SAM & Digital Transformation

Hello all, it appears that the marketing types have demanded their time at the corporate-creative keyboard once more, and come up with the phrase “Digital Transformation”.  As yet, Webster’s or the OED haven’t yet got hold of this phrase to offer it a precise definition (and why would they bother?!).  Let’s face it, digital transformation is how most us are describing a move to the cloud. Let’s dive deeper to discuss SAM & digital transformation.

As ever, SAM Charter is looking to de-mystify the smoke in front of the mirrors, and is giving you a few pointers below to ensure that whatever you transform, is done so with the correct IT & SAM due-diligence.

What do you want from your As-a-Service Contract?

It may sound obvious, but NEVER go boiler-plate.  Do you recall how you would tell every consultant who ever graced your doorstep how “unique” your company/ IT/ SAM configuration is?  Well if it’s that unique, make sure those elements of singularity are reflected in any as-a-service agreement you sign up to.

A major area worth focussing on is the transition to BAU.  If you believe that “lifting and shifting” your current configuration to a 3rd party infrastructure is a glorified cut and paste exercise, then you are setting yourself up to turn your IT service into a basket of snakes.

Change Management:  Secure from an as-a-service provider that any software and/or hardware changes that could alter your licence position must receive your express approval PRIOR to the change being made?  Sound familiar?  Any good CAB (Change Advisory Board) should have some sort of licensing representation to ensure that on-premise changes adhere to licence T&Cs – why would it be different in someone else’s datacenter?

Who is doing what?  Once more, if a transition to the cloud is viewed as “getting rid of a problem” then please be aware that all you are doing is moving a piece of work up the management ladder.  Whereas on-premise software might have had many aspects of its lifecycle mapped and owned by your IT staff, thinking that the as-a-service provider will patch, upgrade, DR & BCM your software installs is a very unwise assumption.  When these elements fall down, and are not expressly covered in your contract, the staff you have moved on to other tasks won’t be able to help, as they won’t have the level of change access to correct a problem.

So what can you do?  Don’t throw out that lifecycle you have crafted over many years; rather:  compare it to the as-a-service contract before you, and see which areas of the lifecycle it addresses – and to what depth.  Anything that is NOT addressed (and you want it addressing) should be added to the contract.

Costing:  In many organisations, on-premise software is funded from a CAPEX (Capital Expenditure) fund that although costed, meant that the assets purchased with that fund were given a relegated status in terms of management and oversight.  Fast-forward to as-a-service, and the utility-based nature of billing means that many companies are now moving this expenditure to OPEX (Operational Expenditure).  OPEX appears on the company P&L sheet; so its correct management will all of a sudden receive quarterly scrutiny by senior figures in the company.  Failure to assign appropriate management overhead to this growing IT utility will result in heads rolling, as the bill directly impacts profits.

How can we help?  To ensure the correct level of management of your cloud assets, defining the boundary between company and supplier is vital.  The SAM Charter Maturity Assessment enables you to understand which elements of the SAM lifecycle you are weakest in; but from there you can also plot which key steps and activities are handled by the Supplier, and which you are keeping in-house.

Top tip:  This activity should be done BEFORE you “transform” – not after; otherwise you could be embroiled in contract negotiations that will prove costly (and professionally embarrassing).

Reach out to SAM Charter now to discuss SAM and digital transformation: [email protected]

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