IT as a product: Rethinking IT service delivery

Digital transformation and a renewed emphasis on customer experience have CIOs seeking a more agile approach to delivering IT services.

IT as a product: Rethinking IT service delivery
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CarMax has been a driving force in the used car industry, but when it came to speed in innovation, its IT group needed more horsepower.

Delivering a good customer experience while remaining a market leader was foremost on the mind of Senior Vice President and CIO Shamim Mohammad. About three years ago, as the company was in the throes of defining its multi-year business strategy, Mohammad wanted to apply the brakes on how IT was operating and take a more tactical approach.

“We decided we had to change to innovate faster and change how teams work and change our focus,” he says. “At the end of the day, we want to be where customers are and provide them the option in terms of where, when and how they want to transact with us. In order to do that, we felt we had to make a substantial change in how we operate, [since] the traditional way wouldn’t work in the new world,” which was rapidly becoming more digitized.

Today, the nation’s largest used car dealer delivers “IT as a product,” meaning teams that are delivering capabilities and experiences to its customers and employees “at a speed that they expect,” he says. The company has shifted the conversation about tech products that customers want and need and love, Mohammad says, to include how to go about delivering them quickly and iteratively.

“This was a pretty significant shift in how we worked and operated,’’ he notes, “and rather than taking baby steps, we decided to shock the system. In other words, we’re just going to go all in.”

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