One of the more challenging business problems for IT organizations is how to communicate value to your customers and business partners. Cask finds that services, when properly defined, provide the value linkage between what IT does and what the customer needs.
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In my previous blog “Serving You (And Your Customers) Right,” we touched on the difference between selling products (technology) and selling services. In almost all cases, IT sells services to customers. Even in situations where a product is provided directly to a customer (e.g.; a mobile phone or PC), the customer expects an end-to-end service that includes easy to use ordering, delivery and support. Let’s unpack an example of a service that on the surface appears to be a strictly a product: a company provided mobile phone.
In this case:
-Apple provides the phone (the product).
-A mobile telecommunication company provides the cellular service.
-A 3rd party specialist provides device management and security services.
-The IT organization provides a catalog (to order the phone) and management of all other services and providers across the lifecycle of the device (procurement to retirement).
Customers expect to get a phone when they order one, that it works when they need it, get support when it doesn’t, get a new one when it’s time to refresh, and get a bill that’s reflective of what they bought. A lot of behind the scenes work is going on to make that happen – stuff the end-user and customer doesn’t see nor care to see. Your other IT services should look and function like this if you focus on what your customers need, make it reliable and easy for them to use and provide a cost that relates to the value received.
Understanding customer needs and building end-to-end, fully functioning service offerings is a key competency for organizations looking to run IT like a business and extend value to their customers. Cask has developed a “Service Complete” methodology to help organizations develop skills necessary to enable and manage fully functioning services. Contact us to learn more.