Seven rules for creating successful global IT services – Rule 5
Ten years ago, I was working at a large service provider who had many business units across many towns. We wanted to work with one IT environment, one e-mail account, one (dual) datacenter, one service desk, and a single standardized set of applications to help us to support our clients with singular truths (finance, logistics, client information, etc.). We were successful after several years, but it definitely took time. Not only due to the technical work - as this requires an in-depth roadmap for the technological and financial challenges - but also for the management of change, which can be complex in these scenarios.
"Where is the service desk located?", "What will happen to obsolete employees?", "Which environment is the best (and who has to change)?", "What is the business case?". These are some typical questions which sit at the top of the iceberg. Resistance was also present in the form of: "The clients won’t accept this", "I don’t have time for this", "I don’t have the budget to support this", and "I only will do this when you do something for me".
I see this story constantly repeat itself. Presently, global companies can see the advantages of an integrated IT environment where all employees around the globe can work with identical information that is supported by the best, relatively inexpensive IT services. All opportunities for offshoring and globalization should be explored. Quint has supported many of these local and global projects, and we have developed seven rules that have worked for us on both a global and local scale.
Rule 5: Balance between business goals and personal goals
Ultimately, the existence of your organization is dependent on your financial stakeholders. Like any facet of the business, organizations should not overspend on IT. Sizable investments should still be made because skimping on IT in most cases has the consequence of resulting in bad service delivery to the business.
IT should be an enabler to do better business! Cost reduction should never be a primary goal of IT globalization; improving business support, improving time-to-market of new (IT and business) services, and interconnectivity are the IT improvement drivers that will help realize business goals.
Of course, there are more types of goals than just business goals. Nowadays, many organizations seek to take care of profit, people and the planet, which is called the Triple Bottom Line (TBL). When TBL is relevant, it should definitely be incorporated into your IT Strategy.
Is it preferable to concentrate your IT services in a low wage country, or would you prefer increased customer intimacy by having more local IT employees? Do you support the conservation of natural resources? Do you care about the work conditions of your employees (and of the vendors of your vendors), or do you want to spend the least amount of money possible? This balance between business goals and social consequences should certainly be factored into your globalization strategy (see rule 1).
Next week we have a look at Rule 6: Be transparent and honest.
Read all seven rules:
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