With digital technologies, social media, cloud-based IT and operational process automation on the rise, new business-IT roles are emerging. CIOs have an opportunity to re-imagine IT and build the hybrid business and IT skills their new environment demands.
— Gartner report for New Skills for the New IT, 2011
Over the last six years, new and emerging cloud, social and digital technologies have reshaped business and the role of IT professionals. The demand for resources to operate IT has significantly shifted to IT professionals or IT service organizations that can deliver more business value through a hybrid of business and IT skills.
For example, Emissary Computer Solutions, a Tokyo-based IT solutions provider since 1997, dedicated to providing reliable IT support to companies with up to 100 employees evolved to deliver more business value abating the risk of becoming a mere commodity service.
The prior field engineering services model had dedicated field engineers assigned for each customer. This model was highly focused on outstanding service delivery and running IT but faced the risk of becoming increasingly commoditized.
Obviously, business as usual was not an option, so Emissary completely redesigned their field engineering services organization. They replaced their dedicated field engineer model with an innovative team approach. Their most experienced field engineers lead teams of IT field technicians from a remote location.
An appropriate analogy to best understand the new services model is to think of the remote lead engineer as the Head of IT Intelligence, similar to the role of the fictional character M in James Bond movies. Likewise, each field technician can be thought of as a field agent in constant communication with M for information briefs and mission support. Fortunately, all Emissary engineers come back alive.
This fundamental structural change significantly increased Emissary's quality of service, enhanced the support structure for field engineers to complete their missions. The new structure also enabled the company to reskill its workforce to meet customer demand for additional business services.
Old Model: Dedicated field engineer per account
* customer feels as if the visiting engineer is their IT guy
* risk of commoditization of service
* experienced engineer not always available
New Model: Remote lead engineer + field technician(s)
* higher quality of service — Field technicians led by a team of experienced engineers who work remotely
* higher expertise - working directly with the lead engineer provides training opportunities for the next generation of technicians
* effective team approach - Running IT can be done more efficiently with a team approach fixing the problem the first time by pooling company knowledge, talent, and experience
* greater business value - Reskill the organization to deliver greater innovation through a hybrid of business and IT skill
* existing customer(s) may perceive they are losing their IT guy — while they are actually gaining the support of the whole company
Through innovation, Emissary Computer Solutions, was able to launch a new and lighter IT field support service, while investing and delivering more business value to their customers through supplying the demand for skills in the design and building of new, innovative, and technology enabled business solutions.
Welcome back to my series of how I apply Yoshinkan Aikido in Business.
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I summarized Part I of this series with the thought that, "We should all remember that we need to stay focused on our goals, to ...