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Seven rules for creating successful global IT services – Rule 3

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 3: Use one service management system and process

Seven-rules-for-creating-successful-global-IT-services-Rule-3A global IT service organization functions most effectively under the support of one IT service management system and standardized process. The first benefit of having only one system is that you get those singular truths of your IT services at each specific location: the metrics, the KPI’s, and the detailed insight of IT assets in each country and/or business unit. This makes it possible to measure, compare, and improve the quality and effectiveness of different supporting organizations.

The second benefit is that service management can be done globally. For example, someone in Singapore can act as the service desk for your employees in China, or to resolve an incident with the ERP system in Romania, Mexico or Australia — depending on the time of day. The whole IT family will be connected and can work with one dataflow.

Finally, working with one service management tool and service process makes it so everyone learns to speak the same service language. They can learn from each other by comparing their performance. This requires proper governance to prevent comparing apples to oranges.

Next week we have a look at Rule 4: Define and execute your sourcing strategy

Read the previous rules:
Rule 1: Have an agile and resilient strategy
Rule 2: Define your business IT services

Read all seven rules:
Download our White Paper: Seven rules for creating a successful global IT services organization

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