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Will “IT as a Service” be a lifeline for the Internal Service Provider?

The ITIL 2011 Edition Service Strategy core volume defines two types of Internal Service Provider:

“Type I – an Internal Service Provider that is embedded within a Business Unit

Type II – Shared Services Unit, an Internal Service Provider that provides Shared IT services to more than one Business Unit (page 16)

These ISPs are organisational entities that perform a defined set of activities to create and deliver services that support the activities of Business Units” (page 72).

In my experience there is a culture of complacency within Internal Service Providers who have been in a monopolist position for far too long and therefore slow to change.  

Internal Service Providers are coming under increasing pressure to demonstrate that they can deliver value whilst responding to business needs in a flexible and responsive manner.

What is IT as a Service and how can it help Internal Service Providers?


IT as a Service is the transformation of IT to a more business-centric approach, focusing on outcomes such as operational efficiency, competitiveness and rapid response.  This means that the Internal Service Provider must shift focus from producing IT services to optimizing production and consumption of those services in ways consistent with business requirements.

IT as a Service (ITaaS) is a highly virtualized private cloud offering where customers / users can select from a published menu and self-provision IT services on demand.

The IT as a Service capability provides the business customer / user with the ability to:

(a) get on a self-service portal

(b) pull up the available IT services from a service catalog,

(c) choose the level of service required,

(d) provision the services requested,

(e) as necessary, combine them for increased business value using business process and service tools, and

(f) start using the services.

 

Bob Laliberte – Enterprise Strategy Group

At 00:50 – CIO is the broker of IT services with a Business priority first

At 01:20 – An overview of the ITaaS Key Characteristics

Please watch upto 5 minutes

Enabling IT as a Service – CISCO (Dec 2011)

For years, the promise of running IT departments like an internal service provider in an IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) model has been elusive. Frameworks such as ITIL have provided an impetus for this service mentality, but with an emphasis on IT operations and less focus on infrastructure and application development. The result was still a siloed IT environment held together by heroic efforts. The majority of IT spending is dedicated to “Keep The Lights On” activities, hindering IT’s ability to keep up with the pace of business innovation. Enter virtualization and cloud computing: essential building blocks for the agility, flexibility, and “services” focus that IT needs to deliver to the business.

IT as a Service Becoming Commonplace – Nathan Eddy (Oct 2011)

Nearly 75 percent of [survey] respondents believe that the shift to IT as a service (ITaaS) will take place in the next three to five years.

“Users now typically want to obtain a service without having to call and ask someone for it. ITaaS is doing just that—providing a catalogue of services to users and allowing them to self-provision applications.”

Profiting from IT as a Service – Johnson (Dec 2011)

IT as a service turns the data center into a revenue-generator instead of cost center,” said Mike Kaul, CEO of Sentilla Corp., Redwood City, Calif. “But analytics are needed to maximize data center efficiency by measuring performance, utilization, capacity, energy usage and total cost of ownership.”

IT-as-a-Service: Save Money on IT Costs While Improving Quality and Service – Chisolm

Many companies are finding that it is simply too costly to maintain internal comprehensive IT departments. As a result, many CFOs are looking to “IT-as-a-service” – IT resources such as email that are accessed as services – to help lower the total cost of ownership and reduce downtime.

Considering that the use of IT-as-a-service can save your company significant costs, while helping you to remain focused on what you know best–how to run your business–what could be better? Your organization will gain technology peace of mind with always-on IT-as-a-service, and significantly reduce business risk in the process.

IT as a Service Reference Architecture – Harzog (Dec 2010)

IT as a Service is the new name for what used to be called a “Private Cloud” – and it simply means a Private Cloud plus the software required for you to offer IT services on an automated, managed and self-service basis to your constituents. To embark upon an IT as a Service initiative, the most important thing you need is a reference architecture that describes the pieces that you will need to assemble in order to deliver IT as a Service (note- you cannot buy “ITaaS in a box” from any single vendor

At this point in time, there is not an IT as a Service product that you can buy from one vendor. Therefore careful attention needs to be paid to every layer of the proposed reference architecture to make sure that the selected products fit together.

There’s No Need to Reinvent the ITaaS Wheel – Gormley (Jan 2012)

EMC is in transition from a traditional IT operation to a groundbreaking IT-as-a-Service model

Why struggle with every change in a vacuum when you can benefit from the experience of others? The pursuit of ITaaS is a great example of when this makes perfect sense.

IT as a Service Competing for Business – Jon Peirce EMC  (Jul 2011)

IT as a Service is a delivery model that leverages cloud infrastructure to enable business users to be more agile through readily-consumable IT services that have transparent prices and service levels.

While it is built on technology, ITaaS isn’t a technology.  It is an operational model that transforms our traditional approach to IT into a services-based world.

So what does all this mean for the Internal Service Provider organization?

It is imperative that the Internal Service Provider moves from a focus purely on IT service levels to enabling the provisioning of business services. 

To achieve this aim the following capabilities should be established:   

  • Private Cloud Virtualized Platform
  • Secure Multi-Tenancy by partitioning shared virtualized environments
  • Software Provisioning & Lifecycle Management
  • Service Orchestration & Automation
  • Published Service Catalog
  • Robust Configuration & Change Management practices

The Internal Service Provider must address the significant People, Process and Tools changes required to establish the foundations of the “IT as a Service” model.  By doing this the Internal Service Provider will become non-optional.

