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In-house IT services can compete by mirroring third-party providers

September 05, 2013

As the cloud grows larger, competition for IT support service dollars looms over in-house IT departments facing off against third-party cloud solution providers.

With this in mind, CIOs are searching for ways to keep IT budget dollars in-house by becoming "IT-as-a-service providers," InformationWeek explained. This model re-organizes IT departments by breaking down silos and focusing on how best to approach internal and external services, including integration, identity management and security.

However, this will not simply be a reshuffling of existing skills and duties. It will require IT services to acquire new capabilities. 

Streamline services  
InformationWeek advised CIOs and their departments to approach the design and deployment of new services they same way they would if they were planning to offer the technology to the public.

"Enterprise IT must identify the starting points, bundles and configurations it will offer internally, including CPU, memory, storage, network and other services and components," the news source asserted. "Post-launch, the IT organization needs to respond to user needs and usage behavior and modify its offers accordingly, just as a third-party service provider would do."

The breadth of offerings IT services may end up operating in-house may also necessitate that these departments concurrently develop policies for managing demand. Simply crafting cloud solutions and offering them is not enough—IT professionals will need to devise ways to address concerns and needs to contribute to the continued success of the program.

For example, failure to conduct demand forecasting could result in a lack of capacity and a return to third-party providers on the part of the enterprise.

In its entirety, this process is similar to a business launch, but at its base it's about understanding what users need and convincing them and executives that the product developed in-house is the best solution to address these pains.

However, recent research from IDG Enterprise identified the toughest customers CIOs and their IT teams will need to convince of cloud computing's applicability. Chief financial officers were deemed the most difficult to persuade (35 percent), followed by the board of directors (24 percent), the CEO (24 percent) and the chief operating officer (16 percent). Conversely, chief marketing offers were the easiest to sway, with only 6 percent saying they were hard to convince of the value of cloud computing.

By addressing the pain points of each of these leaders and demonstrating the cost-effectiveness of their offerings, IT departments can compete with the best in the market.

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