The Cloud moves organisations away from traditional software licensing models and premises-based data centres to ‘pay-as-you-go’ or utility based pricing. This has led to a lot of articles being written that conclude that the Cloud signals the end of traditional IT Service Management, and particularly the ITIL framework.
The reality is that IT Service Management is fundamental to the successful provision of any IT service, including the Cloud, and frameworks, such as ITIL, remain totally applicable for those wanting to adhere to best practice.
However, the IT Service Management model, being used by an organisation, needs to evolve from a traditional ‘silo’ approach, to become more customer-centric, capable of catering for the agility and scalability of the Cloud, whether delivered by third parties and/or internal resources, and be able to meet and adapt flexibly to business needs.
This means that the governance model, the processes and procedures, and the skills of the teams, that underpin the IT Service Management framework, need to be evaluated and modernised to accommodate the shift to the Cloud, and then be regularly reviewed and updated, through an on-going, agile, continuous improvement cycle.
The ITIL best-practice fundamentals, provide a solid foundation for organisations adopting the Cloud, and cloud based services, but need to be updated to accommodate the implicit flexibility and scalability. They need to consider the management and control of data, security, environment, budget and services to the business.
The first step in the evolution of the IT Service Management model, for the Cloud, is an assessment of the organisations current implementation of the ITIL framework. The current processes need to be mapped to the Cloud model, defined as part of the service strategy, and then a maturity assessment carried out to determine how they support the delivery of Cloud services.
The revised IT Service Management model needs to focus on a clear set of reusable customer-centric capabilities, aligned to process, people and technology. This includes:
- Empowerment – The consumers of the service need to be able to quickly provision, configure and use the services provided.
- Reusability – The services need to be able to accommodate a wide range of requirements without any significant customisation being required.
- Security – All business data and information must be secure and compliant with the appropriate regulations.
- Reliability – The service that is provided must be reliable, consistent and of the highest quality.
- Efficiency – The services must be standardised and automated, and operationally efficient, meeting customer requirements.
- Cost transparency – The costs for the services being provided need to be very clear and appropriate for the business needs, providing value for money. Measured in a way that allows them to be accurately tracked.
- Service culture – The culture must shift from a technology orientation toward one that is customer- and service- oriented.
Having determined the relative maturity of the existing processes, and their appropriateness for Cloud adoption, each stage and process of the IT Service Management framework needs to be reviewed and modified appropriately, to provide a new foundation for the operation of a Cloud model.
Once this new foundation is in place, an agile, continual improvement cycle needs to be implemented and adopted, to drive higher levels of maturity.
Additionally, a governance model for the IT organisation, aligned to the Cloud, needs to be developed that is evaluated regularly. Having a well-established and clear governance model helps ensure alignment on organisational and procurement policies, and changes to operational and service aspects of the cloud environment.
IT Service Management, and best practice frameworks, such as ITIL and COBIT, are an essential part of any Cloud strategy. It is important to recognise that there is a fundamental shift in the core focus of the IT Service Management team, becoming a service integrator, responsible for managing suppliers and the delivery of service to the business. This has a significant impact on the existing service management processes and procedures, all of which will require review and adaptation to accommodate the new ways of working that a move to the Cloud entails.
If you would like to find out how iCore can help you with your ITSM requirements for the Cloud then contact us on 0207 868 2405.