You’re in a great position. You can see the IT function within your business for what it is, the value it creates for your customers and how it enables better work within the organisation.
And now, you have found an opportunity to improve the way IT works through creating better integrations across all the tools, suppliers and services, but how do you make sure it’s a seamless and successful project?
1. Be a listening leader
Knowing all the answers isn’t always enough, especially when the way the people work is likely to change. As well as investing time in researching and developing new ways of working, put the time into the people who will be both delivering the work and feeling its results. Ensuring people feel understood and heard will pay off greatly. Big change (especially during integrations where tools and processes get replaced) can be very disruptive and heading off those disruptions with conversations and listening to concerns can be very effective.
2. Don’t ignore what’s in place
When assessing what new tools and processes to put in place, it is vitally important to thoroughly assess what is already there. We see many IT departments implementing solutions which already exist some form or another, which can create a great deal of waste and frustration in the business. Sometimes this takes the form of knowing a piece of technology is in use, but not realising that it provides a certain function or solution outside of its immediate scope. The same goes for processes (mostly undocumented), where in that trying to create and implement new processes without truly understanding what it is replacing.
3. Investing in Tech won’t solve it all
Maybe you’ve worked this out already, but too many CIO’s treat purchasing a wide-scale technology solution from a third-party as the complete answer to service integration. This could not be further from what is actually required in reality, and ensuring that both people and process is given total equality within the project, strategy and execution is crucial. Lip-service can all to often be paid to the more people-centric sides of these projects, which almost always leads to difficult to solve challenges later down the line.
4. Get to know your suppliers
Service integration comes with far more complexity than software integration. Business with high-performing and transparent relationships with suppliers will consistently succeed over those that don’t. Many months before you begin any work on your integrations, you should be actively building relationships with all the important suppliers. In addition to this, supporting those suppliers in building relationships with each other, this is regularly underappreciated as a key-enabler for successful service integration.
5. There’s no real goal (what!?)
Service integration is very much a growing and continually evolving improvement to the business. There is actually no genuine desired end state to focus on, but instead Service Integration should be seen as a new capability of IT and the business. This is just as much a language thing as it is an approach to project management, in the sense that you want to be able to describe your current maturity and ambitions for that maturity. Rather than discussing Service Integration as something you are working towards or have ‘achieved’.
6. Evidence ROI through visibility
The business may very well feel the difference your improved integrations make. They will see service requests moving faster, issues solved quicker and better coordination across teams. However, they may not always understand how that can be linked and attributed to all that investment you’ve made into Service Integration. One highly effective solution to this is to make the visibility of service a key indication of successful integration. If you can visibly demonstrate (in real time if you can!) where tickets, data and requests are and how they are moving around that ecosystem, this is something that can be easily related back to Service Integration and the value can be quickly understood.
7. …and uptime
One of the most noticeable changes we have seen in hundreds of organisations who have succeeded with Service Integration, is the amount of uptime they now have. Particularly in services that regularly suffer from outages or downtime, being able to evidence changes in availability of service will hold a great deal of meaning to other areas of your business.
8. Calculate your potential savings
Understanding the potential ROI of new integrations and investment in the solutions that make it happen quicker is very important. However, it is not very easy to do or predict because you haven’t necessarily got the data or the formulas available to work it out. Here at ONEiO we use our experience and vast access to data to provide CIO’s with a free-to-use ROI calculator. Simple data such as ticket volume and number of staff, can quickly be used to estimate, time and financial savings.
9. Involve your whole team
Again, another people tip. You don’t have enough visibility of your whole IT function to understand how every end point will be affected by your new implementations. We see far too many IT leaders making the mistake of assuming how things work or taking the word of other leaders who have equally not seen the reality of that end point on the front line.
10. Give us a call
If any of the above feels familiar, it’s because we understand what’s going on in your world right now. These projects are hard, integration has far more layers to it than just pointing a few APIs at each other, and not many people in your business are going to get why you are doing it yet. Are experience and expertise, plus our marketing leading service integration solution will provide you with the ease and simplicity you need to succeed.