Preparing for growth with IT Service Management introduction

In today’s businesses, the IT function is increasingly essential. With more and more services being digitized, products purchased online, and teams working remotely, the acceleration of digital transformation means IT teams are racing to support the resilience and growth of these functions by creating always-on, exceptional digital experiences for both customers and employees alike.

This race has seen an increased burden on IT service management teams, who are in many ways still tied to tools that enforce old ways of working and limit new ones. These teams depend on the seamless flow of work across development, IT operations, and business teams. But the pressure from all sides can lead to a loss of focus.

Indeed, only 21% of ITSM professionals always ensure that their end users/customers know what can be done and by when. Before we explain how ITSM can be applied effectively, let’s look at what we mean by IT service management.

What is ITSM?

IT service management - mostly referred to as ITSM - is essentially the function of IT teams managing the end-to-end delivery of IT services to customers. This includes all the processes and activities required to design, create, deliver, and support IT services.

The core idea of ITSM is the belief that IT should be delivered as a service. A typical ITSM scenario might involve someone requesting new hardware, such as a laptop or call headset. This request would be submitted through a dedicated portal, with the person filling out a ticket with all relevant information, starting the chain of a repeatable workflow. This ticket would then land in the IT team’s ‘queue,’ where incoming requests are sorted and addressed according to priority.

As a result of their day-to-day interactions with IT teams, many people misconstrue the purpose of ITSM as a primary IT support function. However, ITSM teams manage and oversee all kinds of workplace technology, ranging from hardware devices to servers to business-critical software applications.

In this context, many IT service management (ITSM) tools today aren’t fit for purpose in tomorrow's business world, often creating conflict over collaboration, siloes over knowledge sharing, and the rigidity of standardization over vital agility. There is a real need for an ITSM solution that enables teams to move fast, unify development, and enhance IT function in an increasingly digital world.

There are some typical approaches to ITSM which have developed over time in the IT industry, positing that an effective ITSM strategy follows three steps:

  1. Build and implement IT technology
  2. Bring in and enforce the proper process
  3. People can learn the technology and abide by the process

However, this traditional method can often lead to IT technology that doesn’t adapt to the teams' requirements. Atlassian ITSM offers a new approach, flipping the order of these three steps to put the needs of IT teams at the heart of any ITSM approach.

What is the Atlassian ITSM approach?

 Atlassian’s ITSM solution was designed to address traditional IT responsibilities with modern practices in mind, such as culture, collaboration, and improving workflow. Built and extended from Jira, the engine for agile work practices for thousands of customers, Jira Service Management enables organizations to adopt new, modern practices that fit their needs and deliver high value to the business.

IT teams should be continually learning and improving. They must feel valued and empowered to make a difference in the organization. Rather than answering to rules imposed by a tiered reporting structure or rigid process, IT teams can make informed decisions about adopting SLAs and which software to implement. Because IT teams enable productivity and digital transformation, strong IT teams are critical to influential organizations. The team is at the center of Atlassian ITSM processes and technologies.

After focusing on the strength of the IT team, it’s possible to develop unique practices and capabilities to provide value to the organization. No matter how respectable the source, it’s insufficient to “copy and paste” another organization’s set of standards and hope they will work in your unique environment. Successful IT teams build their approach from frameworks like ITIL (the Information Technology Infrastructure Library). Still, they are careful to adapt processes that resonate with their customers.

Finally, software and technology should support a team’s practices and amplify their impact.

The benefits of using Atlassian ITSM

 There are three core benefits to the Atlassian ITSM approach:

  • Quicker time to value, with teams able to adopt a common code approach to defining and refining workflows while still being standardized on Jira, a single source of truth. This reduces the complexity and cost of ITSM.
  • Greater visibility of work. Jira Service Management gives teams and the broader organization visibility into work happening across the company. Tight integrations that make contextual information easy to access allow for better business decisions.
  • Enhanced DevOps, allowing teams to be more effective across the entire IT service lifecycle – from planning to building, testing, deploying, changing, and optimizing.

This all stems from a configurable approach to ITSM, with Atlassian’s Jira Service Management allowing any team that interacts with IT, such as legal, HR, or finance, to build out their own IT service culture and operations while still having that centralized anchor the ensures more comprehensive business strategy is adhered to.

