Recently a client in a meeting asked me what is an “as a Service” offering and how does it apply to Ensono and its business? I went into Albert Barron’s example of “Pizza as a Service” as a simple way to describe the different flavors of services available; Platform, Infrastructure and Software. I spoke about Ensono’s ability to provide offerings to meet the client’s need as requested. The meeting ended up being a good session but the “As a Service” kept me thinking how well the definition applied to our service offerings here at Ensono.
Sure, we have these types of offerings, the cloud services that we offer, our Utility Server Service, etc. but they are more than the typical XaaS offerings out there. One of the key points of a XaaS offering is, in many cases, the automation of the provisioning or at least some aspect of the service delivery. Ensono certainly has that. Through our service catalog we have and are bringing more services to give our clients the ability to self-direct their procurement and management of infrastructure and other services Ensono has to offer.
XaaS also implies a movement from IT “as a Secret” to “as a Service”. In the past our internal and external clients would put in a request and they were at IT’s mercy to fulfill it. If the last few years have taught IT organizations anything, our clients will get their services from us or will go to the outside to get what they need. Sure we can bring up the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) factors such as governance, security, etc. but let’s face it, if that division or business unit is making the company revenue with that outside service, it’s going to stay and the IT organization lost that opportunity. If the IT organization loses enough of these type of opportunities then what is its purpose within the organization.
I keep using a word here, opportunity. In many Information Technology organizations, new applications, installing hardware and software isn’t considered an opportunity; it is considered a project or a task. It is fundamental that this notion of it simply being a task or project has got change. Every time IT is engaged they have an opportunity to continue to serve the organization. The ability for any organization to change the mindset that it is just work to do by doing this well, I am earning the right for a seat at the table for the next new opportunity is huge. IT leadership needs to treat their organization as a business that serves the entire organization.
So you are probably wondering where this is all going, I propose that we all require another item to our “as a Service” offerings. The “At your Service” component. I know that here at Ensono we do this. Frankly, as long as you stay within the confines of the typical “XaaS” offerings you should be good. However, the minute you need a file restored or a specific item that isn’t automated through a catalog or portal, it is like being in a ghost town trying to find someone to help. Initial delivery and typical maintenance is one thing, but organizations that offer these types of services also need to be aware that their job for the XaaS offerings doesn’t stop there.
We need to continue to answer questions, assist clients with issues, and provide to the “At your Service” mentality to the requests to bring more value to the business as a whole. This simply is the difference between Ensono and other “As a Service” vendors out there. We treat our client’s businesses as our own, we take personal ownership and are there for our client’ questions and issues when they need us regardless if they fit the predetermined mold of the original service offering.
As IT organizations evolve, I believe that it is key to look at every request as an opportunity, provide a clear, “easy to use” offering of products/services, and make sure that a collaborative, supportive engagement continues through the life of the product with your clients.