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Enterprise IT has become a complex mixed economy of in-sourced and outsourced services from multiple providers – often servicing tens of thousands of system users. A recent article published in the blog “Lean Outsourcing quotes Gartner statistics that indicate in the U.S., the average enterprise is dealing with 13 or more service providers.

This “multi-sourcing” – the task of selecting and managing all of these disparate service providers – is an increasingly difficult challenge for most enterprises.

A popular approach to address multi-sourcing has been to implement a service integration and management (SIAM) layer. In fact, many IT service companies are now offering to manage the SIAM layer as a service in it’s own right. Another approach is for IT to have their own dedicated vendor management office (VMO) who then is responsible for managing the increased complexity. Whatever approach is taken, the days of the single vendor outsource are definitely diminishing and more important than that, whoever owns the integration layer needs visibility of the entire end-to-end service – from cloud providers through to the desktop – whether they directly manage it or not.

Getting to a single view across all of the service provider created silos and measuring how they are performing is a challenge. The integration owner needs to be able to separate out into components (disaggregate in the parlance) all of the end-to-end services and their associated costs. They also will need to define, build and develop the governance model and performance metrics that will hold it all together to ensure optimal service performance.

A traditional approach to this problem is to take a commercial/procurement lead approach to the assessment and selection of the individual suppliers with a focus around how the contract will be managed and administered and how invoices get paid, rather than the shared value that is being created for the service user. Also, typically, an ITIL oriented view of service delivery is proposed with off the shelf KPIs and SLAs that typically provide little more than a reactive service desk function rather than the continual service improvement approach that ITIL v3 first promised.

Whatever the approach, an IT Operations Analytics (ITOA) solution can help in that it spans your enterprise collecting and correlating hundreds of operational data points in real time revealing how users are consuming services and visualizing the results in a way that provides actionable insight.

Installing an ITOA solution at the outset gives you un-paralleled ability to assess the current state of the service provisioning across all of your disaggregated services. Who is consuming what? How is the service performing? Who is connecting where? Which locations, devices, users are experiencing connection failures or application crashes? How have the logon times improved or degraded overtime?

Armed with this insight you can now design services, select providers and propose solutions that are optimized, designed and selected on the basis of data and user experience. The capacity data alone means that significant savings can be achieved by rightsizing services.

The service transition and transformation stage can equally benefit as real-time end-to-end monitoring across the environment provides instant feedback – often lacking in traditional program’s – with the ability to course correct in the event that service degrades in any way. Nexthink clients have reported transformation savings of 20% as the amount of rework required is significantly reduced since issues are captured early in the process.

Finally, the service optimization stage now has significantly more data than before and is not limited by the traditional paradigm of users phoning the service desk with issues, but can exploit all of the operational data to proactively identify problems before they cause costly incident storms and affect service. This proactive approach has resulted in Nexthink clients reporting incident reductions of 28% on their service desk.

Nexthink offers clients the opportunity to experience the value of a IT Operations Analytics in their own environment through it’s Nexthink Baseline Service (NBS), a consultative service that provides a tailored value focused approach to showing how Nexthink can improve your IT organization.