IT as a service is a term we are hearing about more and more in our industry. It's a name that gets tossed around quite a bit and has multiple definitions and meanings to various stakeholders. We look at IT as a service as a simple paradigm shift in our market. More and more today, users of technology are concerned about the outcome of that technology, whether it be an application or infrastructure development.
Users are looking for an IT service that they can count on, one that is always available and that scales and provides them with the business outcome they are looking for. Users are less concerned with what goes on behind the scenes as to how that service is produced.
IT as a service is the amalgamation of all the things that an IT organization can do in terms of providing business value, from the wires and cables and the facilities right up through the application. How IT service providers build solutions around that stack helps a business user determine where their customer can consume in a consistent, scalable, and high quality way. Like any service, there needs to be good service level as well as governance around the service. Expectations should be set so that the components of that service going forward can be modified to meet the needs of the business well into the future. Services need to be flexible, and they need to be reliable with the right amount of innovation as businesses need to consume different types of services to support different strategies into the future.
What IT was often known for, or even sometimes chastised for, was getting the business too involved in the details of the technology. Businesses today are less concerned about choosing hardware or servers; they are more concerned about the type of functionality and process that they are supporting. Businesses are interested in how technology could help produce new strategies, so the focus is on the outcome and results of the tangible benefit.
How the service is built should be the business of IT, but we also believe that IT should keep that somewhat opaque. As a service provider, we are in the business of IT, let us worry about the how so you can focus on your core business. For our clients, we really do focus on what outcome they are trying to gain, whether it be cost advantage, strategic leverage, support of their end customer, global scalability, quality of service, or innovation on the business front. We then determine how to produce a service or service offering that enables that client’s business process but also allows them to envision a new process. Enterprise mobility management is a great example of this.
Mobility has become ubiquitous in everything we do today from a business process perspective. IT as a service paradigm should support how the client would deploy and enable mobility on a large scale in a way that is consistent with how the non-mobile user would operate versus how the mobile user would operate. There needs to be the same service level, thought process, application deployment, data protection policy and security. All that needs to be baked into how we think about an IT service today.
IT as a service will revolve and mature even more so into the future as the whole motion of cloud and cloud computing becomes more and more ubiquitous. Cloud in of itself is an example of IT as a service where the user needs to worry about is plugging into the service capability and not necessarily worry about all the details of what's on the other side of that plug or that outlet.