Baldwin Bell Green
Functional Practices | Service Industries | Manufacturing | Energy
Operations and IT

‘No IT, no business’ is an obvious truth for most businesses, and the inherent challenges of harnessing its full potential are considerable. So, no new news that IT and Business leaders deploying substantial IT assets are under constant pressure to deliver ever more value from them. This is particularly true where these assets are tightly coupled to large shared-service operations, and where customer propositions are substantially IT-delivered. These challenges are frequently expressed in cost terms, for example:
  • ‘Our ‘run-the-company’ IT opex cost is too high/out of line/out of control…’
  • ‘We need to invest to deliver customer value propositions but don’t have budget…’
  • 'Our business processing and operations are too expensive/slow to respond…’
  • ‘Our returns on IT and Operations investments are too low and hard to measure’.
So whether costs are too high or options restricted because switching costs are too high, cost is at the heart of the challenge. We see four distinct drivers of cost and risk:
  • IT intensity – the overall amount of IT deployed – continues to grow very rapidly: between a hundred and a hundred and fifty times a decade for a large financial services player for instance. This pace of change contributes to the growing gap between IT’s potential and actual delivery
  • Increasing complexity. In addition to increased IT intensity, the rapid pace of change in corporate and business footprints and needs drives massive complexity in delivering both IT services and core operations. The hype of new technologies – ‘cloud’ being current flavour of the month – frequently masks the costs entailed to bolt them alongside the old. And as needs change and requirements grow, often more quickly than they can be implemented, multiple standards and processes proliferate, driving further complexity.
  • As a result, IT decision-making is frequently suboptimal. Business cases are often poor or non-existent leading to wasted investment. Make-vs.-buy decisions are too often made on unreasonable expectations, and poorly executed. Internal capabilities may be limited but the IT and Business Process outsourcing and services industries are still inefficient, unreliable and unresponsive and not a ‘plug and play’ solution.
  • New normal. Finally, the massive economic dislocation of the 2007-09 recession means that the paradigm has significantly changed, and ‘new normal’ means that delivering small, step-by-step improvements is just not enough. Businesses now need to rethink IT and operations delivery to deliver significant, even dramatic, sustained reductions in run-the-company operating environments, and yet still deliver more higher quality services. More for less is unquestionably the new normal
How we address these challenges
Our proposition is that these challenges are eminently addressable and that, by redirecting strategies, re-aligning operational and delivery footprints, reconfiguring services and service delivery, and improving supplier management, it is entirely possible to cut through the fog and deliver substantial cost and service improvements to both IT and operations.

Simply put, we help our clients address these challenges. We identify best responses to them – strategies, road maps, implementation plans. We then support their implementation to deliver significant, sustained, IT and operations-led improvements to top and bottom line performance and shareholder value. These programmes are usually self-funding from the outset. Our practice encompasses:
  • IT and operations value creation: service and service delivery strategy formulation; business case development and business planning; innovation; investment optimisation
  • Operational design and delivery: target operating model design; IT service tower and service integration delivery; organisation design; transformation, change, HR programmes;
  • Implementation and Sourcing; see Sourcing and Outsourcing below
This means that we are equally experienced at addressing broad strategic and technology issues, developing operating and delivery models, delivering major operating change, cost reduction and outsourcing off shoring and sourcing programmes, and negotiating major contracts on behalf of clients.

For further information please contact Steve Runin in New York at srunin@baldwinbell.com or Gary Taylor at gary.taylor@baldwinbell.eu
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