July 29

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Human Services as IT-as-a-Service?

ITaaS can reduce costs, improve productivity, allow faster ramping up or down due to unforseen economic and workplace changes such as the coronovirus pandemic. Now human services can be delivered as a service with the same benefits as hardware, software and platforms.

What is ITaaS?

ITaaS (Information Technology as-a-Service) is an operating model where an IT provider delivers information technology as a service.  Many people associate this with AWS providing Infrastructure as-a-Service (IaaS), Saleforce.com provides software (SaaS) or Twilio providing communication development tools for developers (PaaS). However, ITaaS is also an operating model for delivering human services for IT support and projects such as system administration, database and development just to name a few.

Many companies are transitioning from traditional models (Outsourcing, Fixed Fee Managed Services, Contractors) of delivering IT services to ITaaS primarily for cost savings but also because of the increased productivity, agility and financial transparency this new model provides business of all sizes.

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Why Do You Need It?

One way of visualizing the need for ITaaS is by looking at the difficulties in managing IT without it using traditional models.

Managing/Optimizing Cost 

  • Traditional models hire a full-time resource, but the need may be far less than the standard 40 hours per week.
  • Or use a Managed Services provider for a fixed monthly fee even though usage in many months may be far less than the services scoped upfront.

Managing through Business Cycles - All companies go through business cycles due to global, industry or company periods of growth, stagnation and downturns. Now we have to add global pandemics to this list.

  • Traditional models may need to lay off valuable full-time resources even though their services are still needed.
  • Or go through time consuming scope and cost renegotiations with a Managed Service provider, or worse case, stop using them altogether and shift additional work onto internal staff.

Managing IT Team Productivity- Internal resources are generally used for a mix of IT support, projects, high-level expertise and routine tasks rather than being dedicated to one specific area which presents challenges such as:

  • IT support requests come in on demand on a 24/7 basis requiring continuous unproductive task switching.
  • Critical projects are stopped to deal with urgent IT support issues.
  • Senior IT with high-level skills are frustrated when they spend more time on routine lower level tasks.
  • Too much time spent on keeping the lights on when the business is more interested in increasing revenues, profits and gaining customers.

The ITaaS Model was Created to Help IT Managers Manage Better.

1. Pay for Consumption

Traditional models have fixed monthly fees or costs that are the same regardless of usage or need which are never fixed in the long term or short term. Typically, it’s a limited bundle of services that are priced to ensure the vendor makes a profit so most likely they are overpriced to reduce the risk on the vendor side. Traditional pricing models will either cause waste when service demand is low or customer dissatisfaction when demand is high.

2. Scalability – Up or Down

The need or demand for IT services are constantly changing over time driven by the economy, customer demand, technology change, industry change and even weather changes. So, the ability for IT Managers to scale IT up or down when needed very quickly with little if any administration is a huge advantage. Allari’s ITaaS provides this as exemplified in the following real scenarios:

  • Customer acquires a new business and needs to ramp up IT support.
  • Agribusiness customer needs to ramp down IT spending quickly due to extreme weather.
  • Manufacturer needs heavy ERP implementation support and transition to lower day to day support after Go Live.
  • OTC Pharma has seasonal business that drives their IAM support needs during contractor hiring seasons and drives down need after cold and flu season is over.
  • Dairy business is transitioning to new ERP and requires phased support for old ERP for several years.
  • Automotive supplier needs to ramp down some services due to Covid-19 closings

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3. Increase Productivity Through Out-tasking

IT managers and staff are challenged with managing workdays where the demand for their services change daily, requests from users come in at any given time and projects pop in and out throughout the year. The constant task switching, starts and stops, and changing priorities can easily make them 40% less productive. Projects can come to a halt to deal with daily support tasks and urgent support needs.

Adding more staff, contractors or traditional managed services may feel like a solution but the cost increase is usually more than the productivity gain. Allari’s ITaaS allows the customer to determine which sets of tasks are distractions, require constant task switching or do not utilize their staff’s core expertise and out-task these to Allari.

Some examples of how ITaaS has increased productivity:

  • Enables the IT Manager of a large retailer to spend more time on managing IT and less time reacting to hands-on support tasks.
  • Allows Senior IT staff at a chemical distribution business gain 40 hours on average per month in which they can focus into critical projects rather than IT support.
  • Helps a global watch manufacturer save over 40% compared to using an onsite developer contractor since they now only pay for pure development output rather than time for the dev to be onsite, wait for deployment, user testing, and all the other activities outside of coding that are a part of any development project.
4. Multiple Skills Without Paying for Multiple Resources

Most software applications will require support from multiple skills such as system administration, database specialists, developers, business analysts and others. The demand may be less than one full-time resources but it’s impossible to find all the skills in one resource.

Allari’s ITaaS allows customers to request services for any of these skills on demand and only pay for the actual usage. Because they are paying for the service or task rather than the resource the costs are as much 80% lower.

  • Allowed SMB Manufacturer’s users to become more productive with on-demand access to critical skills including System Administration, Database Administration, Development, Business Analysis and Business Intelligence saving over 80% compared to hiring each skill set.
  • Added key high-level technical services/skills for ERP Implementation Project then transitioned seamlessly to provide full support for System Admin and Database after go-live with costs far less than conventional consultant or managed services fees.
5. Increased Transparency

Many IT providers price services using a fixed monthly fee for a defined scope. The invoice may be a single line item and the customer is challenged to know what was done the previous month. Allari’s ITaaS provides weekly reports categorized by type of work on a weekly basis. Each monthly invoice also contains all the work that was done down to 15-minute increments.

Customers have the information to know what they are paying for but also the data on costs so they can make changes as needed to remove unnecessary needs or look for an automated solution.

About Allari

Allari implements customized service plans for IT Operations & Cyber-security which allow you to complete a higher volume of planned work, gain the capacity to innovate and help your business to win.


Tags

IT Leadership, IT Operations, IT Strategy, ITaaS, Productivity


About the author

Ravi Madhavan

I started my journey with Allari in 2000 and have been on a fun ride learning, teaching, building, re-building, failing, and succeeding with a lot of help from many others who have been on the same road.

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