Creating IT solutions that impart complete satisfaction to the customer and provide value to all stakeholders is the key focus of IT service providers to stay ahead in a rapidly changing IT landscape. Yet today, there is a huge dearth felt in these organizations in defining the IT VALUE of a solution in clear and tangible terms. A solution is much more than one merely solving perceived customers’ business challenges. For a solution to provide this transformation one must have a very clear understanding of the VALUE framework. Any task undertaken to assess and implement solutions in IT services can be daunting in the absence of a transformational VALUE framework.
This article has taken basic tenets of VALUE as described by Dr. Ryuji Fukuda and has interpreted the same in the context of IT solutions. Dr. Ryuji Fukuda is world’s leading expert in the field of industrial engineering and quality improvements. He is winner of the prestigious Deming prize for his contribution to the field of productivity and quality improvement.
Understanding The IT Value Framework
The key tenets of the IT VALUE framework are as presented in below figure.
1. V – VARIED IT NEEDS SATISFACTION
Every organization is different and accordingly has different business needs. The Varied IT Needs Satisfaction is the ability of the solution to cater to both:
- Explicit Needs – the needs which are clearly stated and defined by the organization
- Implicit Needs – the unstated but inherently expected by the organization
CASE- BYOD Solution for Enterprises
The explicit stated needs of an enterprise in case of a BYOD solution, for example, may be to provide a ‘secure & flexible workspace from any device and from anywhere which would increase the efficiency of the employees.’
The unstated, implicit needs can be satisfied by providing context-aware security to improve information security decisions by granting access and rights to the company information based on the mode through which the user connects to the enterprise network. This prevents unauthorized end users and data leakage.
Important thing is mostly we are focusing on explicit needs without looking into implicit needs which makes the difference between customer satisfaction and customer delight.
2. A – AMENITIES OF IT SOLUTIONS
Amenities, refer to the tangible and intangible functionalities that are provided by the IT solution. They can be
- Features, that are attributes of a IT solutions
- Benefits, that are what an enterprise gains when the attributes of the IT solutions satisfy its business needs
CASE- Dynamic Workload Management function in a cloud management platform for enterprises
One key feature could be Workload life cycle management for deployment expiration, notification & future provisioning and the benefit that is offered is increased efficiency of utilization of resources. Also, the mapping out of the features and benefits allows one to prioritize on the features. This also helps the end user in skipping the amenities which he does not see a benefit in implementing. Mostly IT solutions offer a host of amenities but when one starts looking at them in this way we only focus on benefits.
3. L- LOW RISK IN ADOPTION OF IT SOLUTIONS
Low Risk refers to the management of the risk factors when an enterprise moves from an as-is state to the to- be state during the journey of transitioning to the new IT solutions. Low Risk feature in the IT solution aims at tackling the business and technical dissonance in embracing a new solution.
CASE- Datacenter Transformation Solutions
There are multiple technological disruptions which are affecting Datacenters. We should keep this in mind that every existing technology change is making us a little more vulnerable towards the unknown technology components which we are replacing with. This doesn’t mean that we should not embrace change, but this means that we should embrace change by preparing ourselves for the impact of new IT solutions on other components and also managing the transition seamlessly.
4. U- User Cost Minimum
For a successful IT solution, the proposed expenses in solution implementation and maintenance are a critical activity in deciding the vendor/provider. The potential solution should bring in low TCO and higher RoI
CASE- IT Platform Solutions for Enterprises
Currently we are in a world of platform based ‘as-a-service’ model. With a single platform the cost incurred by the enterprises < sum of individual expenses for using multiple IT solutions.
5. E – Effective Availability
This refers to how ongoing performance and support of the IT solution is, after reaching the To-Be state
CASE- Cloud Based Solutions for Enterprises -
Older paradigm of ongoing performance and support for IT solutions has been a good IT services team , trained as per the guidelines with robust processes ensuring the meeting of SLAs. In the new paradigm it has been replaced with an end user analytics engine with prebuilt run book automation scripts executed using self-healing capabilities. In the cloud era there are newer ways and means of monitoring, managing and controlling the environment which have to be taken into consideration.
Thus IT VALUE framework provides us a comprehensive guideline based on which we can start measuring the value which IT solutions can deliver to the customers.