Oh What a Tangled Web We Weave When First We Practice to Deceive | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

As I recently looked at service providers’ PowerPoint decks pitching their as-a-service offering, the well-known tangled-web-we-weave quote from Sir Walter Scott’s 1808 poem “Marmion” came to mind. It’s very clear that the industry is interested in moving to platform services. And it’s a fabulous idea — great content reduced cost, agility and focus on the customer’s business. The problem is no providers have actually done what they tout in their decks.

Service providers discussing their offerings with analysts or potential customers use decks that make it seem that they have a great deal of experience in as-a-service offerings and they do this work all the time. However the truth is that they have done only pieces of these offerings and they have done many elements in isolation. But pulling it all together — not so much. When you push them on details, they fall back on a blizzard of integrated charts.

Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. But when we practice quite a while, it improves our style. (from “Marmion”)

Over the past seven months I’ve seen glossy charts getting better by the moment and pitch decks becoming much more impressive. But still they deceive; no one has actual experience in the complete journey. Everest Group is working with providers that are on the way to doing it, but it takes three years.

Here’s my advice to providers that don’t want to suffer the embarrassment of customers realizing their deception: the truth will set you free. Acknowledge that you can prove it now only in part and the rest will come about over the next two years.

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