IT Services Integration

May 9, 2023
Season 4, Episode 17

In this episode of the Business Excelleration® Podcast, how can IT leaders more effectively integrate and manage the complex world of software and services offerings that make up their infrastructures? A discussion with The Hackett Group Principal Michael Fuller, Manager Ryan Sebastiani and Director Harish Murthy.

Welcome to The Hackett Group’s “Business Excelleration Podcast,” where week after week we hear from experts on how to avoid obstacles, manage detours and celebrate milestones on the journey to world-class performance. This episode is hosted by Gary Baker, Group Global Communications director at The Hackett Group. Today’s episode will discuss how information technology (IT) leaders can effectively integrate and manage the complex world of software and service offerings that make up their infrastructure. He is joined by The Hackett Group’s Principal Mike Fuller, Manager Ryan Sebastiani and Director Harish Murthy.

To begin, Mike explains what service integration really is and why it’s important. Just 25 years ago, companies were outsourcing with only one supplier. Over time, however, they realized that just one supplier couldn’t supply all of their needs. Service integration came around, focusing on how to effectively manage a multivendor environment. Service integrators provide seamless governance, management and improvement so that clients don’t have to find that expertise elsewhere. When operating in a multivendor environment, many companies make the mistake of believing that all of the vendors they have hired will seamlessly work together. But, it usually just doesn’t happen this way. The objective of service integration is to make sure the entire team of vendors are all effectively collaborating together.

Harish explains that service integration is one of the initiatives that can provide outsized benefits relative to the effort required to implement it. Ryan shares some of her own firsthand experience seeing this value play out with clients. First and foremost, service integration brings a true ability to achieve service-level agreements or SLAs. This allows the governance model to be most effective in the multivendor ecosystem. By having this plane of measurement for vendors and partners, they can continuously provide improvement and innovation that the company wants. Rather than just measuring the job, they can instead focus on quality and how to measure it.

Don’t miss Ryan outline the key elements of service integration. Simply put, it is about managing the integration of your service providers across the board and driving for that single-defined outcome. Some key layers include the customer organization, service integrators and service providers. Ryan thinks of service integration as a framework: strategy, governance, continuous improvement and partnership.

Then, Ryan outlines the challenges service providers often face and how they are able to overcome them. Tension often arises when there are competing factors between what a customer wants to achieve and what a vendor can contribute to that partnership. The role of the service integrator is to help the customer see things from a supplier’s perspective and vice versa. Other challenges include a misalignment of SLAs. The service integrator should nail down the expectations and help both parties understand each side of the agreement. Without the proper organizational change management structure in place, even the most perfect structures and contrasts couldn’t really work. In closing, our guests discuss the secret ingredients for success in this area. Most important is making sure your service integration strategy is not being developed in isolation but is aligned with the overall strategy of the business. Operational change management is another key factor in the success of an organization. Another successful ingredient is a clean definition of responsibilities and explaining to your customer the change related to that.

Time stamps:

  • 0:49 – Welcome to this episode hosted by Gary Baker.
  • 1:13 – What is service integration and why is it important?
  • 3:43 – The value of service integration.
  • 6:23 – The key elements of service integration.
  • 8:06 – Elaborating on the elements of service integration.
  • 11:20 – Challenges faced by service integration providers.
  • 16:08 – The secret ingredients for success in service integration.