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2 Posts authored by: MikeyG2

In my last blog, I wrote extensively about how people play an important role in the transformation of IT to IT-as-a-Service and an example of how companies can hire more employees for additional skills but reduce labor costs overall. This time I want to look at the entire IT transformation process as a whole and provide a three-point big picture checklist for how to manage and complete the transition successfully.

First, IT transformation involves wholesale changes in hardware, software, people, process, organization, management, etc. The change cannot be made in just one area and expected to carry over into others. No single change will provide the transformation. The existence of a self-service IT portal is great, but it also requires the appropriate change in process. New people with new cloud skills won’t work well in a sprawling hardware environment requiring manual updates and bug fixes. The journey has to be holistic with thought and planning behind each area of change to ensure they all work together in harmony.

Second, strong commitment is required at every level of the organization from the CIO down to the part-time employees. The CIO must provide a vision for everyone else to follow. They must also provide confidence in the success of the transformation as well as confidence in the individual employees who will ultimately cause the success. Commitment and confidence will roll downhill, but if even one layer of the organization does not buy-in to the change, you risk failure. Providing transformational education can be an extremely useful tool to instill the confidence and commitment.

Third, a change of this magnitude is difficult – especially when it isn't handled properly. Change is made easier when leaders set the major goals but also provide milestones for the organization to hit incrementally and check progress. Leaders should present a road-map to success so employees understand the purpose of the change, the path it takes to get there successfully, and the understanding that they will still be a part of the final result. The ability to hit smaller, more achievable goals is important to reaching any larger accomplishment.

In short, when embarking on a transformation journey it is important to: look at the big picture of your IT organization from technology to people and process, commit to the change and to the end result while instilling confidence throughout the transition, and create milestones for the organization to achieve along the way to the final destination. By ensuring these big pictures steps are well-planned and executed, you can be successful in transforming IT. Here at EMC, we've been successful transforming our IT organization using these steps, so we know you can be successful too.

Have you had experience living this transformation? Are you about to go through the process? Or do you have a question? Post a comment, ask a question, or share your story below.

The cloud can be a difficult concept for many people to understand both inside and outside the tech industry. There are some who know the cloud simply as their Apple iCloud or Dropbox account, or maybe they don’t even realize it’s actually the mysterious cloud that's storing all their baby photos.

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While the technology of the cloud is difficult for the average consumer to understand, it is similarly challenging for businesses to establish cloud operating environments. Establishing a cloud environment means shifting from manual to automated, from reactionary to as-a-Service, and that strategy shift is reliant on the people and processes behind the technology.

New skills are required and employees must adopt these new skills that align more to an IT-as-a-Service model. Overall, employees roles are evolving, but do all the new skills and increased IT automation mean less IT staff?

On the surface, the answer is ‘Yes,’ but that is not necessarily true. Let’s consider the following scenario: I’m the CTO of a company who employs contractors and consultants along with my internal IT staff in order to manage my data centers. This includes many traditional IT functions such as a significant amount of manual updating, configuring, and troubleshooting. If you look at my total labor costs in year 1, they look like this: a total of about 200 full-time employees, but 85% of my total labor costs are spent on outsourcing and consulting services. Not a good mix.

My end goal is to transform the IT organization to an IT-as-a-Service model, rapidly delivering services to the business, so we can become an enabler of new revenue. So what is my plan? I know the business needed to invest in my vision in order for me to be successful, so I had to build my case. I start by showing my cost savings in the data center like software license cost reduction and hardware maintenance cost reduction. Additionally, I know with an as-a-Service approach I no longer need to spend a large portion of my budget on outsourcing and consulting services. I can then use those savings to hire more internal staff to provide services to the business and play a more strategic, hands-on role. This labor shift and strategy helps me and IT develop more services that the business actually demands and needs.

Every year, I take this strategy to the books and show my progress. I started with 200 full time employees running a standard IT shop. After one year, I have automated my data center, thereby reducing the total labor I need to operate. However, to make this new automated data center possible I need to bring in new skills, so I increase my full-time head count to 280 employees, an increase of 40%, books1.jpgand reduce my contractor and consultant head count by 25%. After two years, I have 342 employees on my internal IT staff and reduced my outsourced resources by another 15%. Come year 3, our evolution continues, with the similar staff increases, but labor costs continuing to drop as we only need a few contractors and consultants for legacy apps that simply can’t operate in a cloud model. Overall, I reduced total labor costs by 25% because the expensive outside labor I was contracting is simply no longer needed – but I simultaneously increased internal employee headcount by over 60%. By decreasing my reliance on outsourced labor, I was able to build out my new IT organization with better employees who deliver better services at a lower cost. All enabled by the IT-as-a-Service model.

So, due to some careful planning and strategic thinking, the shift to delivering IT-as-a-Service did not result

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in pink slips and low morale. It resulted in a new strategic, business-enabling IT organization that was poised to help make my company compete in the next-generation of their industry.


I would like to hear your thoughts and experiences about the transformation to IT-as-a-Service. Post your comment below and start a conversation.

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