IBM: smart digital strategies for service delivery
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that perhaps more than anything else, business success can depend on being built for change. That can be especially important for the delivery of IT and business services—the heartbeat of companies’ most critical business operations,” commented John Granger is Senior Vice President, Cloud Application Innovation and COO, IBM Global Business Services.
“Across every industry, many organisations have had to rapidly respond to the crisis and shifting business conditions, while also assessing their ability to absorb shocks from future unforeseen events.”
With many organisations putting business continuity and resilience first, by shifting mission critical activity to remote working and strengthening network bandwidth and security, as well as ensuring clear communication between customers, suppliers and employees, many digital transformation projects were put on hold.
Granger highlights within his research that those who were already on a journey towards hybrid cloud were in a good position when it comes to business continuity and resilience to quickly scale up or down their operations based on their workload.
“But they recognize that may not be enough. In the “new normal” where disruption and local lockdowns could be around every corner, many organizations will want their IT and businesses service delivery to be able to accelerate digital transformation despite disruption. They will also want the ability to anticipate and adapt with speed and resilience as business conditions shift,” added Granger.
Emerging smart strategies due to COVID-19 - Dynamic delivery
For IBM, the company has seen the pandemic spur its clients to accomplish in months what they had previously believed would take years. “Our experience has been no different: Working with clients before and during the pandemic has enabled us to bring forward the next era of delivery—a more dynamic model of delivery.,” commented Granger.
The Dynamic delivery model has three core components which include: enhanced and automated processes for contactless delivery, deep thinking about how we function as humans in the network and the latest delivery foundation. IBM believes that combining these components together, provide the potential to accelerate delivery speed and scale, as well as enhance timeline confidence, improve access to expertise and build business resiliency and security.
“At the heart of the model are enhanced, automated processes tailored for contactless delivery, regardless of whether the delivery scenario is 20%, 40% or 100% virtual,” said Granger.
This component involves automation and visualisation delivery methods, as well as commercial and transparent governance. Applied to workflows, this technology can help improve employee efficiency and rapidly scale delivery, as well as provide ‘virtual garages’ for design thinking, agile principles and DevOps tools and techniques to innovate and create new methods.
However, Granger emphasis that “the model goes beyond the processes alone. It requires leading, engaging and enabling the humans in the network to work wherever they are, with virtual skills development and communities of practice. It means building in the capability to rapidly mobilise expertise via virtual squads who can quickly innovate or resolve issues. It also should include global talent standards for access to flexible and available expertise, and ubiquitous knowledge management.”
IBM also believes that the model requires a delivery foundation that firstly has a resilient and scalable infrastructure. “It should consist of a robust network that can support work from home, non-traditional locations or physical co-location at sites based on changing business conditions.” commented Granger.
Granger concludes that the model must include virtualized, pervasive and artificial intelligence (AI) enabled platforms, and tools for employee collaboration and innovation. As well as, embedded security and privacy practices and policies to protect proprietary data and reduce risk exposure.