With more and more companies adopting cloud, the opportunity has never been greater for IT to transform into a service-oriented organization and grow the business it serves. According to IDG research, more than one third of current IT budgets are allocated to cloud solutions. However, in their haste to adopt the cloud, CIOs may be missing an opportunity: the chance to use this transition to reshape IT.
As chief architect for HP Software, I’ve worked with many customers on their journey to adopting cloud services. So I’ve seen firsthand how organizations can make the transition from slow-moving DIY shops to agile business partners. How does this happen? IT needs to become hyper-focused on innovation and offload whatever distracts from this goal. And IT needs to get ruthless about sourcing. Find someone else to provide the non-differentiated services, otherwise it will be a struggle to differentiate the products the enterprise sells. This means you must look at the services IT provides with a view to the overall service lifecycle. With this approach you can increase the velocity of IT service delivery and operate efficiently, without sacrificing governance.
To help customers as they integrate cloud into their IT environments, I co-authored a white paper titled “Succeed in the cloud with service lifecycle management.” Below are five steps taken from the white paper to help you gain maximum value from your hybrid cloud integration.
#1: Specify the benefits you expect from the hybrid delivery model
For customers, the advantages of a hybrid delivery model are many. For example, you can expect speedy deployment of resource pools, the ability to swap capex for opex, the flexibility to choose suppliers, and better information availability at a lower price. However, what IT does not realize is that by shifting to a hybrid delivery model, the IT organization can accelerate innovation.
With the cloud, innovation doesn’t have to be a huge project. Rather, small teams with small budgets can innovate with the full cooperation of the IT department.
#2: Implement a governance framework that allows you to manage your new operating model
One of the under-valued benefits of hybrid delivery and cloud is supplier decoupling. Just like a restaurant can change butchers if the meat is subpar, the IT organization can swap suppliers in days. Depending on business needs, the retained IT organization can pick and choose its suppliers.
What this does is create a services supply chain that is composite, dynamic, and constantly shifting based on business needs. The old, monolithic operating model can’t provide enough flexibility. Thus, supply chain management and service integration, together with good governance, are a must.
#3: Rationalize who should deliver which services
In the hybrid delivery model, IT builds upon certain core competencies while allowing others to take over the rest. To do this, the IT organization needs to determine which workloads, applications, and services are “strategic” and which are “contextual.” or non-differentiating. The resulting competency matrix forms the foundation for IT’s new business architecture, built upon service lifecycle management (SLM) principles.
While cost is paramount, other factors such as ease of integration and migration flexibility should play a role in decision making. Once the services have been categorized according to the organization’s strategy and business dependencies, you can build the value network that delivers the services.
#4: Develop competencies
Developing competencies begins with an integration of all assets, thus building something the organization uses to create value. Competencies will continue to thrive in the hybrid model when IT expands their scope from traditional change, configuration, or incident management to other areas such as demand management, strategy generation, service portfolio management, and service catalog management. IT also needs to shift the way it manages this expansion and should only be satisfied when a process-focused methodology (such as ITIL) leads to new competencies that deliver tangible business results.
#5: Transition to the new model incrementally
In general, it makes sense to get started on the path to hybrid delivery with relatively low-value or low-risk services, or with applications that fully exploit the advantages of the cloud. This can provide an easy inroad to a hybrid delivery model. Many customers also begin with a private cloud for development and test environments until they establish a real use case where a hybrid delivery model can be developed, tested, and refined.
For more information, read the full white paper, “Succeed in the cloud with service lifecycle management,” or visit www.hp.com/go/cloudconsulting.