How to drive the everything-as-a-service uprising in the modern enterprise

Today everything can be accessed via an app – whether it’s booking a cab with UBER, a room with AirBnB, or even dinner from Deliveroo. The stark reality is that this has made it increasingly obvious when businesses fail to provide similar services to employees. For instance, if an employee wants to book time off, request new supplies, or even just book a meeting room, today they generally have to jump through a number of hoops to do so – far from the seamless 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 (known as ‘everything as a service’ (EaaS), there is a major opportunity for businesses to improve service delivery while ensuring higher productivity, lower costs and greater employee satisfaction. According to research by ServiceNow, managers rate consumer services 103% higher than workplace services. This dissatisfaction is driven by the use of outdated technology in the workplace; 48% of workplace services are ordered via email, compared with 10% of consumer services, according to the same study.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. There is a huge rift between employee expectation and the services offered by employers.

Focussing on 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. This is in stark contrast with consumer offerings where services are constantly being expanded to include self-service management. The knock-on effect of this lack of service maturity means that failing to offer unified services through the cloud is costing organisations huge amounts of money as they rely on using different tools to offer similar services across the business.

Delivering EaaS is far more than a question of keeping employees happy with the latest technology. There is also the potential to drive significant return on investment (ROI) through delivering services in a joined-up, automated, online way. These include improved efficiency of operations, as well as better productivity from staff due to time saved when making and tracking service requests. Most importantly, businesses will find that their service availability is much improved by limiting downtime because of having a single consolidated service automation platform.

The road to the service revolution
For those CIOs that are keen to take advantage of these benefits, the following steps give a good outline of how to successfully implement EaaS:

1. The status quo: Before embarking on a journey to EaaS businesses must ensure they actually know what level of maturity they currently have. This means focussing on how services are currently delivered, what the structure is in terms of delivering these services, what processes are used and which technology is in place.

2. Find out what’s missing and identify quick wins: The next step is to put in place systems and processes that make big changes, fast. For instance:
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. It’s all about the environment: Technology and organisation are relatively easy to get right, but to truly benefit from EaaS, CIOs must 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.

Undoubtedly there’s still a while to go until the modern work environment has been successfully consumerised, however, there are some changes that can be made that will revolutionise how businesses work on the inside. The benefits are certainly worthy food for thought, after all, if happier employees isn’t tempting enough, cost savings and improved service availability certainly should be.

Originally published in theCsuite.co.uk, 30 October, 2017

Alan Johnson
Alan is General Manager UK&I at Fruition Partners, A DXC Technology Company.
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