The “IT Team” in ITSM world has evolved from what it used to be traditionally

Posted by Calvin Ngotho,

Who is in the “IT Team” in the IT Services Management World?

My answer is that if you know your input contributes value to the organization’s value proposition, you are in the team.

Whether you are a receptionist, an accountant, a human resource professional, a business development professional, a risk management professional, an IT professional, a logistics professional, a business partner, a sales and marketing professional – you are part of the IT team.

Traditionally, IT has been perceived as the department which hosts IT professionals (nerds) whose main task is to keep the IT infrastructure lights on and troubleshoot devices and software which are used by the organization.

Today, majority of organizations are moving to leverage IT services to power and support their main economic activities. This move is largely driven by the consumerization of technology which has empowered consumers and redefined the interactions with their service providers. Today’s consumers demand more services which are of better quality, deliver greater value and are transparent.

A service is an abstract concept, and if it has to be effective, it has to be clearly defined on the process and the value derived – a definition that has to be captured both from the service provider and consumer perspectives. A service consumer’s understanding of a service – what the service is, how and where the service is sought out, how the value (in any way shape or form) is delivered to the consumer, has to align with the service provider’s definition of the service and the structure and resources required to deliver the service value.

I can say this about a value chain or a workflow:

  1. It can be mapped to a workflow – a workflow in this case is a logical flow of events and actions, undertaken by individuals or systems designed to achieve and deliver a specific value to customers.
  2. The value chain can span across multiple organizations. Here, an organization is a business entity. More than one business entities can cooperate in a value chain.
  3. The value chain can vary in complexity. It can be as simple as one step process or as complex as a iterating through hundreds of logic harnessed cross-referenced steps.
  4. The value addition players who participate in the chain could be individuals or system services.

In the traditional setup, these value chains had paper work documents and letters moving through in trays and out trays with the email as the unifying communication, collaboration and transmission vessel. The service requesters (people in this case) were the elements in the workflow which ensured their requests were handled on time and with expected value.

In today’s environment, the traditional way of delivering value does not auger well. It does not scale well, does not guarantee value or quality of the service. In fact, frustrations – from requesters and elements in the chain – usually are evident in most cycles.

Revisiting an earlier post The task as a quanta of business, there is a view that a piece work can be quantified and can be assigned to a resolution resource to provide input and resolve the piece intended.

There is consensus on areas in the service resolution (value delivery) workflow, which are in the present, take a manual approach with a lot of human intervention, which has adding more FTE as main approach to scale and maintain value quality. The siloed and compartmentalized workflow structure has characterized most traditional value delivery chains and thus poses the main reasons why it faces quality and scale challenges with a variable service workload.

Virtualized Service Diagram

Depiction of a virtualized service which allows a service consumer to engage with a service and the service providers linearly and transparently.

Services can be virtualized. This means re-imagining the how service value chain and the value derived will be in the virtual setting and IT is the best setting for actualizing this virtualization.

  1. How the consumer and the elements in the value delivery chain will interact.
  2. How the value is captured in the conceptual value chain.
  3. How a service consumer requests and acknowledges value for service.

In view of this service virtualization concept, it is possible to look at an organization as a global services delivery unit which is a services provider to the external world (its customers). The organization itself is composed of smaller service delivery units (in this case departments – administrative or functional) which collaborate in the organizational value delivery chains in varying capacities and engage each other using services.

This view puts every member of the organization as a part of the IT team.

I hold the conviction that the quality of education management will be greatly enhanced through the utilization of technology. I wish an environment where technology is aptly embraced and used in the management of education ecosystems. If you share the same vision, we can can work together to attain the improvements.