There is a phrase that says, “Everything is a Service.” The notion of this is that a product or a piece of technology is only as valuable as the service or the business outcome that it produces. As an IT Services industry, we take the challenge of the details of the products, the details of the technology, even the details of all the intellectual property, and make that technology usable. As innovators and technology service providers, we create another layer of abstraction around it to insulate the user from 'the how', so they can just focus on 'what' they actually need.
Let us worry about building the physical infrastructure, the assets, the networks, the computers, the software and the workflows around all of that technology. What you, the business, should worry about is consuming that technology in a way that is directly in line with your business processes and your business strategy. In the past, many large enterprise IT departments still wanted to build their own infrastructure and develop their own applications. They believed that infrastructures and applications were business differentiators. Now, more and more off the shelf software and standardized infrastructure is being utilized and more and more cloud services are being provisioned. Businesses are not necessarily differentiating themselves at the IT technical layer, instead they are using a combination of IT services to enable differentiation.
The market has gone away from spot solutions, spot products, and spot technology to answering questions such as what is core, what do I really need for differentiation, what is driving value...what is the IT service offering portfolio that truly supports my business. It is an interesting and valuable service that makes all of us who are in the IT industry much more aware of how the buyer will actually utilize the service to drive competitive differentiation versus talking about the features and benefits of a given product. Those features and benefits are only interesting if they map to a tangible business outcome. This business centric thought process for IT is certainly not new, but the vast array of service centric choices now available certainly are. In a way, it makes us all think more like a utility company or a general service provider in the industry versus thinking about specific technology solutions. Thus, the buyer should look holistically at the kind of services, the kind of service provider offerings and the kind of service provider relationship that will best suit their needs both now and into the future.