The Key to Services is Simplicity

Where organizations start thinking of services in terms of the complications or complexity of delivery they approach services from the wrong direction. Where organizations think in terms of how to make customer transactions simpler, they are approaching services from the right direction.

This is another way of saying that service providers should start from the customer’s perspective and ask the question what does my customer want from me? The answer is always the same. They want the simplest easiest transaction that delivers the specific value they are seeking. It doesn’t matter if you are dealing with a $100 million dollar project or the delivery of a simple piece of hardware through a service request catalog, value is exchanged for value.

Those of us in IT get very caught up in the technology and the processes of delivery and we often forget that to our customers, technology is nothing more than a necessary tool for achieving some business outcome. Our customer’s time and resources are limited and valuable. Every minute we eliminate, every bit off customer effort we remove from the transaction is value to the customer. Those minutes and that effort saved is better spent on solving their business problems not IT’s technology problems.

This is easily understood when thinking of services using their most basic business definition. Services are nothing more than a transaction where two individuals or organizations exchange one form or value for another. In the case of Enterprise IT the business provides budget in return for specific IT services. This basic transaction is the same whether we are talking about requesting a new mouse as a single transaction or if we are delivering a multi-year transformational project measured in tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars. The larger project simply has more individual transactions and more complicated transactions. Each is still a value for value exchange between individuals or organizations and each follows the same underlying economic/business rules.

The entire world’s economy in all its complexity operates off of these same basic economic/business rules. Billions of people exchange value for value countless times each day without central planning and without out direct government control. Staggering degrees of complexity are created by the few simple rules inherent in two individuals exchanging value for value.

These same simple rules when applied by Enterprise IT will allow Enterprise IT to effectively scale to any degree required.