IT leaders often ask me how to make things work better across departments and business units. Most of the time, they’re driven by mandates to reduce overhead, increase the predictability and quality of output, and to significantly boost process efficiency.

Those seem like ideal candidates for incremental improvements, but deep down, most know that a traditional IT approach won’t work any more.

With technologies like social, mobile, analytics, the cloud, and sensor-driven infrastructure fueling businesses, IT leaders must adopt what I call a “digital-centric strategy” to improve IT service delivery and modernize the employee experience and business services.

The truth about digital service management 

Businesses run better when they integrate processes, workflows, automation, and dialogue between the service desk, IT, and other functions into a unified whole. This makes it crucial to incorporate a service management platform that aligns all business functions under a single system of record—one that directly supports the organization’s vision and goals.

That’s where a new generation of service management platform strategies that support digital IT services comes in. ServiceNow is one leading provider of service management for every department in the enterprise. These kinds of platform strategies can break down silos and communicate overarching objectives in a way that is relevant to each business unit, integrating them into a unified whole with a single source of truth.

How it works: 10 ways to create the service-centric digital enterprise

CIOs and IT leaders must reassess how IT is managed in light of new digital technologies. They must identify new opportunities and challenges with existing service management tools, and merge those tools with new digital service management tools.

Here are 10 “commandments” for IT and business leaders:

  1. Identify and correct process gaps. Implementations fail not because of the software or platform, but from lack of attention to process and digital strategy.
  2. Cross-pollinate with business units. Successful implementations promote business unit input on tailoring the platform to suit their requirements.
  3. Limit scope creep while staying agile. Gather requirements up front while ensuring that business requirements are mapped with a tool. Also make sure to capture the right requirements to produce required metrics.
  4. Identify security requirements. Doing so up front during requirements gathering has advantages. Adjusting security settings at the later stages of “go live” is more difficult.
  5. Leverage templates. Leverage the best practices accelerator(s) or blueprint (s) to kick-start your project implementation.service-centric digital business
  6. Avoid “lift and shift.” Don’t use the same old broken process in the new environment.
  7. Avoid historical data migration. Stay away from historical data from legacy tools. Understand that mapping data in a new system is always challenging.
  8. Set a placeholder for integrations. Customers with multiple integration points usually find it difficult to manage them from both a skill and cost perspective. Those facing such scenarios should adopt the enterprise service bus architecture model.
  9. Build the governance process. Processes naturally erode over time if left ungoverned. Identify the owner accountable for each process.
  10. Stagger license procurement. Organizations should procure licenses in batches instead of with a bulk order. This keeps license procurement costs in check.

Knowledge16 – Navigate the Shift

I’ll be at Knowledge16 in Las Vegas, “the destination for anyone ready to transform the enterprise by managing everything as a service”—from May 15-20, 2016. This year’s theme is “Navigate the Shift Towards a Service-Centric Digital Enterprise.” Visit me at Booth 1910 at the Mandalay Bay, and let me know how your enterprise is navigating the shift.


Raja Renganathan

Raja Renganathan

Raja Renganathan is a Vice President and Global Head of neXgen Infrastructure Services Business at Cognizant and focus on Cloud, Automation and... Read more