Changes in technology are a decisive factor in driving business growth, but they always come with a series of obligations. IT departments have to do more than merely provide services; they need to become catalysts in getting companies to adopt new methodologies, tools and technologies. It’s time that we stop seeing them as just a cost centre and instead evaluate how they can contribute value our company.
Application management services (AMS) contracts signed by IT departments are designed to guarantee the efficiency, security and cost predictability of operating a client’s systems and processes. Specifically, this is a part of an IT department’s responsibility to run IT operations. However, in today’s constantly changing world, it’s essential that IT departments also take on additional responsibilities: they must focus their efforts on transformation and automation to allow companies to innovate, thus allowing them to stand out from the competition and become leaders in their respective sectors.
As a result, both IT suppliers and clients are asking the same question: are we prepared to take on the transformation required by AMS contracts?
At NTT DATA, we offer a different way of working with AMS contracts that seeks to increase productivity, encourage continuous improvement through task innovation and standardisation, enable more dynamic collaboration with our clients, and provide tools that allow us to measure IT departments’ contributions to companies.
This is a drastic change with respect to traditional governance models. At NTT DATA we specifically take on this challenge by working around three interrelated pillars of action:
The classic approach that clients and IT suppliers usually use clearly distinguishes between two types of teams: on one hand are teams that provide maintenance services to final users (which are responsible for running IT infrastructure), and on the other hand are teams that implement upgrades and projects (which are responsible for change). Furthermore, the change request model and upgrade and project execution methodologies (Waterfall) do not exactly encourage key users (clients) and development teams (suppliers) to work together, except on specific occasions over the project life cycle.
The problem is that this model is no longer appropriate in scenarios in which business needs are highly volatile, when there is uncertainty in terms of the scope of a requested functionality or at times when flexibility and agility are needed in order to address unexpected changes.
That’s why NTT DATA has opted for a different approach. On one hand, we can adopt the methodology best suited to your needs and targets by using a decision matrix of development practices (Waterfall, Agile Scrum, Agile Kanban, etc.). On the other hand, we train teams of professionals who are equally capable of performing activities related to both running IT operations and implementing change, doing so through an agile approach and in close collaboration with final users.
This pillar looks at the elements of a transformation related to emerging technologies. Specifically, a technological model should seek to set the foundations that will support the desired transformation in the production model.
NTT DATA offers clients different initiatives in this area, including the following:
This last pillar of a transformation seeks to measure the quality of provided services by evaluating the value offered to users and user satisfaction—yet another 180° shift with respect to traditional governance models, which are exclusively based on technical quality indicators and service-level agreements (SLAs).
Ideally, traditional quality measurement models (such as SLAs based on response time, time to resolution, etc.) must be combined with new indicator models, including experience-level agreements (XLAs), which measure final outcomes and the user experience, as well as business-level agreements (BLAs) or value-level agreements (VLAs), which measure the added value contributed to a business, taking into consideration elements such as continuous improvement and innovation.
As a result, NTT DATA’s proposal will include an evaluation of the maturity of your AMS contract in order to collaboratively design a roadmap for changing your governance model and for measuring the quality of our services. Our goal is to identify your opportunities for improvement, implement them and measure the impact on all phases of the software life cycle, while always maintaining a focus on users and measuring user satisfaction.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. In reality, the transformation process greatly depends on the level of maturity of your AMS contract, your company’s attitude to change, or your IT supplier’s advising capabilities. NTT DATA knows from experience that this challenge must be faced with a proactive mindset, transparency and motivation in order to achieve continuous improvement. For this reason, we seek to establish long-term, trusting relationships with our clients.
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