Information Technology in a Functionally Separated World

It’s like a kick in the head . . . every time I walk into a service organization and have a look at their operations- by performing “check” – I am left with the same sense of disbelief as the previous service organization.  Front-line staff left with no hope of delivering service from entrapping technology.  No one considered the customer or felt any need to supply an IT “solution” that was cost effective end-to-end.

Blame can rest with both the service organization and the IT provider.  However, the service organization can change the game by actually designing services that focus their attention on the customer and what matters to them.  IT will be forced to follow when you provide systemic solutions.  The beauty of this is that it results in less IT spend and happier customers which translates to lower total costs.

Contrast this to the functionally separated organizations that must do process improvement and IT with cross-functionally groups.  Starting here puts service organizations behind by trying to coddle the silos of organizations.  This makes them slow to move and expensive.

Yet, we still have front offices and back offices, separated departments in organizations and the like.  The hope is that optimizing the pieces will result in improvement . . . it never does, no matter what kind of leader their is leading a silo.

Information technology will enable no organization until it comes to grips with the functional separation of work in service orgs.

Tripp Babbitt is a speaker, blogger and consultant to service industry (private and public).  His organization helps executives find a better way to make the work work.  Read his articles at Quality Digest and his column for  Learn more about the The 95 Method for service organizations.  Reach him on Twitter at LinkedIn at

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