How a Unified Approach to Support and Services Can Improve IT Outcomes

Pat Phelan
VP, Market Research
5 min read
How a Unified Approach to Support and Services Can Improve IT Outcomes

Modernizing IT support and services should be a part of IT modernization

Enterprise applications are changing at a more rapid pace than ever. The result is that many enterprises have hybrid-driven, multivendor IT environments. This creates a challenge for the IT organization — how to effectively operate, manage, and support an increasingly complex technology portfolio. CIOs need a technology support model that is agile and responsive, yet simple, scalable, and strategic. For most, this means modernizing how IT supports and serves the business.

The answer is a unified support and services model that more nimbly responds to changing technology and business needs. This model helps improve business outcomes while improving technology service quality, security, scalability, and delivery speed.

It’s time to change how IT support services are managed and delivered

According to a recent survey by Censuswide, “A majority (62%) of CIOs and CTOs surveyed say digital transformation is a high priority in their business.” Yet, moving technology to the cloud (e.g. as SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS) isn’t an all or nothing move that happens overnight.

For example, as enterprises adopt a composable ERP strategy, they will opt to keep some existing non-cloud systems, and the journey to a cloud-first environment takes time. The result for the foreseeable future is a multivendor, multiplatform, hybrid-driven IT environment. The downside of this is additional complexity and risk in IT support services. The added complexity creates added risk that increases with each addition to or change in the hybrid IT environment.

Many enterprises still organize support around products and vendors. As the IT environment becomes more complex, enterprises are at risk of overwhelming their existing support model’s ability to deliver services at scale. For example, an increased number of vendors in the applications portfolio has the potential to hinder support services and make it difficult to be agile when the business demands more frequent change at a faster pace.

At the same time, new cloud solutions create opportunity and risk from a business process perspective. The business has more options for improving business outcomes, but multiple vendors increase the risk that individual business-driven technology decisions will create unexpected downstream solution management and support issues.

The business needs IT to be a strategic partner who is able to provide a unified view of incumbent and candidate vendors and products in order to ensure that new services and products fit into the hybrid IT portfolio. A unified approach to support and services enables solution choices that are compatible with the existing ecosystem and technology roadmap.

Unifying operations, managed services, and support services

A unified approach to support and services enables IT to perform more effectively in a multivendor, multiplatform, hybrid-driven world. It provides a single experience for software support and services by eliminating traditional product/vendor silos. By bringing operations, managed services, and support activities together under a single umbrella, IT leaders can improve business outcomes.

Where software models once worked in isolation, they are now unified and integrated under a single support and services provider. With a unified approach to support and services, the proven software that enterprises trust for everyday needs is supported alongside new, advanced software that drives digital acceleration. And when problems arise, instead of having to call multiple vendors for resolution, the IT team has only one call to make: to the unified support and services provider (Figure 1).

Figure 1

Why unified support and services?

A unified support and services model provides the following benefits to IT teams:

Simplifies support for complex IT environments

To successfully operate, manage, and support the IT portfolio, leaders need to reduce the complexity of multivendor, multiplatform, hybrid IT environments. A unified support and services model for system operations, managed services, and support provides simplicity by organizing the multiple vendors and service layers in the support workstream into a single oversight mechanism. This results in fewer hand-offs and a more seamless support effort.

Enables a more scalable support and services model

In this era of relentless digital evolution, there has been an explosion of application solutions — from legacy, commercial enterprise software to innovative open-source software. As the application portfolio expands and contracts with changes to individual solutions, support also needs to scale. It’s not like in the old days when a vendor-specific suite was implemented and then a post-implementation support team was constructed to support it.

Today, multiple vendors’ products and services are placed into a solution portfolio. This hybrid IT environment is often complicated by licensing, support, and integration challenges. A unified support and services model allows IT to more easily scale through a single organizational structure that can absorb digital projects as they happen rather than waiting to set up support as individual projects are completed.

Helps IT keep pace with the business

With more vendors in the technology portfolio, it becomes even more critical to understand the operations, management, and support risks of a technology choice. A unified support model positions IT to be more strategic when managing the technology portfolio. A single provider with knowledge of the technology portfolio helps the business make better solution choices as it takes advantage of new, innovative opportunities. As the business makes technology decisions, unified support allows IT to provide insight into how well options will fit into the hybrid IT environment, not only from an operational perspective, but also from a support and a roadmap perspective.

Unified support and services have a combination of the following features:

  • Simplified, with a technology support model that eliminates software support silos
  • Scalable and built on a flexible, trusted, support platform
  • Strategic, using efficient proven processes that unlock new innovative opportunities

Smart IT modernization starts with a unified support and services model

A unified support and services model that integrates operations, managed services, and support services increases IT agility as the business innovates and grows. By consolidating IT services and reducing the complexity that can accompany coordinating multiple vendors across multiple support layers, the unified support and services model offers a more cohesive support experience.

On a practical level, an IT modernization strategy that leverages a unified approach to support and services provides simplicity to help improve support quality and delivery speed. With this model, IT can bring experts to the table quickly and scale rapidly while keeping the hybrid IT portfolio running smoothly as it grows. As teams spend less time figuring out the complexities of hybrid IT, they can focus on accelerating business transformation and devote more time and resources to innovation and growth activities instead of maintenance and upkeep.

Finally, a unified approach to support and services can help IT stop following vendor-driven roadmaps. As the business gains a more cohesive view of its technology portfolio and the impact of technology changes, decision-makers can better prioritize investments in a Business-Driven IT Roadmap that is tailored to the business’ needs and goals. This provides greater control over which IT strategies are adopted, as the business is able to make better-informed decisions about investments in technology.

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