I believe that Internal Service Providers will eventually be forced to adopt “IT as a Service” as the only way of staying relevant to the Business.

What do you think? – Let me know at whatdoesgoodlooklike@gmail.com or @WDGLL

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A “World Class” Service for the Olympics

The term “World Class” is typically thrown around loosely by Marketing Departments, however the need to exceed customers expectations for the Olympic Games is a given.

At 01:51 the LOCOG (London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games) CEO talks about the Customer Experience, how information will be consumed and how it can be enriched through social media.

Technology will improve access to competition information, as it happens, to audiences worldwide across an increasingly complex network of channels for consumption via multiple platforms.

The IT Service Management organisation that is in place to flawlessly deliver information at the Olympics must have a Zero Tolerance [of failure] policy in place and rigorously tested worst case scenarios, such as a large-scale cyber attack.

So let’s take a look at the Service Model.  Atos Origin is the prime service integrator and is responsible for leading a consortium of IT partners to design, build and operate the mission critical IT infrastructure and solutions that support the 2012 Games.  The Olympic Games are a complex mix of technology, processes and people across multiple partners with many varied dependencies.

A Technology Operations Centre has been established in Canary Wharf.  The TOC monitors and controls the IT systems that deliver the results from all the Olympic competitions to the world’s media in real time. For the London Games, Atos expects to process 30% more results data than in Beijing via the Competition Information System and Olympic Data Feed.

CISCO is providing an end to end borderless network infrastructure to make the Olympic Games the most connected sporting event the world has ever seen.

Let’s hope that the huge worldwide customer demand for consumption of live streaming and multimedia over the web can be met by the London Internet Exchange (LINX} which has 10 Points of Presence across London.

The Testing Programme was completed in late 2011 and the “Final Technical Rehearsal  2” will be executed from Feb to Apr.

01:16 – The Technology required for the Olympics is 10 times bigger than for the World Cup because of the number of simultaneous competitions happening at the same time.

SERVICE TRANSITION

The Service Validation and Testing process is described in the above core volume,  pages 150-174.  The purpose of service validation and testing is to ensure that a new or changed IT service is fit for purpose (Utility) and fit for use (Warranty).

“When validating and testing an end-to-end service, the interfaces to suppliers, customers and partners are important”.

By mapping out the service components in an end-to-end chain and defining where the service boundary lies it is possible to clarify and agree ownership responsibility and who needs to be involved in Service Rehearsals.

A Critical Success Factor (Page 174) states that “Providing evidence that the service assets and configurations have been built and implemented correctly in addition to the service delivering what the customer needs.”

In the event of a Major Incident

Atos has a Major Events Unit which has accumulated extensive and valuable know-how through its involvement with the world’s largest sporting events. This knowledge base is not only limited to the technology, Atos has  gathered an in-depth understanding of the processes, risks, people and issues behind an event.  Moreover BT has also mobilised a Major Incident Team for the Olympics.

 Not Even Good Service Management Practice Let Alone World Class

The decision by LOCOG (London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games) to suspend the resale of tickets via the Ticketmaster website after problems is a possible portend for the future. The comments by the LOCOG CEO where he stated that “some frustration from prospective purchasers is inevitable” is very disappointing.

Whilst the core infrastructure has been tested and the operational readiness of the Technology Operations Centre has been confirmed, I still envisage that there will be service impacting issues due to insufficient end-to-end service acceptance and readiness testing. 

A comprehensive “End-to-End” Service Rehearsal should be conducted.  This exercise will highlight if there are any bottlenecks in the dissemination of information services to the Customer.    

For example, the Mobile Network Operators must provide assurance that video/data services can be delivered with no delay over the 3G infrastructure. 

Another concern that I have is that the Twitter platform will not be able to cope with volumes at peak event times and there will be a significant delay to the delivery of Tweets.   

Top of my worry list is that on the 05th August a global community will be watching the men’s 100m final and any service issues will be unacceptable and adversely impact the reputation of the IOC.

Let’s see how events unfold…

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Fusion 11 – 105 “Creating an actionable Service Catalog”

At the FUSION 11 service management conference on Monday, Andrew Kramer, PMG’s vice president of Customer Solutions, presented the “Creating an Actionable Service Catalog,” session.  It was claimed that this interactive session would clear up the confusion surrounding the service catalog and portfolio management.  Did the presenter clear things up?  

The Service Catalogue is mentioned in section 4.2.4.3 of the Service Strategy core volume Page 173.  This section describes the role of service catalogue in service portfolio management and the relationship between the service portfolio, service pipeline and service catalogue. 

This approach is being overtaken by Cloud Based Services and the need for a Self-Service Catalog as described by Rodrigo Flores from Cisco

Here is what Barclay Rae has to say about designing and defining services for a service catalog.

My opinion is that most Service Providers are stuck in the back office where it is still about defining a set of IT Services (email, print etc.).  What the customer really values is the ATM full of cash on Friday and Saturday nights especially at month end.  A Service Catalog should link customers with the outcomes they desire.

I had a chat with the Axios guys in Scotland (BK,MS,JB) this week.  They kindly sent me a slide deck that shows that they “get it”.  Here is an example of a Business Template it refers to HR processes.

 ..and their thinking around the portal as a self service online service [shopping] catalogue.

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