Service North Sponsor Profile: Atos
In this blog, you can learn more about one of the sponsors for our SIAM conference: Service North. Service North is taking place in Manchester, UK on the 1st of November, with a broad range of presentations from SIAM experts. You can view the agenda and book your place here.
Atos is a global leader in digital transformation with approximately 100,000 employees in 73 countries and annual revenue of around € 12 billion. European number one in Big Data, Cybersecurity, High Performance Computing and Digital Workplace, the Group provides Cloud services, Infrastructure & Data Management, Business & Platform solutions, as well as transactional services through Worldline, the European leader in the payment industry. With its cutting-edge technologies, digital expertise and industry knowledge, Atos supports the digital transformation of its clients across various business sectors: Defence, Financial Services, Health, Manufacturing, Media, Energy & Utilities, Public sector, Retail, Telecommunications and Transportation. The Group is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic & Paralympic Games and operates under the brands Atos, Atos Consulting, Atos Worldgrid, Bull, Canopy, Unify and Worldline. Atos SE (Societas Europaea) is listed on the CAC40 Paris stock index.
Why is service integration important to us?
When service integration was first emerging as a concept fifteen or more years ago, we used to talk about the “SIAM and Towers” model and the general view was that the Service Integrator was first amongst equals in a supply chain. Service integration was viewed as a means to simplify and rationalise that supply chain, enabling better services from technology-based Tower suppliers.
This changed with the advent of Cloud services.
Clients’ IT supply chains are now typically growing; Supplier services vary from lowest common denominator commoditised IaaS services (such as AWS and Azure) to highly-customised business-enabling SaaS services (such as Salesforce and SAP4HANA Cloud) and many others that are sector-specific. Alongside this, clients still rely on legacy bespoke applications, infrastructure and other non-commodity services, hence the so-called “2-speed IT” model.
The services provided by disaggregated IT supply chains are increasingly inter-dependent, and this creates an exponential rise in integration complexity – through technical, operational, commercial and organisational perspectives. Integrating these fully, and maintaining that integration through intermediate transition states as clients transform their businesses for the digital age, is critical.
Service Integration today and in the future
Service integration today is no longer new or innovative; it has become the way we should be “doing” IT in a multi-vendor world. Almost every organisation in the world has adopted a disaggregated model to deliver IT services to their users and customers. Some choose to integrate these services themselves, some choose to seek outside help. Others just hope that their suppliers will get along and play nicely. They are ignoring commercial realities and tend to suffer the consequences.
For a long time, many organisations have used a standard ITIL process-based model for “service”, by which they meant the maintaining of service operations and the execution of operational change. They also use standard development methods and architectural standards such as TOGAF to deliver system integration “projects”. The two aren’t always aligned, in either organisational or process terms.
This is reflected to some extent in the IT4IT model which tries to apply end-to-end consistency in the business of IT delivery:
The organisational and procedural distinction between “service” and “projects” adopted by so many organisations is becoming blurred, particularly through DevOps. I would assert that this distinction is yesterday’s operating model. The focus today is must be on different challenges:
- How do we ensure that the consumers of our IT services get the best possible experience to enable them to achieve their objectives, whether business or personal?
- How do we transform our IT operating model and deliver better services, more quickly and without disruption?
- How do we get the best value from our total supply chain, internal and external, so that we deliver great solutions and services?
- How do we achieve all this change while maintaining the commercial, security, operational, organisational and architectural integrity of many interdependent IT services?
In the future, the core principles of service integration such as cross-supplier collaboration, governance and end-to-end performance management will continue to remain valid, but these will coalesce with the more technical disciplines of system integration. This requires a renewed focus on architectural discipline, on technical standardisation and needs ever greater clarity of roles and responsibilities.
The need to manage change across multiple integration perspectives will only increase in pace, in scale, in risk and in complexity.
Organisations need to decide what role they wish to play in this, where their strengths lie and where they need help.
As IT professionals, we need to guide our organisations and clients toward sensible and realistic decisions that enable us collectively to achieve our business and IT service objectives.
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About the Author
Alistair Philpott leads the solution and architecture team for Atos global service integration practice. Alistair and his team put together solutions that help clients to integrate and manage their service supply chains, whether the client chooses to take responsibility internally, to outsource the role, or establish a hybrid of the two. With 25 years in IT outsourcing and over 15 years in service integration, Alistair has advised clients and put together service integration deals/solutions across the engineering, finance, pharmaceutical, public safety, government (central and local) and defence sectors.