As cloud computing has grown and matured, IT departments often find themselves squaring off against the ease and simplicity large public cloud providers offer.
Dick Benton, principal consultant with Glasshouse Technologies, wrote a series of columns for Data Center Knowledge that outlined how IT managers and staff can strategically position themselves successfully in the organization through offering services to meet the needs of the users, and, ultimately, the business.
His first column, Seven Tips to Help Keep IT Competitive, outlined ways to battle back against users buying and deploying servers with a few clicks and a credit card. While users like the efficiency, elasticity and customizability they get from public cloud offerings, what it means is that IT must deliver those same benefits, and in a way that not only improves the quality of services rendered, but delivers higher productivity levels and, ultimately, more revenue.
The other columns dove into the details of each tip:
- First Key to Brokering IT Services Internally: Know What You’ve Got – Internal Cloud delivery is about managing your supply and demand to meet and exceed your internal client’s expectations. Ieams can build a better strategy of service for internal clients and the first step is determining what offerings you do have.
- Second Key to Brokering IT Services Internally: Figure Out What it Costs – You must develop a cost model so you can determine the cost per deployable unit of your compute and storage resources. You don’t have to have a charge-back, but you do need to be able to show costs and report on costed usage.
- Third Key to Brokering IT Services Internally: Create Your Own Menu of Services - Creating the catalog: to compete with the public cloud provider, the internal cloud provider or IT department needs to be able to offer a Web-based capability for consumers to peruse the available offerings, and to select the offering and quantity of their choice.
- Fourth Key to Brokering IT Services Internally: Advertise the Ts and Cs – If enterprise IT organizations are to compete with external cloud providers, they need to follow the providers’ lead such as developing a simple and easy-to-read list of the terms and conditions (Ts and Cs) under which services are supplied.
- Brokering IT Services Internally: Building the Order Process – Typically, when the busy internal consumer seeks access to an IT resource, he or she is faced with a daunting obstacle course of approvals. This post covers how the advent of cloud has changed the ordering and provisioning processes.
- Sixth Key to Brokering IT Services Internally: Prove What You Delivered - How do you prove what you delivered? Without metrics, monitoring and reporting that demonstrate you’ve fulfilled Service Level Agreements (SLAs), your service consumers and your management won’t know that you’ve met your commitments.
- Capturing Client Satisfaction: Seventh Key to Brokering IT Services Internally – What more can IT do? To lock in your new understanding of consumer needs and to stay abreast of trends in these needs, it is essential to include a survey into your processes. This is not just a satisfaction survey vainly seeking confirmation that IT has indeed “done well.” Rather, it’s critical to use this opportunity to ask probing questions to get a handle on how needs are changing and how future offerings might be driven.
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