The Service Provider’s Speed Imperative
“Great haste makes great waste.”
This oft-used saying undoubtedly holds a lesson for us all. Today, however, a service provider’s success, and maybe even survival, may hinge on the extent to which it is able to effectively counter this well-worn adage.
While trends like increased cloud services adoption, mobile application proliferation and DevOps utilization have very significant differences, they all serve a common goal: acceleration. Competitors, whether established leaders or new market entrants, can harness new technologies to accelerate their ability to innovate, deliver new services and enter new markets. This acceleration ultimately leads to shrinking windows of opportunity for every business. This competitive mandate represents both an opportunity and a threat for service providers.
As businesses contend with shrinking competitive windows, their demand for speed will grow increasingly urgent. If an organization’s internal staff doesn’t know how to do something, the time it takes to execute will be slowed. With relevant expertise, service providers can come in and help the customer deliver on requirements faster. Therefore, given businesses’ need for speed, their reliance on external service providers will grow—if these providers can deliver expertise and services that fuel acceleration.
Just as competitive windows shrink for customers, they also shrink for service providers. If a new service offers a customer competitive differentiation, but it takes three months to get the service up and running, the business benefits the customer gains will be minimized, or never be realized at all. Put another way, the pace at which services are delivered will increasingly become just as important as the services themselves.
Those service providers that can address their customers’ need for speed will be able to deliver high levels of customer value and establish significant competitive differentiation. Those that can’t accelerate their operations and service delivery will increasingly see the value of their services erode.
As service provider executives look to respond to the mandate for speed, there are several key factors they should consider:
- Speed has to yield value. As they begin to institute changes that will accelerate service delivery, service providers should always do so with a focus on what really matters: the customer experience. Rather than focusing on time to market, the driving consideration must be speed to customer value—the time it takes for users and the business to start to experience benefits.
- Speed has to scale. For success to be realized, service providers have to deliver speed in a manner that will scale. The key factor is ultimately how speed is enabled. It can be a relatively simple matter to address speed in isolated cases–for example, through one-offs and concerted “all-hands-on-deck” efforts. However, this effort is unprofitable and unsustainable, and it won’t deliver returns to customers or the business over time.
- Speed has to come through efficiency. Speeding service delivery while delivering the value and quality customers need will require fundamental change within many service provider businesses. In other words, continuing to do the same things faster won’t cut it. To meet their mandates, service providers will need to maximize efficiency by leveraging standardization and automation.
- Speed has to be coordinated. In accelerating the pace of your business and operations, it is important to recognize that dramatically speeding one process or aspect may only serve to exacerbate bottlenecks that exist elsewhere. Consequently, accelerating a given aspect in your business can’t be done in isolation. Things adjacent to that one area have to be coordinated and synchronized.
- Speed has to be adjustable to each customer’s requirements. As outlined earlier, the ultimate measure of success for acceleration efforts should be speed to value. How customers perceive this value, and the speed they ultimately need, will vary on a case-by-case basis. As a result, it is important to have the ability to adjust speed to accommodate the needs of each specific customer.
- Speed has to be sustained. The thing about the need for speed in the application economy is that it continues, and the pace of change required continues to accelerate. While it may be great that a service provider can deliver a fantastic innovation one time, it’s not enough for sustained success. One innovation may help land a customer, but it won’t be enough to keep a customer for long. To win and grow your customer base, it’s critical to sustain speed, quality and innovation.
If your organization could use a little more speed, be sure to download the white paper “Meeting the Need for Speed in the Application Economy: A Guide for Service Providers.” Also, be sure to check out the CA service provider page. Today, service providers around the world are turning to CA Technologies because we help them get faster. CA equips service providers with a scalable service delivery platform that fuels operational optimization, complete solutions that power services at every stage of the application lifecycle, and extensive enablement services that can accelerate all phases of your business’s execution.