The evolution of IT support services in the digital era

A new report that looks at how optimization of IT operations drives digital transformation published by Dimension Data reveals that IT operations staff are spending over 30% of their time on new service requests and supporting issue resolution, while only 15% of their time is allocated to innovation. This represents a 25% year-over-year decline – just as the demand to capitalize on improving customer engagement, adopting the Internet of Things (IoT), and leveraging the use of big data and data analytics is making IT innovation a non-negotiable within organizations.

The message is clear: enterprises that don’t evolve their IT business models could miss future market opportunities.

Dimension Data Group Executive for Services, Bill Padfield, said the report highlights that automation is essential to optimizing IT operations. “Savvy IT organizations understand that if they don’t focus on efficiencies today they could miss the greater market opportunities of the future. Dimension Data’s automation and orchestration skills put more processes and business activities into ‘business as usual’ for our clients. They require fewer resources, and they’re able to spend more time focusing on staying competitive, innovating new sources of value, engaging with customers on their channels of choice, and exploiting their data to optimize operations.”

Over the past decade, technology has delivered consistent efficiencies: from saving costs to redeploying labor, contributing to leaner operations, and meeting shareholder expectations. However, with the rise of the digital era, efficiency on its own is no longer sufficient. IT operations must support the execution of new digital business initiatives, and deliver a consistently high-availability IT infrastructure that meets end-user demand. This requires sustainable IT optimization that delivers better service level agreements (SLAs), greater efficiencies, and higher performing infrastructure while minimizing downtime risks. But freeing up resources for innovation remains a challenge.

*Dimension Data commissioned research firm IDC to conduct a new web-based survey to better understand the trends and challenges IT organizations on the path to digital transformation are grappling with around infrastructure and organizational optimization. IDC surveyed IT and senior managers in 10 countries at 275 enterprises that employ over 1,000 people each. Of those 275 organizations surveyed, two-thirds stated that considered IT operations to be ‘core’ to their business.

While organizations know they must evolve their IT operations to be more strategic and less tactical, most in-house IT and development teams are still struggling to keep up. In fact, most companies that participated in the report said they still monitor and tune their IT in a disjointed manner, with only 14% reporting that their infrastructure is positioned to for digitization.

According to the report, only 20% of organizations claim they’ve fully automated and optimized their infrastructure, while the majority are on a path to automation, but haven’t reached their goal.

  • 9% of organizations have no automation
  • 13% have limited automation
  • 32% have a medium level of automation and orchestration
  • 25% are highly automated

Padfield says some of the reasons why IT organizations are lagging can be attributed to budget, experience, and expertise. “Successful digital transformation requires the right mix of people, processes, and tools. However, IT service automation platforms are expensive and time consuming to develop and successfully integrate into hybrid IT environments.”