Get ready to unleash the potential of your teams:

ITSM is a key cog in modernizing business operations, and enhancing the customer and employee experience. Atlassian’s approach attempts to take that influence further by placing people at the heart of its methodology, ensuring that all solutions are tailored to the needs of those who use them and maximizing efficiency. The world has changed drastically in the last two years, and software-enabled services are only set to accelerate further. Hence, IT teams need to transform, supporting businesses to be resilient in the face of constant flux and to differentiate themselves under more fierce competition than ever. By moving towards a new ITSM approach, your organization can stay one step ahead of the game.

Radiant Digital is a ServiceNow partner, get in contact with our experts to learn more about IT Service Management and how you can take your digital transformation to the next level.


Radiant Digital acquires Beacon Systems to scale and deliver outcomes beyond digital transformation

Vienna, VA, January 11, 2022 — Radiant Digital Solutions, Inc. (Radiant Digital) announced the acquisition of Florida-based Beacon Systems (BeaconGov) to strengthen the company’s capabilities in accelerating digital transformation and achieving high-value outcomes for commercial and public sector clients. BeaconGov is a small business firm that provides technology, engineering, and business solutions to customers in the commercial and public sectors, focusing on state and local government agencies.

“We are very excited about this acquisition. BeaconGov brings a portfolio of new clients that will not only help Radiant Digital expand its public sector practice, but also increase the scale and strength of our capabilities in emerging technologies such as AI/ML, data and cloud services, blockchain and decentralized finance,” said Dr. Shankar Rachakonda, CEO of Radiant Digital.

“Radiant Digital has an impressive track record of helping customers quickly envision, prototype, and launch user-focused digital solutions to accomplish desired business outcomes. With this acquisition, Radiant will strengthen its ability to deliver cost-effective and lean digital transformation solutions for commercial and public sector organizations,” said Ms. Marada M. Reddi, President of Beacon Systems.

“We are proud to welcome the BeaconGov Team to the Radiant Digital family,” added Dr. Rachakonda, “I’ve had the opportunity to see first-hand the execution discipline they apply to business problems, and I am excited by what we can accomplish together for our customers. With access to even more talent through BeaconGov, we can help our customers go deeper into the lifecycle of innovation and execute across a broad transformation roadmap with increased scale.”

About Radiant Digital

Radiant Digital delivers advanced and innovative digital transformation solutions that align with their client’s needs to be more operationally efficient and competitive. Radiant's solutions help their clients reduce costs, advance agility, increase customer insight, and improve employee skills and knowledge. To learn more, please visit www.radiant.digital or www.linkedin.com/company/radiant-digital-solutions.

About Beacon Systems 

BeaconGov is a rapidly growing SDB certified technology and engineering firm that provides strategic technology, engineering, and business solutions to the federal, state, and local governments. BeaconGov’s client base includes NASA, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Voice of America, and the states of Florida and Oregon. Additional information on BeaconGov can be found at www.beacongov.com or www.linkedin.com/company/beacongov.


Leading Digital Transformation & Change Management

Digital transformation is no longer a buzzword; instead, it reshapes how organizations do business, train employees, and interact with customers. The digital transformation took flight at the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic and continues to take heightened importance as organizations accelerate digital solutions to meet the needs of flexible work schedules, hybrid teams, learning development trends, and how customers receive products or services. The McKinsey Global Survey suggests that the adoption of digital technologies has sped up by three to seven years in a span of months. The results below show this acceleration occurring across key areas of the business model and provide a reason to prepare the workforce for digital transformation.

Consider digital transformation as a catchall term for describing the implementation of new technologies, talent, and processes to improve business operations and customer satisfaction. Although digital transformation replaces traditional workflows with new technologies, it is not all about digitizing the business; instead, it is about employees and leading them through change. At the core of digital transformation is the organizations’ ability to effectively upskill and motivate employees and managers to adapt to new technologies. So, whether your organization is staying above the curve, lagging, or barely keeping up with digital transformational solutions, the secret for successful implementation is focusing on employee training and strategies that prepare the workforce for the transformation.

This article will explore why digital transformation fails, how to avoid pitfalls, and effective change management strategies to execute the transformation.

Why employees play a pivotal role in your digital transformation

Whether you are implementing a new HR system, customer management system, or a cloud-based solution, the reality is that such software provides frequent incremental releases, and to keep up with ever-changing software, change, and learning leaders will be tasked with creating innovative communications and learning programs that inform employees what the new technology means for their role and responsibilities. McKinsey & Company also estimates that 70% of transformations fail due to lack of support from employees and effective communication from leadership, so it is imperative to engage employees in the transformation from conception through implementation.

