Here’s an extract from my new book The Cisco Way.

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Shift left is by far one of the most effective ways
to drive a cost-leadership position in the market.
Consider, for instance, the case of resolving a network
outage. On the spectrum of the possible points of production
for this problem’s resolution (as illustrated in
exhibit 15), the most expensive point of production
would be (on the extreme right) dispatching a technician
or an engineer to a customer site to resolve the
issue. The fully loaded cost for such a solution (including
the billable hours and hence the wages of the
technician, cost of van, gas, and possibly replacement
hardware components) can run into a few hundred
dollars per case.
On the other (extreme left) hand, an issue resolved
through a well-designed self-help portal (without
any human intervention) can cost as little as a few
dollars (in exhibit 15, it is called out as $1 to illustrate
the case). I call this shifting left for profits.

Shifting left is, simply put, all about service-delivery
cost reduction. There are three distinct strategies
for shifting left: first, shifting work to lower (wage)
cost countries; second, moving work to a lower cost
of resolution through the deployment of tools and
processes; and, third, driving issue resolution earlier
in the life cycle (through an improvement in people
efficiency), which will, by default, reduce the cost of
resolution. Of course, you can combine the advantages
of all three shift-left strategies (see exhibit 16),
which would have the greatest effect on reducing the
cost of processing—and, yes, of course, then on your

Explore and Learn how to deploy the three shift-left strategies to establish a cost leadership position in my new book “The Cisco Way”.