As major tech trends – the cloud, mobile computing and big data – came together and matured, it kicked started an era of digital transformation.
With new emerging technologies, such as AI and IoT, now also entering the mainstream, the potential for innovation seems boundless. It will lead companies to discover new ways to increase productivity, strip out inefficiencies and enhance our customer offering at ever greater speed.
Yet, the reality is that most of us are not transforming our businesses at anywhere near the speed we would hope for. So, what’s holding us back?
Well, over the last year I’ve been speaking to businesses across the UK about this issue. And, while the desire to push innovation forward was evident, what was also clear was the competing demands of our day-to-day operations can swallow up resources and take IT teams’ attention away from change projects. Even the most forward-thinking CIO needs to invest in their existing infrastructure to ensure they are building on solid ground.
Having to make those hard choices between change projects and resolving ‘break-fix’ requests, puts IT managers in the unenviable position of playing gatekeeper – having to prioritise who gets support before others. Quite unfairly, this can result in IT managers being viewed as the barriers to change, rather than the enablers. This is a perception that cannot persist if organisations want to become a truly intelligent enterprise.
As we also move into a new era, with a new generation of ERP (S/4 HANA) at the heart of the organisation, the ability to innovate is only going to grow. We will need IT teams playing a central role, helping us realise the potential of new technologies. This will allow different business functions to share information freely and business leaders to access crucial data from anyway in the organisation instantly.
What’s clear from the conversations I’ve had with business leaders and CIOs is that if IT are to become the enablers, they can also be expected to manage the numerous ‘run’ elements of the enterprise infrastructure.
This support function will need to be handled elsewhere – either becoming the responsibility of a dedicated internal team or support partner. And this is the reason why we’ve now developed a consolidated SAP managed service.
Edenhouse has traditionally allowed customers to purchase EdenDays, via our ‘by the hour’ support model. We now, however, also have a subscription-based package that can take care of all the various ‘run’ elements – including break-fix requests, hosting, maintenance, licence management and even small change projects – for a flat monthly fee.
In many ways, this is a return to the traditional support model of years gone by – albeit one very much tailored to modern day demands. This is providing enormous benefits, not least because it provides CIOs with the guarantee that their organisation infrastructure will continue running, hassle-free, without any unexpected demands being made on their time or budget.
It also allows them to consolidate their support contracts – and pushes the uncertainties (and risk) involved in break-fix requests over to Edenhouse. In doing so, businesses get a strategic partner, incentivised to fix problems quickly – and ensure they stay fixed. As organisations continue to move over to S/4HANA, this support will also future-proof that investment – without any need to up-skill internal IT staff.
Crucially, it means IT no longer needs to play the gatekeeper role. By removing this role, support teams can instantly resolve break-fix requests without waiting for approval from IT managers, ensuring problems get resolved faster.
With all these ‘run’ elements now taken care of, CIOs and IT teams are free to concentrate on future thinking projects. They can become the business enabler, helping different lines of business to move forward with digital transformation. Companies can embrace emerging technologies with confidence, knowing that they are standing on solid ground.