Obstacles to digital transformation and how to avoid pitfalls

As previously stated, lack of communication from leadership and the organization is one of the biggest deterrents to digital transformation and is the reason such initiatives fail. To limit communication missteps, Widen Director of Customer Success Michael Shattuck recommends forming a “digital transformation committee” made up of team members from different levels within the business, and I could not agree more. The committee's purpose is to identify barriers across the company’s culture, technology, and process. The development of the committee will aid in the organization or team-specific communication needed to facilitate the transformation.

In addition to managing communication, missteps consider the following when developing your organization's transformation strategy.

  1. Start from the top: Change that starts at the top reflects a committed, invested, and unified leadership. During mergers, research around leadership has found that the leader's presence, guidance, and support alleviated employee fears, reduced anxiety, and helped employees feel more confident about the transformation.
  2. Develop a suite of learning resources: One of the most overlooked segments of the office ecosystem when discussing digital transformations is the employees themselves, both new hires and ongoing professionals. If an organization fails to keep up with its employees’ training and development needs, it will fail in its digital transformation efforts. The goal is to make employees active learners in the transformation process. Blended learning solutions such as microlearning, virtual led training, or online webinars are effective ways to train employees on the tools and platforms they will work with daily. Radiant Digital can assess your training needs and develop learning programs that have longevity if you seek to learn solutions that support you during digital transformation initiatives.
  3. Minimize disruption: Changing existing processes within an organization can be a headache; however, mitigating the effects of those changes on employees is vital. Although leadership may see the introduction of automation into core business functions to save time and money, employees who were previously tasked with these roles may feel replaced, threatened with obsolescence, or lacking direction.

In addition, digital transformation initiatives requiring organizational restructuring may cause employees who are moved to another position to feel indignant, confused or wonder what was wrong with the previous structure. To minimize this disruption and associated resistance among the workforce, the following may be considered:

  • Plan for some disruption/resistance and create awareness around the transformation early.
  • Fostering a culture that supports change or transformation.
  • Empowering champions such as project managers or team leaders to provide clarity and context for changes.

Here at Radiant Digital, we are ready to support your overall digital transformation strategy by guiding you through the key phases of change management. Reach out to our team to learn more about our learning and change solutions.


[Webinar] Strategic and Tactical Enablers for Achieving Digital Transformation

https://youtu.be/6-DYKT1-HXs

Radiant CEO Dr. Shankar Rachakonda was honored to deliver the keynote presentation at the Federal Digital Transformation Conference in April 2021. His 45-minute presentation offered a tactical view of digital transformation and was one of the highlights of the virtual conference.


Digital Transformation with an API-focused approach

Advancements in technology and the burgeoning number of connected devices mandate every business to become digitally enabled. A crucial ingredient to navigate uncertainty and deliver value in a competitive digital economy is Digital Transformation.

Defining Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is the key strategic initiative businesses take to engage and augment digital technologies for traditional and non-digital business processes and services. This process may include creating new processes to meet the evolving market demand and propel bottom lines. Digital transformation completely alters the way businesses operate and manage, with a primary focus on customer-centric value delivery.

What does Digital Transformation Entail?

  • Digital transformation can include digital optimization, IT Modernization, and inventive digital business modeling.
  • Analyzing customer needs, mapping emerging technologies to requirements, and leveraging them for elevated user experiences.
  • Business evolution through new experimentation, techniques, and approaches to common issues.
  • Continual adaptation to a dynamic environment and change management.
  • Cloud migrations, API implementations, legacy app modernization, on-demand training, leveraging artificial intelligence, incorporating automation, and more.
  • Redefining leadership roles for strategic and change planning and digital-business disruption. This will prevent Siloed thinking and digital bolt-on strategies to give way to a more holistic approach.

According to Bain & Company, only 8% of global companies have achieved their business outcome targets from their digital technology investments. Leaders need to invest in digital transformation instead of just running their business with technology.

Benefits of Digital Transformation

3 Common Challenges of Digital Transformation

Most digital transformation issues can be associated with one of the following: people, communication, and measurement.

People: are at the core of any digital transformation initiative. Resistance to the cultural change caused by digitalization is a natural human instinct. 46% of CIOs say human adoption to culture change is their most significant barrier.

Poor Communication: Leaders often don't communicate about their digital transformation plans and expectations to their teams. Specific and actionable guidance is often overlooked before, during, and after digital transformation.

