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Top Takeaways: The Future of IT Services

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Top Takeaways: The Future of IT Services

The role of IT is shifting from managing technology to managing business transformation, increasingly requiring ownership of all aspects of the technology stack that enable and optimize business operations. Evolving to a business services management function, IT must bring together complete visibly of technology stack performance and the business processes they support. This requires the integration of technology and business processes, managing services end to end regardless of how they are provided. 

On March 6th, leaders from ServiceNow, ScienceLogic, and Silver Tree Services, hosted by NC Tech, discussed their perspective on IT’s shift toward business services management and where there are opportunities to realize significant value.  

Our Speakers 

On the panel, Tony Doye, President of Silver Tree, moderated the discussion, joined by Richard Ricks, CEO & Founder at Silver Tree. David Wilson, Global Area Vice President – Partner Solution Consulting joined us from ServiceNow. Brian Amaro, Vice President of Advisory Services, joined from ScienceLogic.  

nc-tech-future-of-it-services-speakersTop Takeaways: The Future of IT Services

1. What’s driving change

The panel discussed five main drivers that they see causing a shift in the IT services landscape:  

  1. Externalization of IT (Cloud, SaaS): Big servers and mainframes are moving to the cloud or SaaS which brings a fundamental shift in the talent pool and IT’s responsibilities within the organization. 
  2. New requirements for AI initiatives: No surprise, AI is a huge driving force, shifting requirements for talent, technology, and requests from the business. All these changes drive the need for different support models, systems, underlying data, and mitigation of potential risks. 
  3. Blurring lines between the business and IT: Increasingly, companies aren’t companies without IT. It’s no longer the business of IT; IT is the fabric of their business. This drives the need for a different way of managing the IT environment and blurs the lines between IT and business partners.  
  4. Observability in the digital workplace: Digital workplace remains increasingly important as the end user integration point of all services that precede it. The remote work drives a higher order requirement for what’s needed in terms of security and availability – and not just at the endpoint, but the performance of services is critical to employee experience and productivity. 
  5. Security everywhere: The security perimeter has vastly increased with remote work, SaaS, and moving workloads to the cloud. Now security must not just be at the perimeter but factored into every aspect of tech infrastructure – and should drive the administration and maintenance of IT environments 

As David summed up, “These five items are individual driving forces, but they’re also interweaving themselves and highly interconnected at the end of the day.”


2. What CIOs need from service providers

With this shift in IT services, CIO expectations for their service providers are changing too. The top requirements CIOs are now looking for from their managed services providers (MSPs) are:  

  1. Predictable consumption models: CIOs want to be able to budget and predict their cost structure reliably with providers. Predictable consumption models help control costs. 
  2. A transition to “business services management”: CIOs are looking to move from predominantly technology stack and/or services management to “business services management,” bringing together all services and technologies into a holistic approach. 
  3. More proactive service: CIOs hope that AI brings new possibilities for MSPs to offer a more proactive approach to IT services as opposed to the primarily reactive service they’ve provided up to this point.

As leaders look at their service providers, they should think about how they are considering and measuring MSPs through these lenses.  

3. It’s all about the data

A strong data foundation underpins many of the drivers shifting the IT services market. You can’t leverage AI without getting your data in order. You can’t improve employee productivity without providing those employees with the data they need to do their job. You can’t make IT the driver of your business without data as the fuel. “Data is the digital fuel… And what that will require is the IT organization and the managed services provider to focus as much time and energy on managing the data that is being generated from the various platforms that are being used as it does to managing the service,” said Richard.  

And just because you’re collecting data doesn’t mean you’re storing, unifying, or presenting that data in a way that it can be leveraged. As Brian said, “Just because you may have these different tools in the environment doesn’t mean that all the data is actually culminating into one source.” Building that foundation to be able to understand and interpret your data in a comprehensive way is critical to success with AI and many of the other market drivers.  

4. Secure observability is paramount

The ability to see and understand all aspects of your IT ecosystem is increasingly important, not just for productivity but also security. And IT environments are now so much more complex than even just a few years ago with the rise of remote work, the move toward cloud, increasing reliance on SaaS, and more. Observability across all those endpoints – and the ever-increasing organizational digital footprint – is now critical to be able to ensure productivity and security.  

To enable this, security has to come out of its silo. “Security has been isolated but now requires a service-centric approach,” said Brian. Secure observability has to be interwoven into every element of the IT environment, including service providers, as threats become more sophisticated and environments get more complex.  

As Richard said,  “The visibility of everything that’s going on within your domain allows you to be more proactive, not only in your service quality, but also in how you address potential security risk.” 

5. Organizational change management can’t be overlooked

Another common theme throughout the discussion was the need for organizational change management. As services requirements shift so must operating models. Companies that don’t invest in organizational change management to align people with the shift in technology will not be successful – and waste a lot of money in the meantime. Brian spoke about organizational change management being critical to not just adoption but also in breaking down barriers to increase situational awareness across the IT environment, all of which are more required than ever. 

“Organizational change needs to be a key component of what CIOs and IT organizations of the future consider, because the technology will require that,” summed up Richard 

Taking action 

How do IT leaders take action in the face of these market drivers pushing a fundamental shift in IT services? David suggested a 4×3 approach:  

“It comes down to how you prioritize four IT areas: process, data, apps, and security; and balance those against three focus pillars to be competitive: customer focus, proactivity, and innovation. And you have to sequence them in the right way. Think about your processes first, then look at the applications, then understand the data structure, and then wrap security around that. The other key is to continue to be customer focused first, then proactive, followed by innovative. If you’re not prioritizing IT initiatives against those three areas, your competition will outpace you.”


Ultimately, the big takeaway for those navigating the shift in IT services came from David: “My advice to leaders: don’t just start with the technology. The technology is not going to solve your problem.”

 Watch the full recording 

If you would like to see the full discussion, you can watch the replay below! We’d welcome feedback and your thoughts on this shift in IT services. Thank you to NC Tech for hosting us! 


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