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Cloud Services and the definition of a Target Operating Model

Posted on by ITIL

(Part III of VI – Services)

In my last blog, I did discuss the Governance (Part II of VI – Governance) Dimension overarching all the other Service enablers of an Target Operating Model like Technology (Part I of VI – Technolgy), Organization, People and Ptom-gov-glenfisrocesses.

Now I want to talk about the very heart of the Cloud Service – the service definition of Cloud Computing itself. Please also see my most recent Webinar about Cloud Computing and Sourcing Governance.

One could think, treating Cloud Computing the same way all other IT Services are being treated is a no-brainer in nowadays. Surprisingly enough that’s not the case. In a recent Gartner article (Gartner: Best practices for I&O for cloud-readiness), there are comments like “Cloud computing is an alternate delivery model to consume IT services. It is at times misconceived as a technology marvel.” Many IT organizations “… are not capturing and leveraging their service management knowledge base effectively; that is, in picking up clues and learning from their past mistakes”.

As we all know, a lot of Cloud Computing initiatives are not delivering up to the expectations in terms of costs, agility and “easy-to-transition” due to the fact, that those initiatives have been kicked-off as technology driven projects without considering the service context and the integration of a Cloud Computing instance into an overall service portfolio stack of an internal IT organization.

Successful Cloud Computing is not starting with technology – it starts with a clear view to Service Management as the supreme management discipline of IT Organizations.

It takes two parents to raise a Cloud Computing Child successfully:

  • Service Lifecycle Management and its processes (see ITILv3), starting with Service Strategy and the already mentioned Service Portfolio Management process and spanning Service Design, Transition, Operation and Continual Improvement.
  • Sourcing Lifecycle Management and its activity stages, starting with a Sourcing Strategy, spanning Vendor Selection, Transition, Operation and Contract Management  (see OPBOK – Outsourcing Professional Body of Knowledge)

Marrying up the two frames in a very concrete business situation is the responsibility of a CIO and his/her management team. Doing Cloud Computing without being guided by the two frames is like doing finance management without bookkeeping.

Mature IT Organizations will leverage on their investments in implementing IT Service Management “best practice” and frame works, like ITIL, ISO 20000 and COBIT. Those without sourcing experiences can map existing service governance areas to the Sourcing Lifecycle Management activities relatively simple – as shown below.

SoL-SeL

On the other hand, IT Organizations with a narrowed view to its “supreme management discipline” will not leverage on the excellent business opportunities Cloud Computing is offering potentially. You are not going to solve your past and current IT problems by just hopping on the next tech-train – in contrary, the risk profile of your organization, your business and your company will be exposed to the outer world without any optimization on the cost and values-add side.

As Gartner stated, “For effective cloud adoption, organisations should speed up internal efforts to build necessary service management capabilities so that triggers and disruptive and innovative service models such as cloud and ‘everything as a service’ are easier to absorb and respond to.”

In my next blog, I will focus on the Process Dimension of the Target Operating Model for Cloud Services.

Related Blog-Posts:

  • Part I   Target Operation Model – Technology
  • Part II  Target Operation Model – Governance
  • Part III Target Operation Model – Services
  • Part IV Target Operation Model – Processes
  • Part V  Target Operation Model – Organization
  • Part VI Target Operation Model – People

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