From strategy to benefits realisation, ECS delivers accelerated IT change – with increased certainty – around relocations, technology changes and transformations.

Major IT changes – such as the decision to journey to the Cloud – may be driven by mergers or divestments, cost reduction pressures or the need to achieve compliance. These kinds of activities are inherently complex, risk-ridden and time consuming.

Multi-faceted IT changes present many challenges, including: poor visibility of the service estate and dependencies; difficulties interpreting potential courses of action; an inability to adequately prioritise activities; or insufficient experience or capacity to deliver the changes while supporting business-as-usual services.

Standard operational processes are also unlikely to cope with the extent of disruption. These challenges are often compounded by lack of target platform experience, aggressive delivery deadlines and conflicting constraints on costs and risk.

Nonetheless, service continuity must be ensured, and strict service levels maintained.

Failure to address these challenges generally leads to never-ending discovery activities, due to continuous changes in the environment and fragmented subject matter expertise.

Risks in business service disruption and reputational impact become highly exposed, due to a lack of certainty of outcome from lack of service estate knowledge and weakened operational delivery due to resource drains. Project over-runs, escalating costs and a decline in business confidence around IT become increasingly likely.

ECS Relay™ services are based on a structured and controlled approach to managing major IT changes that deliver increased certainty and reduced risk to business services. Our customers benefit from: a proven methodology; independent technology expertise; and extensive programme delivery experience, from strategy definition through to benefits realisation.

ECS Relay™ is a modular, flexible framework for assured and controlled IT change delivery with the following phases, any of which can be delivered either standalone or as part of an end-to-end service. The framework drives agile portfolio analysis, dramatically improves application estate refactoring and underpins cloud migrations.

The Relay™ service comprises three functions. The key activities of each function are summarised below:

Decision Office

This manages the knowledge to make decisions around which components of IT change are delivered how and when. It handles the following guiding factors:

  • Information gathering from scenario planning and business case development through to change assessment and tracking
  • Analysis for scenario selection, through to change decisions, execution and governance
  • Definition of both the change framework and the individual work packages to enable change.

Change Office

This ensures the components of IT change are understood, well defined, fully communicated and assigned to the relevant teams. It manages the following governance functions:

  • Planning around the delivery on individual and concurrent work packages with the broader change portfolio
  • Allocation of work packages to the relevant change factory delivery channels
  • Stakeholder engagement and coordination
  • Management of work package progress, any delivery challenges and completion.

Change Factory

This provides the effective, rapid and well-governed work stream delivery engine for each of the IT change components. It delivers against the following activities:

  • Build and smoke test target environment
  • Implement allocated work package
  • Test fully implemented target solution
  • Release change into production use
  • Decommission components of the previous solution stack (once a warranty period has been successfully completed).

Underpinning the Relay™ service is the ECS Track™ application – a dynamic management tool that interfaces to all relevant data sources (covering infrastructure, application, business service, stakeholder details and dependency mapping) and change activities. This provides a single, trusted information source, real-time management information, project tracking/control and decision support functions.

ECS’s unique Relay™ approach is rooted in experience, industry best practice, tooling, templates, processes and resource augmentation ensuring a successful outcome.