Chapter 8 – Cloud Service Strategy
As discussed in Chapter 5, IBM Integrated Service Management provides the software, systems, best practices and expertise needed to manage infrastructure, people and processes—across the entire service chain—in the data center, across design and delivery, and tailored for specific industry requirements. The Service Management Goals are the following
- The ability to see everything that’s going on
across the infrastructure.
- The ability to keep the infrastructure in its
desired state by enforcing policies.
- The ability to manage huge and growing
infrastructures while controlling cost and quality.
These principles and goals are the same for Cloud Service Management as well. End to End Service Management includes the following steps.
- Service Strategy
- Service Design
- Service Transition
- Service Operation
- Service Improvement
Cloud Maturity and Readiness
Cloud Service Strategy is mainly about deciding what services do we want to deliver and how do we ensure competitiveness of providing the same through cloud. Today’s clients are seeking to utilize their assets to enable business innovation. The service strategy is all about choosing from across multiple compute / deployment models. We needed to access current IT infrastructure and need to identify and evaluate the set of capabilities for their readiness to move to cloud.
Selecting between the Cloud Deployment Models
For mission critical workloads that drive business innovation a private cloud is preferred. For secondary workloads and supporting business functions a public cloud is suitable. While public cloud delivers select set of standardized business process, application and/or infrastructure services on a flexible price per use basis focused on utility, the private cloud drives efficiency, standardization and best practices while retaining greater customization and control with focus on innovation.
When doing Service Strategy, you need to consider the expertise across industries and standards. At this Service Strategy phase, we normally consider reusing/leveraging solutions based on industry best practices including ITIL, CoBIT, eTOM, and ISO.
Calculating the ROI
Cloud Computing ROI is the important consideration/step during the Service Strategy phase. This includes you verifying the following fundamental aspects related to making a service available on the cloud.
- Capex vs Opex
- Time to Value
- Service Level Agreements (SLA)
- Green / Compliance Requirements
There are several ROI frameworks and methods available that allows you validate the approach/strategy against these three fundamental aspects. Most of the service companies would have their own frameworks which are typically Intellectual Capital of their service teams.
Choosing the right Delivery Models and Workloads
Based on the Enterprise Architecture approach, we need to choose from the many available options of delivery models and work load. This includes the services and consulting engagement to obtain clarity on business drivers (business vision, strategy, timeline, business model, and business operating model) and how they can leverage technology and value enablers from cloud computing. Then in this cycle you also need to identify the right set of workloads to move to cloud that fetches maximum benefits from cloud computing. The flexibility that the business operating model gets to innovate on the business model is another key consideration. This could be iterative effort of identifying candidates and then slowly moving them to production.
One of the biggest challenges to utilize cloud computing in your organization is where to start and how to focus your efforts. IBM provides a Cloud Adoption Advisor to get started on the topic. The opengroup has also published a whitepaper on building return on investment on cloud computing.
Key Benefits from Service Strategy
- Improved Innovation - Dramatically improve business value and IT’s effect on time-to-market by enabling the business workloads to rapidly and accurately be deployed on multiple platforms when and where they are needed.
- Decrease operational expenses – Gain productivity increases in IT labor costs through automation of rapid provisioning.