Originally published in information age, 20 Dec 16 by Grant Macdonald

How everything-as-a -service can be used in enterprise to drive the service revolution

In an age when almost anything can be accessed via a seamless app – whether it’s a cab with UBER, a room with AirBnB, or food from Deliveroo – it’s becoming increasingly obvious that businesses lack the capability to provide similar services to employees.

This means that if an employee wants to book holiday, order new supplies, or simply organise a meeting room, they will generally have to jump through a number of hoops to do so – far from the experience that they have in their personal lives.

With research finding the average organisation is only 40% of the way to providing fully mature internal services (often known as ‘everything as a service’ or EaaS), there is a therefore a major opportunity for businesses to improve service delivery while ensuring higher productivity, lower costs and greater employee satisfaction. 

 EaaS can be seen as the essence of cloud computing, which IDC predicts to be worth $195 billion (£150 billion) by the end of 2020, with software-led services accounting for over 80% of that investment.

One of the key drivers for EaaS is smoother financial management, as companies move from major capital expenditure to pay-as-you-go models.

However, the growth in the market is also demand-driven because corporate users of internal services are making unfavourable comparisons between internal services with those they use in the consumer sphere.

According to research by ServiceNow, entitled, managers’ rate consumer services 103% higher than workplace services. 

 Much of this dissatisfaction is driven by the use of outdated technology in the workplace; 48% of workplace services are ordered via email, compared with 10% of consumer services, according to the same study.

Similarly, only 22% of workplace services can be ordered and tracked via mobile devices, compared with 65% of consumer services.

 4 lenses focus on EaaS gaps

Independent research by Vanson Bourne, commissioned by Fruition Partners, measured organisations on four key indicators, or ‘lenses’, of their journey to delivering the ‘service revolution’ that is EaaS:

  • Services: are services delivered in the user-friendly manner employees have become accustomed to in their everyday personal lives.
  • Organisation: how well is the organisation structured, delegated, trained and empowered to deliver the services?
  • Process: how well are the supporting processes owned, aligned, developed, documented, measured and governed?
  • Technology: does the technology in use support delivery, measurement and governance of the services.

Analysis of 400 CIOs’ responses from the UK and the US relating to these four lenses showed the average overall score was 40%.

In other words, the average organisation is only 40% of the way to delivering EaaS. At best, only in 21% of organisations can all services from departments such as HR, IT, Finance, Facilities and Legal be consumed in a self-service manner – a key element of consumerising the employee service experience.

In addition, only 14% of organisations have fully automated service provision and only 23% have a consistent way for users to interact with internal services providers.

Serious waste of resources highlighted

In addition, the lack of service maturity means that failing to offer unified services through the cloud is costing organisations – across the UK and US, enterprises are wasting £8.15 billion on using different tools to offer similar services across the business.

With numbers like this in play, delivering EaaS is far more than a question of keeping employees happy with the latest technology.

There is the potential to drive significant return on investment (ROI) through delivering service in a joined-up, automated, online way, including:

  •  Improved efficiency of operations
  • Increased productivity – Saving employee time when making service requests and tracking delivery, which can then drive higher productivity elsewhere
  • Increased service availability – Limiting unplanned downtime as a result of having a single consolidated service automation platform

Research into the value of EaaS suggests that the returns could be huge; one study by IDC looking at IT service management (ITSM) alone shows an average ROR of 449%, with break-even occurring in 7.4 months.

However, the research suggests that much of this potential return may never be realised, unless businesses can improve their ‘service revolution’ scores from the average of 40%.

4 steps CIOs should take to achieve the service revolution

CIOs that are keen to take action should consider the following steps:

 1)      Carry out a review of the ‘four lenses’ (as above) of EaaS to understand their current level of maturity in: Services, Organisation, Process, Technology

2)      Gauge the gaps and start by identifying easywins:

a.       How many manual and email-based processes there are in the organisation that are costing money and time and could be eliminated

b.       Are there process areas that can be combined to provide economy of scale in automation

c.       Eliminating stand-alone applications that can be consolidated onto a single platform

d.       Pinpointing where IT service management platforms can be most easily extended to other functions

3)      Focus on environment not just infrastructure: Technology and Organisation are relatively easy to get right, but the full benefits of the ‘Service Revolution’ will only be realised if CIOs lead the way in delivering organisation-wide integrated, consumer-friendly Services and Process based on a common platform.

4)      Measure and communicate: CIOs should measure the effects of delivering the Service Revolution (such as cost savings and increased customer satisfaction) and communicate the benefits across the organisation to demonstrate the value, and bring other service functions on board.

 There’s a long way to go until the working world is ‘uber-ised’ completely, but progressive businesses are already making a start. Vive la service revolution!

Sourced by Grant Macdonald, managing partner, Fruition Partners UK