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Finding the time to innovate

XCentral News | 16 October 2018

Finding the time to innovate

IT moving from cost-centre to innovator.

After years being seen as primarily a cost centre, IT is finally being recognised by companies as a means of creating differentiation and value in the business.  In most modern companies, the CIO or IT Manager now report directly to the board or CEO rather than through finance as companies recognise the opportunity to find smart ways to use technology to drive their business.

This new focus is a double edged sword though. Whilst the recognition of technology as a strategic differentiator is welcome, and arguably overdue, the result is increasing pressure on IT to continue to keep the lights on for all the existing systems whilst simultaneously modernising the environment and supporting the business to drive new initiatives focussed on Digital Transformation and Customer experience.  So how do you balance all the priorities faced by a modern IT department ? The expression ‘10 gallons in a 5 gallon drum’ springs to mind.

In our experience, the most successful companies are approaching this by breaking down their approach into 2 key focus areas:

1. DIVEST & PARTNER: We are finding more and more companies looking to divest the operational components of their core systems to specialist providers like XCentral to allow them to focus their resources and efforts on areas where they can add most value to the business. At XCentral we have developed significant expertise from working with hundreds of clients and can deliver best practice operational practices to give you a modern, efficient IT environment without the headaches of managing it yourself.

2. INNOVATE & INVEST: Utilising a specialist provider frees up your resources to focus on working with the business on initiatives that build value and where you can differentiate and innovate around customer experience and other transformational areas.

This approach is also backed by research, a recent survey by Deloitte revealed the following with regard to companies looking to divest operational responsibility for core systems.

  • 31% of IT services have been outsourced and organisations will continue to do so for years to come.1
  • Over 55% of businesses polled say that outsourcing enables them to focus on their core business.1
  • Over 45% of businesses polled say that outsourcing solves capacity issues. 1
  • Over 25% of businesses polled say that outsourcing gives them access to intellectual capital.

 

This approach of utilising specialists is one we believe in, after all, we are managing hundreds of clients’ environments already and constantly review how we can deliver more efficiently and effectively from the scale and diversity of our clients.

It is also worth mentioning that this approach is not binary – you don’t need to outsource everything.  At XCentral, we often work with clients who have an in-house IT person for strategic reasons (the requirement to support a technology-based product they supply to their customers, for example). The right partner should be able to augment your internal capacity, not necessarily replace it and our approach always starts with listening to our customers first and then developing the right strategy for you not a “one size fits all” approach.