Enterprise as a Service?

Russ Elsner

This is a wild time to be in Enterprise IT. Business revenue is becoming more and more dependent on IT.  Technology options are proliferating. The Business Units (BUs) want to move faster but often feel limited by internal technology.  IT needs to adapt to this new reality.  Can we borrow any lessons to accelerate this change? Many people think of Service Providers and Enterprises IT as very different models.  Historically, this was true.  However, in a world that is moving towards “Everything as a Service,” Enterprise IT can benefit from some of the lessons that MSPs have learned. Maybe Enterprise IT should start to think of itself as a true Service Provider. Why? Consider the following: 

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  • Your users are actually customersMSPs need to fight for each and every client. They need to continually reevaluate their offerings and services because they know that their clients have other options.
  • Realize that you now face competition Historically, Enterprise IT held a monopoly. The business was limited to the technology that IT provided and the pace that IT was willing to innovate.  With cloud services (IaaS, SaaS and PaaS) available, the BUs now have many alternatives.  Shadow IT is an outgrowth of this phenomenon.

How do Enterprises start thinking like an MSP?

  • Build a compelling portfolio of services – Rather than fight Shadow IT, embrace the concept. Identify the forces that cause users to look outside.  Is it technology?  Is it speed?  IS it simplicity?  Is it innovation?  Wrap new technologies into a service that you can offer to your clients but do it better.  Shadow IT with governance/compliance/management/security …
  • Be multi-tenant There isn’t a one-size-fits-all model here. With the emergence of Bimodal IT, treat each application and BU as a different customer.  Each client has different needs so you should provide custom dashboards and custom reports to each. Continuously demonstrate your value.  Leverage automation and orchestration to minimize the overhead of maintaining many clients.  
  • Drive innovation – Don’t wait for your users to ask for new technology and services (by that time it will be to late). As the technologist, you need to anticipate the demand.  Become an entrepreneur and evangelist.  Build your business.
  • Market your services – Don’t rely on a “build it and they will come” attitude. You are competing against huge marketing budgets.  You need to advertise and sell the new internal services.  Yes – you have a home team advantage but you still need to demonstrate your unique advantage.
  • Become a trusted advisor – As business revenue becomes more and more dependent on technology, there should be a technologist at the table. This evolution is an ideal opportunity for IT to become the primary source of technical innovation.  IT can use this transformation be viewed as part of the revenue stream rather than just a cost center.

With a long history of working with both service providers and Enterprises, ScienceLogic has a developed a platform that is well suited to the new reality of “Enterprise as a Service.” To learn more about our industry-leading monitoring solution, check out this short video.

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