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CIOs Want IT And Telecom Services Integrated

If CIOs had their choice, according to a McKinsey & Co., they would rather purchase end-to-end service-level agreements from providers offering a combination of IT and telecommunications services. "They want standardized services that can be developed inexpensively and delivered wherever their employees conduct business," according to McKinsey analysts Andreas Franz, Claudia Funke, and Katrin Suder.

A survey of European CIOs found that even though 98% of the respondents agreed that they would like to purchase integrated IT and communications services that offer "distinctive value," few providers have sufficient skills in both domains to offer a complete package.

In deciding what to purchase the criteria has moved to measuring desired results, "99.5% availability of SAP payroll applications per user," for example rather than specifying specific tehcnology brands according to the survey.

"The emphasis on services has the effect of reducing costs, since providers can standardize hardware and software, increase utilization through shared environments, and pass the resulting savings on to customers. In addition it allows IT leaders to focus on the needs of the business rather than on technology, " explains the authors.

While decision-making isn't always centralized, according to the article, " the responsibility of managing the end-to-end integration of IT and telecom services passes from the customer to the vendor, thereby freeing CIOs to focus on strategic priorities. The cost savings can be substantial -- as much as 20% to 40% of the operations budget.

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