Editor’s Note: We hope you enjoyed Dell World 2011! Even though the event is officially over, we’re still interested in hearing how customers and partners are unlocking innovation. Our next guest blog is from Simon King. Simon is the Sr. Director of Product Management at BMC Software responsible for the vision and executive of the Service Support Portfolio, which includes IT Service Management, SaaS and IT Business Management. You can find him on Twitter @sjking2000.
With the recent Dell World buzz still fresh in my ears (which BMC was a participant), the question keeps getting asked: How do we unlock innovation, especially when all our time is consumed fighting daily fires?
Organizations today are being challenged more than ever. With the economy still uncertain, organizations are being asked to do more – and it’s not a weak ask of the traditional “do more with less.” It is a hard request with increased demand from globalization, continued pressure from consolidation and constant need for new services. This blog will demonstrate how cloud computing can help organizations unlock innovation even during times of constant change.
The “consumerization of IT” continues at a rapid rate and it raises the bar for corporate IT on all fronts – innovation, service delivery, mobility and customer experience. Adding new headcount is still tight and those we have are running flat out. Over the last couple of years we trimmed all the fat, so how do you increase attention to customers while still creating new offerings and keeping the lights on for existing services?
For organizations to keep up, we really need to offload mundane processes to the cloud. There are two key resources we need to free up – 1) people to work on new projects and 2) investment dollars to support them. As processes become well understood they become targets for partners to run, and as IT activities executed by employees become standardized they can be automated.
Recent innovations in IT service delivery are making these ideas a reality. Applications delivered as Software as a Service in the cloud, and Infrastructure as a Services as cloud fabric. Utilizing these solutions appropriately will help us focus on what’s strategic and will allow us to spend more time with business customers to understand what’s important.
If we can offload commodity management functions to the cloud, this can give us back hours each day or an entire week per month. But the reality is that we cannot simply shave 15 minutes per day and then put together a four hour block of time at the end of the week. Yes, cloud and best practice processes can make us more efficient, but we need to move wholesale large tasks and support functions to the cloud. This allows you to free up the large blocks of time, and ultimately shifts time from maintenance work to innovation.
New applications “of the cloud”
By spending more time with our customers we can better understand what they want to achieve and prioritize the projects, as opposed to just fighting the fires or being bombarded with multiple requests that came out of a marketing brainstorming session. With rapid access to cloud resources, IT can guide development and testing for quick prototyping and customer validation.
A Service Catalog provides a single point of capture and feedback for customer requests. Deploying a cloud (SaaS) solution allows us quickly provide a solution for demand management. Service catalogs provide a way for IT to “bookend” the services they offer – thereby effectively communicating what they don’t offer and keeping costs further under control.
By integrating to cloud services, we can also use the Service Catalog to initiate deployment and activation of the new offerings to our customers. This is where classic Service Management comes back into play. Even though it is third on this list, it is actually first in what we must do to create the time and enable IT the time to work with the business.
What we really need from a service management platform is an effective way to not only manage the functional areas of the business but also to model the cost and outcomes for a real world mix of physical, virtual and cloud based capabilities.
Monitoring the payback
Using the mantra that you can’t manage what you can’t measure, understanding service cost is essential to measure the relative effectiveness of services offered. Without a true understanding of the existing cost basis and value to the business we may be moving out of the frying pan into the fire. A new concept is the introduction of service costing applications that allow modeling of fully loaded costs for applications and services for physical, virtual and cloud.
Putting it all together/Summary
By utilizing the cloud to create applications and services, using the cloud to deploy these services and leveraging the cloud to manage the complete lifecycle, we can finally move IT from the unseen world of a distant datacenter to a proactive role facilitating an “idea incubator” for the creation of new revenue.
To read more about what we are doing with IT Service Management visit our blog at ITSMtoday.