Lack of Measurement: The absence of newer and context-specific KPIs and metrics and platforms to measure them leads to assumptions and failures.

Connecting the Digital Transformation Dots with APIs

Businesses need an outside-in viewpoint of customer experiences and expectations to accelerate and close gaps digitally. Platforms like Apigee help develop and manage APIs using interactive & self-service tools like Apigee Compass. These interactive and self-managed tools help gauge an organization's digital maturity and curate a path to digital success. Apigee defines two cornerstone principles of Digital Transformation.

First Principle: Modern business must not stop adopting a mobile strategy or using cloud computing to create savings efficiencies. They must embrace a shift in the demand and supply nature.

This principle requires changing the traditional supplier-distributor and value chains. Strategies must go beyond focusing on the physical goods and services pipeline with lesser channels & customer interactions. Businesses must scale infinitely using virtual assets in new technological avenues at no marginal cost. This shall distribute value creation across ecosystems of customers, enterprises, vendors, and third parties. The key technologies include:

  • Omnichannel digital platforms
  • Packaged software and services using SaaS
  • APIs that connect data, systems, software applications, or mixed hardware-software intermediaries using HTTPS-based requests and responses.

Second Principle: Digital Transformation is shaped by a new shift in operating models that operationalize APIs and influence IT investments through technology ecosystem strategies.

APIs offer strategic levers to break silos and fuel the digital transformation initiative using IT enablers. Apigee provides a proxy layer for front-end services and an abstraction for backend APIs. It has features like security, rate management, quotas, and analytics, etc.

Apigee High-level Architecture

The two primary components include:

  • Apigee services: APIs used to create, manage, and deploy the API proxies.
  • Apigee runtime: A Kubernetes-cluster based collection of containerized runtime services in Google. All API traffic is processed using these services.
  • Additionally, GCP services support IAM, logging, metrics, analytics, and project management. In comparison, backend services provide runtime data access for your API proxies.

Managing Services with Apigee

Apigee offers secure service access with a well-defined, consistent, and service-agnostic API to:

  • Help app developers seamlessly consume your services.
  • Enable backend service implementation change without impacting the public API.
  • Leverage analytics, developer portals, and other built-in features.

10 Foundational Tenets of API-centric Digital Transformation

  1. Platform – Agile platforms repackage the software for new use cases, interactions, and digital experiences. APIs converge new services with the core system to deliver operational flexibility and data efficiency.
  2. RESTful APIs – These offer flexible and intuitive programming and multi-platform/service integration. You can monetize APIs through custom packaging.
  3. Outside-in Approach – Customer and partner experience need to be measured using analytics. This helps transform APIs into exceptional digital experiences.
  4. Ecosystem – This includes digital assets (internal and external), services, developers, partners, customers, and other enablers. This enables distributed demand generation, non-linear growth, and value creation across lucrative digital networks.
  5. Leadership – Top-to-bottom commitment helps achieve the necessary cultural alignment. APIs can be incentivized to create frictionless delivery cycles and propel bottom lines.
  6. Funding - API programs can blend with agile funding models, development cycles, and governance processes. Direct API funding can improve data utilization and process iteration without the need for excessive investments.
  7. Metrics – Enterprises must embrace API-based metrics like consumption rate, transactions-per-call, etc., that go beyond ROI, transaction volumes, and pricing. This helps overcome narrow opportunity windows and fragmented customer segments.
  8. Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) - An API-first and agile-centric approach in a test-driven environment offers speed, innovation, and cost savings. This helps implement changes on-demand based on the ever-changing customer preferences. Automation should be pivotal to this approach where funding and measuring project success through intelligence and accurate forecasting tools is the top priority.
  9. Talent – Talent is key to the API digital value chain. Strong technical API-programming talent (developers, architects, documentation experts) shapes a company’s digital competency. Agile governance, funding, training, developer communities, portals, knowledge-sharing, automation, and DevOps promote talent improvement and retention.
  10. Self-Service – This involves delivering value in developer-driven value chains using developer portals, API catalogs, API keys and sample codes, testing tools, interactive API help content, and digital communities. 

Concluding Thoughts

Businesses can rely on APIs to scale with speed and be more responsive to demands. Regardless of your digital transformation roadmap, positioning API as a strategic asset for digital acceleration is crucial in any enterprise landscape.

Connect with Radiant to learn more!