Outsourcing, co-location, leasing, COO / CFO absorption of the CIO role, cloud computing and so on are the topics littered across the landscape of today’s IT world. Reading an article recently (http://bit.ly/e80vBP) sparked a long running exposed nerve I have endured painfully throughout my career in this industry, IT. While it is absolutely true that we should not bind ourselves within the boarders of our thought, nor our physical location. The truth resounds in a deafening roar, “Do not forget the human element!” People are still a part of this technological world. Processes certainly support people and are automated by technology; however, this does not take the place of the communion that occurs between people.
Regardless of the business model, remote operations are attractive due to the low cost component of the equation. Those that are skeptical about IT ever providing bottom line benefit if kept in house can now relax. I am not out to debunk the bottom line cost reduction that outsourcing, cloud computing, or other forms of remote operations contribute. IT must evolve (http://blog.engagedconsulting.com/?p=364). In fact, I am a big believer in cost reduction (http://blog.engagedconsulting.com/?p=103). The issue at hand is how to “communicate” within the context of our ever-digitizing world. We cannot lose the communion (http://blog.engagedconsulting.com/?p=263) portion of that word, communicate.
Identifying with people and becoming a part of a team to execute upon a vision is not something that can be done via 1′s (ones ) and 0′s (zeros). Locality does play an important role in creating value. Remote individuals, technologies, and operations have a role to play in the overall scheme of things; however, they can never substitute for the interaction among people that, in turn, creates alignment and transforms what once was chaos or partially aligned into a well tuned engine that serves the business with:
- Cost Containment
Communicating in person provides a level of confidence and trust that cannot be delivered remotely. IT has attempted to do this throughout the years and has seen the effects of not communing with the business; a lack of trust and perception of value. The same mechanisms that we have talked about above have led to a further widening of the chasm between IT and the business as the remoteness of operations brings lack of trust, confidence, and perception of value. The bottom line is held in check due to the competition that continues to grow throughout the outsourcing, cloud computing, and remote services industry factions. Communicating is not sending a text message, as our children do all to often, to an individual on the other side of the world or even in the same room. We must balance the remote elements within the strategic framework of attaining the goals of the organization with the human interaction. We must focus on that human interaction to provide the basis for service.
Service Management is about serving people and businesses. Technology plays an important part of service management delivery; however, it does not replace the human element. Locality also serves a purpose. So, lets not lose ourselves in the 1′s and 0′s. Understand and incorporate physical locality as appropriate to deliver upon service management with all of the trust, confidence, and value in tact.