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Skip the IT project, go straight to business outcome


Michael Services as a Service screenshot.png


The old world of IT used to be quite predictable. It was a world of projects and programs. When the business had a technology need, IT managers would collect the requirements, set the budget, construct the project, and determine milestones and metrics. If all went according to plan, the project eventually resulted in an outcome that made a difference to the business.


Today, as any CIO can tell you, IT is under incredible pressure to deliver outcomes faster. The New Style of Business (defined by cloud, mobile, Big Data, and security) is all about increasing velocity and agility. It makes sense then, that IT itself is shifting from a focus on projects to a focus on business outcomes.


In the services world this means that customers now have choices over how they want services delivered and how they want to consume them. We see this in many of the IT organisations we work with. Instead of buying products and services in the traditional CapEx, project-based model of old IT, they’re moving to OpEx, As-a-Service models. Instead of buying a piece of technology and the services to implement it, organisations want that technology delivered as a service, and they increasingly want it delivered with an outcome. (If this sounds like your organisation, you may want to check out monitoring as a service and testing on demand.)


Three success factors for services-as-a-service

Last year I did a series of blog posts on the way that HP Software Professional Services is adapting to As-a-Service offerings. In “Savile Row SaaS” I talked about tailoring subscription services to meet more complex needs. A year later, it’s evident to me that this trend is only growing in importance. After working with numerous customers in services-as-a-service engagements, here are three tips I can share for success.


  1. Governance: In Professional Services we talk all the time about governance as the key to success. You need to get the key stakeholders involved, agree on the rules of engagement, define what you’re trying to achieve, and so on. If you go into an outcome-based service model with a vendor, don’t forget the governance piece. And this really gets back to knowing what you’re trying to achieve. Simply changing models does not give you a pass on IT strategy.


  1. Partnership: In the project-based world, professional services organisations traditionally come in for implementation. They’re attached to the project or program, and when that last milestone is checked off, they leave. But if you, the customer, are looking for services with an outcome, the relationship changes. Both sides take on some risk, and both must understand what you’re trying to achieve. Ideally, your services-as-a-service vendor has the chops to become a strategic partner in delivering value.


  1. Agility: It’s one thing to say you’re going to move to a new consumption model to increase agility. But as the customer, you need to look at the speed with which your own organisation moves. Can you make decisions quickly? Are the right people empowered? You want to know that you and your vendor can jointly work in agile cycles to deliver the outcome quickly.


Two ways to try it out

HP Software’s Paul Muller recently interviewed me for a video on this topic as part of the Discover Performance Weekly series. At the end of the clip he asked me for examples of our services as a service offerings. We’re working with customers on a number of engagements where pricing is based on subscription, outcome, or transaction. But here are two offerings in particular that make good starting points.


  • Monitoring as a Service: This is our HP Managed Enterprise Monitoring (MEM) service, which allows you to choose which applications are mission-critical to your business and then hand over the monitoring of them to BSM experts, freeing you to do more value-added work.
  • Testing on Demand: With HP Performance Testing on Demand Service we deliver a fixed-price, fixed-scope load testing service. So if you have a critical application release, you can very quickly scale up testing—then scale it back down again as you need.


You can contact HP Software Professional Services for more information. Or check out the video on Services as a Service and let me know what you think.



Related links:

HP Software Professional Services

Blog post: 3 success factors for pay-per-use SaaS

Blog post: 3 signs you’re ready to graduate from basic SaaS

Blog post: Savile Row SaaS: Here’s what you need to know about new ways of consuming software

Ebook: Deliver business value with the New Style of IT

About the Author


Jan 30-31, 2018
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