Service Strategy: ahead of its time

Service Strategy: ahead of its time

Damian HarrisI remember the divide in the industry when we published Service Strategy in the summer of 2007. Whilst a minority said it was inspirational, the majority questioned what right IT had in trying to shape business strategy.

Zoom forward almost a decade, where the Fourth Industrial Revolution continues to drive the convergence of technologies that blur the lines between physical, digital and biological systems:

  • The New Digital Context
    The biggest taxi company on the planet owns no taxis and the biggest bookstore owns no books. Service Strategy asked CIOs to leverage the capabilities that existed within the walls of IT (even through partners) to orchestrate innovative IT services that would help differentiate the business.
  • The Industrial Internet of Things
    Local doctors wear augmented reality glasses to access data to assess a patient's physical symptoms. Service Strategy recommended the creation of value networks where solutions required the collaboration of multiple (sometimes competing) organizations, since no single organization would be able to breakthrough on their own.
  • The Skills Needed to Drive Future Growth
    The exponential nature of the digital era means that significant threats appear from our blind spots before we've had a chance to identify them. Disruptive thinkers, exponential thinkers, 100-year visionaries and those that can harness Big Data analytics to gain real insight will shape the growth opportunities of the global economy. We truly live in a services-based global economy and Service Strategy still has many hidden gems for big thinkers to improve themselves, their organizations, whole industries and, perhaps, the world around them.

It's easy to look back and wonder why so many people were scathing in their assessment of Service Strategy in 2007 - the first iPhone was released one month after Service Strategy was published, the consumerization of IT hadn't yet exploded and many of today's norms hadn't even been conceived.

I always thought that it was that last point that made the concepts in Service Strategy so relevant - there are few barriers to good ideas, just an understanding of value creation (e.g. services) and how to be distinctive (e.g. strategy).

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