For years I.T. organized around groups of “like” technical resources. Why? In aligning similar resource skills and tasks (i.e. operations, service assurance, network management, etc) I.T. was able to gain economies of scale; the typical teaming model was designed based on technical specialization. This approach reduced the overhead required to manage multiple teams with cross-functional skill sets, and kept the techies away from the business.
Cloud computing is transforming I.T.
Cloud computing is forcing new service delivery models and new levels of efficiency. Cloud enables automation, self-service and operational improvements, driving I.T. into a more holistic model which has the potential to impact economies of scale.
As an example, take Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). Let’s say someone in the organization thought it would be beneficial to provide a service consisting of storage, network & compute for a project or other need. To provide that infrastructure today there are manual procedures, process all based on policies to get the requested infrastructure service to the consumer. Once the request has been approved by I.T. it is passed off to a delivery team, each team uses their own tool sets to provide security, network, storage, and operating systems, each group attempts to collaborate in parallel in order to deliver the service. The legacy approach takes time and is inefficient, not to mention there is a challenger to I.T.’s service delivery model – Cloud service providers! If I.T. can’t perform, business can threaten to go to a public IaaS vendor.
Cloud provides a way to automate much of the provisioning that is done manually today. Cloud management can enforce policies, trigger automated workflow and provide self-service. To realize this benefit a siloed team must agree to work together using shared tools. These siloed groups, who once acted autonomously, now need to work together using a common tool set to manage resources. If I.T. doesn’t adapt to the winds of change business will pursue choices outside the business.
You need to change, but how do you start?
Technology is the easy part; BMC has the tools that can do this! Taking the next step in the evolution takes more than just tools; there are people and process considerations. You need a roadmap to embrace cloud services and a refined organizational model.
Before moving forward, you will need a clear strategy and architecture plan that defines the roadmap to delivering business services in an automated, self service way. Our approach is to validate and build the strategy via a series of workshops with the key sponsor and stakeholders. In the workshop we face head-on the challenges that may come with implementing a cloud. We identify the solution adoption plan including communication to all stakeholders, training and mentoring plans for all impacted by the approach.
Key stakeholders from the various groups are involved in the planning, including groups such as security, network, storage, compute and others silos possibly impacted by the change. We also run a business track; engaging business champions including marketing, finance, sales. These workshops are all done in an effort to first make people aware of the changes, identify the business value and educating the stakeholders on best practices to jointly come up with a strategy and plan to accomplish the goal.
With the right people, process and tools we can create a robust strategy to help evolved your organization from a siloed approach to a team approach.
John M. Hawkins is the Chief Services Architect for Cloud Strategy & Planning at BMC; he helps clients create the future state Vision/Strategies and Roadmaps to help them realize that vision.