Part 3: The Consumer & Provider Relationship
This is the final blog of a three-part series discussing the key contributions of the human element within a digital strategy. The term “digital transformation” can prompt thoughts of a change related event that is purely technology driven; however, the opposite is true. To “go digital” requires a cultural shift that places human collaboration at the heart of the transformation.
In the digital world, there are consumers and providers. The consumer’s role is to initiate demand for a service; whereas, it is the provider’s role to respond via the delivery of a service that supports a desired business outcome. A business outcome is the primary output of a business capability. This cycle begins with the identification of an opportunity, to managing scope, assigning ownership through the final phase of optimization, which measures if the realized value was attained as defined by the strategic plan of the business.
Translating Business Value into Business Outcomes
To ensure the demand requirements of the consumer are correctly translated into a desired, business outcome requires a cultural shift that promotes the adoption of an Enterprise Service Management (ESM) based orientation. Achieving an ESM culture requires all members of the provider’s ecosystem to redirect the focus of their business processes and supporting technologies onto the fulfillment of the consumer’s request for demand. This shift enables the provider’s ecosystem to have a shared vision for what “value” is. This shared vision requires the ecosystem to define and execute work based on what they should do, not what they could or can do. When guided by this shared vision, every member of the ecosystem recognizes their individual contribution towards the fulfillment of what the intended business outcome should and should not consist of.
This shift in focus begins by placing the consumer at the center of value creation and aligning on the delivery of a positive service experience. To achieve this, the provider must answer the following questions:
- Who is the consumer?
- What are the demands of the consumer?
- How do consumers trigger demand?
- How can the provider fulfill those demands?
When these questions are answered, the provider is empowered to establish a vision, mission, and goals built around the consumer. Confirmation of vision, mission, and goals are the key outputs of business strategy because it sets the direction for the provider ecosystem. Once defined, members of the provider ecosystem respond by ensuring that the service portfolio is limited to services that are in perfect alignment with the fulfillment of the business strategy.
An effective ESM culture can reap significant benefits for both the provider and consumer. Traditional delivery groups, where work focus is siloed by department, gives way to service delivery teams consisting of a complementary network of talent, which focuses on the end-to-end delivery of a service. Within this setting, team members conduct their work based on the goal of fulfilling the demands of the consumer, not on waste generating tasks that can slow or even disconnect the flow of work. To ensure continuous flow of work, service delivery teams are empowered to make decisions that prevent a bottleneck from occurring.
An effective ESM culture also values how the consumer feels at the time of service delivery. If a consumer feels they have been listened to and have been treated well throughout the cycle then they are likely to repeat the cycle. Satisfied consumers will happily engage with the provider to share their feedback, allowing for the provider to make on-going service improvements.
Your organization is the true operating system of your company and is a key determinant of successful digital transformation. To be effective, all operating systems require scheduled routine maintenance not only to ensure continued availability but also to incorporate updates that enhance the quality of service. An ESM culture is no different. Keeping the consumer at the center of service delivery is a constant activity that will ensure your performance as a provider is in tune with the patterns of demand.