Powered Enterprise IT: Cloud implementation built for the future

BrandPost By IDG Contributing Editor
Feb 20, 2018
IT Leadership

IT organizations face a growing demand for faster, more agile service delivery, with changes in traditional lines of control and associated risks.

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Credit: Wenjie Dong

IT organizations face a growing demand for faster, more agile service delivery, which changes in traditional lines of control and associated risks. Technology has become more innovative, but implementing it has become more challenging — from managing a complex hybrid cloud environment to greater scrutiny of value from technology. To meet those challenges, it must expand beyond traditional IT service management (ITSM) in order to focus resources on strategies that truly advance the full business of IT, such as intelligent automation, predictive analytics,  service portfolio management, cyber security, governance and compliance.

Transforming the IT function and implementing cloud solutions that deliver business value in months, rather than years, requires a substantial set of core capabilities — including product innovation, agile service delivery, cost optimization, data security and compliance, customer support, and service automation. Unfortunately, these six areas are often siloed, under emphasized, or simply immature, says Mitch Kenfield, a principal in KPMG’s CIO Advisory practice and U.S. leader for KPMG’s Service Management practice. “Straightforward, fast, and uncomplicated are not the words that usually come to mind when IT typically prepares to deploy new technologies,” he explains.

But what if the organization could expedite its core implementation and get to production quickly, by attaching power to enterprise IT as an accelerator? Then, it could spend more time and resources focusing on innovation and strategic initiatives that drive business value and improve the bottom line. That, says Kenfield, is the Powered Enterprise IT approach, which uses “out of the box” implementation strategies, workflows and standardized models and tools to realize agility and value much faster than a traditional build and run approach.

“If you think of technology like any business, you have to forecast what products your customers will need; get them out faster; understand their value; provide exceptional support and product maintenance; and then refresh it all over again,” he says. “It’s an endless cycle and expectations are faster, so IT capabilities need to be faster, more agile and more integrated.” 

The Powered Enterprise IT Approach

The Powered Enterprise IT approach, he explains, is anchored in the idea that the six core capabilities mentioned above apply to all organizations , and most of the details shouldn’t be argued over. Instead, they should simply look to truly leverage leading practices, establish a Center of Excellence for governance, so the organization can then focus transformation efforts on its own unique needs — and on connecting the dots.  “Our view of Powered Enterprise IT is that all of these areas can’t be compartmentalized; they have to be integrated and connected to truly drive the business,” he says.

For example, Kenfield cites the recent completion of a large transformation for a client in the global hospitality industry, which focused initially on one of the six core capabilities — customer support, including ITSM. Eight functional areas within this capability were targeted as part of this initial transformation, within 6 months. In the next phase, the work began to expand to the other five areas. “The premise is not to accelerate deployment, but to accelerate transformation,” he says. 

The Biggest Powered IT Challenges and Catalysts

Transforming IT creates challenges for all organizations, says Kenfield, since legacy workflows and overly customized and configured environments are common, while running IT as a business tends not to be well-understood. “There is often a lot of homegrown mentalities about how to run the IT business, as opposed to truly leveraging cloud technologies and focusing on what can get done quickly,” he explains. The organization may have implemented new technologies, but they did not transform the way they do business and therefore have not accelerated, says Kenfield. “It’s like going out to lease a new car with a ton of new features but not driving any differently,” he explains.

Some of the areas many organizations struggle with are in the “protect” area of cybersecurity, governance and compliance, he adds, which also tends to be a big catalyst that sparks the organization to realize they have to do something — that transformation is needed across the entire ecosystem through the Powered Enterprise IT approach. “If the organization can’t keep track of what they have and they don’t understand the relationships between all their services across different areas, the ability to mitigate risk and respond when a threat is identified will be suspect from the start,” says Kenfield.

The organization may already have put a great deal of investment into traditional customer support and ITSM, but those that have overly configured and built their systems may find it holding back other opportunities to expand and improve corporate services across other areas such as finance, HR and procurement. “These capabilities don’t live in a vacuum,” he says. “They live together and need to mature together for the full effectiveness across the board.”

Portfolio management is also a big trigger that leads organizations to the Powered Enterprise IT approach. “The pace of business is increasing, they have more choices, as we know they can go completely outside of the technology organization,” Kenfield explains, so the IT organization’s ability to innovate and deliver in an agile way is essential. Other organizations also still suffer from quality issues on the support side in terms of outages and customer experience problems — leading to the realization that a change is necessary.

The Mission-Critical Future of Powered Enterprise IT

From a technology perspective, the business of IT requires transformation across people, process, and technology. On the technology side, Kenfield emphasizes that there needs to be a core system that can help the organization transform through the Powered Enterprise IT model. For KPMG, that technology is through Service Now, but he points out there are other technologies that can add additional value and advance the ultimate business.

Most importantly, this core technology, and the process of predicting and controlling its architecture, needs to be seen as critical to the business. “The CIO of large U.S. bank recently acknowledged to me that this system for IT will run an aspect of the  business, just like the core HCM runs the HR business, or the ERP runs the finance business” he says. “This platform will run your technology business and needs to be treated as a mission-critical system. In most cases it wasn’t in the past, and you can see the impacts of that now, which is a challenge our clients must overcome to keep up.”