Wouldn’t it be nice to know what the world will look like for a CIO in 2012? If we had a crystal ball, we could ask: will his or her attention be fully occupied by the tremendous opportunities that cloud computing offers? Will there be new buzzwords? Will there be even bigger savings and blessings promised by IT? Or will the CIO still have to wonder if the correct colours are appearing on the PowerPoint presentations of C-level colleagues? Hopefully my CEO’s printer is still working….hmmm.
If you talk to some CIOs, you very quickly discover that their daily routine in most cases is much less glamorous as the popular magazines would have you believe. The day is determined by appointments: project meetings, presentations by producers, meetings with co-workers, and meetings with people from specialized divisions.
He or she is confronted with delayed projects, problems within operations, expired service contracts and their prolongation, budget meetings and of course user problems. During this daily course of events the CIO’s focus mostly lies on running the business. There is actually very little time for innovation, design of new environments, or the consolidation of existing landscapes.
But wouldn’t it be more important to identify new technologies which can help products get to market faster and help the business be more productive? Should the daily business not be submitted to the goals of profitability? A CIO friend of mine agrees that yes, in theory this would be more important, but the daily operations of the business causes the most stress—it is a Herculean task not to give in to this pressure all the time.
How can a CIO now free him or herself to an extent from this daily business in order to fulfil his or her most important mission—namely to raise the profitability of the company through IT? How does the CIO manage to make himself available for such tasks?
Most likely a few thoughts about IT service provision and economies of scale could help. Is it really necessary to service PCs, notebooks, and printers yourself? Does it supply the company with a competitive advantage if one operates its own mailing system in its own data center? Is there an advantage to having your own people do the administration of your network? Or isn’t it rather the case that a service provider who considers these services as its core task can provide personnel that is simply better trained because of its daily work on these tasks?
T-Systems is a service provider. We offer a whole range of IT services, from data centers to network, IT infrastructure like storage or customer support, to mailing systems or the operations of SAP systems. Of course there is much more, the aforementioned items are only a rough overview. I come from Central Enduser services. We offer our clients solutions in the areas of collaboration (Exchange, SharePoint, Lync), file and print services, client services (SW distribution, creation of a new standard-client) and virtualization. Since most of my experience is in this arena, I would like to focus more here.
One way to give yourself more time to do strategic work is to free yourself from some not-so-relevant services, the so-called commodity services. What do we mean by commodities? These are all services that do not provide advantages for a company in its core business.
Clearly the trend in today’s IT market points towards a more flexible service delivery. Why should you pay more for services than you really need? We at T-Systems call this Dynamic Services. We offer for example Dynamic Services for collaboration for the services exchange SharePoint, and Lync. Here one needs to consider that in Dynamic Services versus a public cloud model, dedicated systems on a dynamic basis will be constructed.
Our service-providing most closely resembles a private cloud. The advantages of Dynamic Services for collaboration are obvious. You will get a platform in which we will maintain and supervise your systems. Therefore, you will not need to keep any staff around specifically for this purpose anymore. Your data will be in sealed-off surroundings, and so will meet all data protection regulations within the EU. (I am currently preparing a blog about Dynamic Services for collaboration. Coming soon.)
In addition to Dynamic Services we of course offer classic solutions too. We operate your PCs, notebooks and printers. You can order VIP support for your CEO’s printer. Or perhaps you also want VIP support for your C-level colleagues. Not a problem. We have well-trained personnel who will support your end-users willingly and take care of all their problems and concerns.
So, what can T-Systems do for an inundated CIO to allow him or her more time for the strategic part of the job? As you can see, quite a lot. But there is one thing we can’t do for you: buy Christmas presents for your loved ones. Unfortunately, that you will have to do yourself. Finally, I would like to wish you a blessed and beautiful holiday season. To a great 2012!