The IT ‘Empty Nest’ – Letting Go



IT Transmogrification continues…

Previously, I talked about some GUIDING PRINCIPLES in approaching IT Transformation.  The first is:

Define each IT service you provide along with costs

The reason you do this is so that you can have a BUSINESS CONVERSATION with your customer about the service you provide and how much you are charging for that service.  You need to do this for EVERY service you provide, defining the WHOLE SERVICE, too.  Headcount, contracts, SLA’s, hardware, software, anything that’s involved in providing the services must be detailed and costed.
How many times have you heard from your customer “Just give it to us, we could do it better and cheaper”.  Well, my response is “Be careful what you ask for”.


Here’s the trick.  You have to illustrate the service in a way to your customer ‘as if’ you are delegating the service to their authority and responsibility.  The reason you must go through this exercise is because your customer must be in a position to ‘opt out’ of that service.  In opting out, they must also define how they will fulfill that service in a cost-effective manner that meets their needs and also be accountable for that service. Most services, even if they are insourced or outsourced, must be governed by a corporate entity, and that oversite remains with IT.

This is a necessary discussion because it makes them understand the service better and it makes IT more competitive.  By looking at SaaS offerings, doing it themselves or, perhaps, realizing that they don’t need the service, we all become better corporate citizens and the relationship to your customer is now beyond service-provider.  These discussions allow you to become the ‘trusted adviser’ of IT services.

Our team went through this exercise and every conversation we had with our customers was very cooperative and productive.  They were appreciative of the transparency we provided and became constructive discussions on what they really needed and how much autonomy they wanted.


  “If You Love Somebody Set Them Free”

More times than not, you’ll find that your customer really doesn’t want to manage the service themselves.  They want a say in understanding the ROI on the service and you must treat them as a paying customer who can take their money somewhere else.   Authority and Responsibility begats Accountability and something-else-that-begins-with-the-letter-R. (I forget).

The lesson-learned here is complete transparency on the service you provide to your customer so that you will continue to provide that service.  On the other hand, if they take it and regret it, you could end up with ‘Boomerang IT’, and nobody wants that!

This is the NEW NORMAL.  This is BULLISH!

Next time I’ll talk a bit on “CORE VS. CONTEXT” analysis. BIG FUN!