How To Get Better, More Aligned IT Services
Have you noticed the trend? Increasing numbers of public sector organisations are reorganising their core functional requirements into 'towers'. Each tower is managed and co-ordinated by an overall service integration and management (new buzz word alert! SIAM) function either run internally or by way of external expertise brought in to complement the organisation's in-house skillset.
To those with mature multi-sourcing structures in place this will be nothing new - but the impact that the two concepts are having on operational control over IT is very interesting. The biggest impact being an end to the monoliths that have attempted to dominate the outsourcing landscape with ever diminishing end user returns.
This migration to the kind of multi-sourcing that Stoneseed champions moves IT away from single source providers and means services like hosting and cloud provision are genuinely open to competition.
Business outcome-based solutions that are sourced from the client organisation point of view yield massive benefits, not only for the client but for vendors as well as competition (for contracts that SME vendors can actually win) inevitably breeds innovation.
Effective and successful multi-sourcing requires a root and branch re-alignment of user needs, business drivers and service design and implementation. This involves better understanding those needs FIRST and then prescribing IT commodity components, solutions and services. Often these are organisation specific - take the recent troubles encountered by the UK's move to a Universal Credit benefit - many different complex systems merging to provide a single outcome. It is unlikely that those specific challenges will be repeated in, for instance, the health service but
that doesn't preclude use of well defined, well governed interoperable IT commodity chunks and components.
Whether you call it vendor management, multi-sourcing or the new buzzword SIAM your service integration and management must be clearly defined from the outset.
Business outcome-based multi-sourcing will enable the public sector to benefit in the way Stoneseed clients already benefit. Gains include:
- Better, more aligned services
- Cheaper services
- Agility to meet changing needs
- An injection of new service providers with new ideas and more dynamic operations
The 'towers' need firm foundations and will dramatically fail to deliver any ROI if not governed but even more so if the public sector organisations do not take advantage of the wider market and simply award contracts to the previously dominant vendor dinosaurs.
Where the 'towers' are being built from the ground up, which is how you should build a tower, smart public sector organisations are reaping greater gains. BUT procurements must be modular, IT is increasing commoditised and purchasing of it must reflect this otherwise a watered down, magnolia version of multi-sourcing will deliver only marginally better results than the old outsourcing models.
And the contracts have to genuinely be open to competition otherwise the whole process is a waste of time.
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