Two Business Process Management Goals for You and Your Managed Network Services Provider
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, IT organizations have found themselves bearing extreme amounts of pressure. Not only are they tasked with their normal duty of keeping revenue-generating services running and performing well, but the pandemic has made it so they must do so while workloads shift to the cloud more rapidly than anticipated and remote work becomes accepted as the standard way of conducting business.
In this environment, the trend to move to a managed network services (MNS) model has become increasingly beneficial to enterprise IT organizations. Under this model, the business team can focus its resources on core revenue management while turning the operations, staffing and availability of services over to their managed network services provider.
For MNS providers, customer satisfaction is everything. But for customers to be happy, tools, processes and staffing have to be completely aligned with their business objectives. Let’s look at two business process management goals that can help your enterprise achieve this alignment.
1. Understand the Business Impact of MNS
In our last post, Three Requirements for Turbocharging the Benefits of Managed Network Services for Clients, we looked at IT operations management (ITOM) needs from an MNS provider perspective with specific details around access, security, multitenancy, automation and workflows.
Each of these features is part of the Technological Plane – the need to monitor service levels and rapidly assess, diagnose and remediate issues in the delivery infrastructure as they occur. Which brings us to the next field to break down: the Business Plane.
When considering your Business Plane, your MNS provider needs to be able to align their infrastructure and operations to provide what matters most from your point of view: business context. To do this, it’s necessary to contextualize service delivery information by technology type and business impact.
From a feature perspective, the concept is deceptively simple. But it’s harder to execute. It consists of mapping the Technology Plane (IT infrastructure) onto the Business Plane (the services delivered by the infrastructure).
Today’s advanced MNS providers will overlay business impact models on top of service delivery information, and then overlay service delivery information on top of technology types and infrastructure groupings. This brings a customer-centric business awareness and criticality to your overall managed network service context.
This information can be further enriched to include a customer’s vernacular to clarify service delivery in the terms that the customer’s business uses and understands.
2. Understand the Benefits of Business Process Management
There are clear advantages to having transparency at the business impact level. It provides real-time situational awareness that goes beyond just an understanding of issues in the supporting infrastructure. There is a clear correlation between infrastructure problems and the effect they have on the delivery of business services at the customer level.
This awareness makes it possible to prioritize and address issues that have the highest impact on the delivery of critical, revenue-generating business services. The result is less time spent on relatively unimportant activities coupled with the ability to focus on what matters most at a particular point in time.
Activities such as the planning of infrastructure maintenance windows can be organized around the usage patterns associated with the services impacted. This minimizes the overall disruption to the customer’s business. In situations where multiple customer services are affected by an issue, it is possible to clearly identify and communicate the impact.
When real-time customer intelligence is coupled with historical service data, service level agreements can be derived that are based on real business metrics instead of individual IT component availability.
Not Just a Vendor, But a Partner
The ability for an MNS provider to understand the business impact and communicate it in the vernacular of a specific customer has another benefit: it leads to a trusted partner relationship where the provider can communicate with the customer IT team in a manner that is insightful to the customer’s overall business.
Look for an MNS partner that can talk to you in the language of your business. When checking their references, ask if they have earned a level of trust and mutual respect. The best managed service providers will become trusted partners you rely on for successful business outcomes.