It's time to explore and deliver IT specialty services and depth capabilities to your retail customers to save their residual operational expenses:
There has been huge shift on the expectations from Retailers when it comes to project delivery and expectations from their IT service providers. I would segregate into three phases. 8 - 9 years before, IT service providers has been delivering what clients wants and mostly paid for the hourly work done, no commitments on delivery, no productivity, client is accountable for all the execution and delivery. In recent 5 - 6 years, there has been paradigm shift on the expectation where clients were expecting certain managed services where IT service providers expected to deliver projects end to end with certain commitments, SLA, Penalty, etc. Where there has been common and great challenge to deliver a web or software development project on time, on budget, and within scope, IT Service provider's partner with clients and they are able to achieve this status of official project success. IT Service providers realize that an any delivery can be managed end to end as long as there has been clear expectation, Roles, Responsibilities defined between all stakeholders and IT service providers used few tools like Expectation Management, Value based delivery instead of Time based delivery, Risk analyzers, etc.
In the recent days, apart from the managed services, I strongly believe that IT service providers should proactively identify avenues to reduce the overall operational cost/expenses (As-is or To-be) and identify measures to get the ROI quicker as early as possible. This is applicable for both Development programs and Support operational programs. When it comes to Development programs, rather than executing requirements what business is giving, provider should give proactive recommendation thru' governing committee and few example are - incase if Application is developed and hosted in Server which is hitting EOL, there should be proactive recommendation, also, if there's a legacy technologies, there should be recommendation to move to scalable, future centric technologies and also probably for hosting in cloud for virtualizations to avoid Physical server dependencies, wherever possible recommendation on functional rationalization, technology rationalization, scalable architecture and if there are any Mainframe jobs or residual applications used zero level or very minimal, there should be governing to challenge and help in assisting sun setting the residuals (Apps or jobs, etc). Also, when it comes to Support, bring in methodologies to reduce Ticket arrival pattern proactive ticket closure, Ticket Shift Left closure where calls are not un-necessarily shift forwarded. Some of these thoughts will really help your customers to minimize or reduce their IT cost/expenses.