology is no longer a “cost centre”, it is “business”. Alaska air says, “We are a tech company with wings”. Every organization has understood the importance of information technology and how it is critical to survival in the current day. The pandemic has further emphasized the importance of information technology. Pre-pandemic there were several restaurants near the campus of a large system integrator in Bangalore, India. It would be brimming with people until late at night. When the lockdown started and people stopped coming to the office, most restaurants shut down and only a couple remained open. These were establishments that had an online presence—or could quickly get an online presence—and collaborated with delivery partners like Swiggy and Zomato. They survived only because of information technology. This is true not only for small restaurants but for all large companies.
The CIO reports to the CEO and is as important as finance or HR. The traditional ways of working don’t produce results anymore. Our methods of operation require drastic changes in the current situation.
Several frameworks such as PMBOK, SAFE, Scrum, and ITIL are being used today. However, customers engage system integrators to provide their services to run information technology-related activities.
The challenge that these system integrators face is not addressed which results in the professionals being unaware of their plan of action. They work in an environment where the customer has multiple SIs (System Integrators), some IT professionals develop software, others are into software testing, and some assist in operations for the same project. Every professional is bound by his/her commercial contracts with the customer. There is no mention of an end-to-end value stream shared accountability.
Site reliability engineering (SRE) is becoming the next big thing in the market. Any system integrator who provides managed services finds SRE a new thing to fit into their role, as they do not have end-to-end responsibility and the autonomy to make decisions.
The book, Adapting to Industry Infinity – New WOW for IT services addresses the change that is required from the system integrators’ end to be able to deliver the service and/or product or servitized product that is faster, stabler and more secure. This improves the user experience.
The book does not propose a framework; it attempts to make the system integrators look from the point of view of value delivery using the existing frameworks more holistically. This book is not prescriptive, instead, it discusses how we can evaluate operations to satisfy the customer.
This cannot be done from the system integrator perspective without change from the customer end. We have discussed the relevant changes that need to be implemented from a customer standpoint to facilitate system integrators in doing their work better.
Adapting to the industry infinity – New WOW for IT services book operates from the perspective of delivering the best “outcome”. We have addressed the various aspects that need to be considered and changed, wherever required. We start with the concept of globalization and how to study changes from the internationalization scenario today. This requires us to move to a product approach with autonomous teams and a shorter set of continuous work to establish a rhythm. We bring in the context of customized mass production as every customer is different and does not have the exact requirement. The objective is to satisfy each persona’s needs and avoid a “one size fits all” approach.
The organizations must collaborate extensively with other system integrators and even competitors to be able to deliver globally. Security becomes more critical with the use of new technology. System integrators go with value network partners and work collaboratively in many new avenues of open-source software and even hardware.
Human beings are the most important capital. They are also different from other types of assets. Giving the right respect and value is important. Looking after their personal needs is also important. We talk about human capital and its improvement; continuous experimentation and how learning plays a key role in coping with the changes.
The extensive use of technology has many negative side effects on the environment like emissions and large carbon footprints. We discuss the new ways of thinking while keeping in mind the mandatory requirement to make our environment and climate better.
All this requires the active support of leadership. Change is required—even for the leaders. They are also accustomed to doing their work for years in a particular manner. The leaders from the system integrator side also need to upskill and change to be able to lead in this new situation.
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