Tag Archives: ITIL 2011 Edition

Will the new ITIL Practitioner qualification create trained Specialists or Generalists?

ITIL Practitioner level is being developed to help organizations and individuals increase the value they obtain from using ITIL by offering additional practical guidance to adopt and adapt the framework to support the business. It will be the next step after ITIL Foundation for professionals who have already learned the basics of IT Service Management (ITSM) and the business value of well-designed and delivered services.

Addressing the demand from ITSM practitioners and organizations of all sizes worldwide, the first ITIL Practitioner exam will be available globally by the end of 2015 and will equip ITSM professionals with added practical guidance to enhance leveraging ITIL in line with their organizations’ business goals.

Key points of ITIL Practitioner

  • Providing practical guidance on how individuals can leverage Continual Service Improvement (CSI) to maximize the benefits of adoption and adaption of ITIL.
  • Aiming to improve the capability of individuals throughout the business, to adopt and adapt ITIL in their day-to-day roles to generate maximum business benefits.
  • Making use of technological capabilities, such as automation, real-time reporting and Cloud computing, to increase the quality of service design and the efficiency of service delivery.
  • Leveraging other frameworks and good practices and methodologies – such as Lean, DevOps, Agile and SIAM – to further enhance the value of ITSM.

specialist v generalist

There is a well known saying that describes the difference between a specialist and a generalist?

A specialist knows more and more about less and less until eventually he or she knows everything about nothing.

A generalist knows less and less about more and more until eventually he or she knows nothing about everything.

So let’s compare the Specialist with the Generalist?

  • Specialists typically make more money because they are seen as IT Service Management Subject Matter Experts who are sought after for the value they can deliver.
  • Specialists get famous faster for the contribution they make to the IT Service Management community and body of knowledge.
  • Clients trust Specialists more as they have proven experience and credentials that back up previous projects that have been successfully delivered.
  • Specialists develop deeper skills because they correctly identify which skills will be in demand 2-3 years ahead of need and get involved in the early adopter phase of new initiatives e.g. ServiceNow “Outside the Walls”

Generalists are seen as individuals who are adept at understanding the wider context and what the Business aims to achieve. It is perceived that generalists are better at putting the pieces together to make sense of how it all works so that they are better able to navigate uncertainty.

One way to think of a world of specialists, according to Vikram Mansharamani all the specialist content in the world is meaningless without putting it in the proper context — and that context tends to be provided by generalists. A great generalist’s breadth of knowledge helps link new breakthroughs and technologies to existing ideas.

how google works

“Fundamentally, we’re focused on learning animals or generalists as opposed to specialists. And the main reason is that when you’re in a dynamic industry where the conditions are changing so fast, then things like experience and the way you’ve done a role before isn’t nearly as important as your ability to think.

So generalists, not specialists, is a mantra that we have internally that we try to stick pretty closely to. Specialists tend to bring an inherent bias to a problem, and they often feel threatened by new solutions.” LINK

It is generally accepted that new ideas and innovation are the result of connectedness and collaboration across a wide body of knowledge that is not limited to a particular area of specialisation.

Looking ahead a combination of knowledgeable specialists and generalists is required to help shape the future direction of the practice for the benefit of all practitioners for example the itSMFBig4 Agenda item Service Management of the Future for the benefit of practitioners at all levels.

Profit

What is driving the introduction of the new ITIL Practitioner qualification given that it introduces a new exam in an already congested certification scheme such that a new Training Navigator is required?

Screen shot 2015-03-22 at 14.46.02

The 2014 ITIL exam results LINK to PDF to view table above indicate that we may have reached saturation point for ITIL examinations.

I have been at several events where I am consistently told that we were told to complete ITIL Foundation training.

I will never forget the animated CIO who told me that “We do ITIL” because he had sent 500 individuals across the globe on ITIL Foundation training.

What do I think is the ITIL Practitioner qualification Revenue Opportunity?

Axelos is working on an Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme which will create and establish lifelong personal brand value by enabling individuals to stay current in their knowledge and protect the investment they have made in the AXELOS Global Best Practice qualifications.

Global delivery will continue to be overseen by global strategic partners and Axelos recently announced that the big six Examination Institutes (EIs) APMG, BCS, CSME, EXIN, LOYALIST, PEOPLECERT have extended their contracts for a further three years from January 2015.

This video clip describes the all in $250 price for the ITIL Foundation Course & ITIL Exam Bundle linked to LOYALIST Certification Services.

The new ITIL Practitioner qualification must be immersive so that virtual study groups can be formed to discuss and agree Continual Service Improvement plans that deliver quick wins and chart the 60, 90, 180 day view.

These virtual study teams will connect via Mobile App, e-Learning, Simulation, Gamification and SocMedia.

My rough order of magnitude estimate for 2016, when the new ITIL Practitioner qualification is introduced, is a conservative 200,000 individuals will take the exam so if the ATOs have designed a low cost offering yet charge a £600 combined course and exam bundle that equates to a £120M training market just for one new course.

So metrics drive behaviours and maximizing training revenues is the key driver for Axelos growth plans which is OK as long as the IT Service Management community profit for contributing their ideas, know how to ITIL Practitioner training content and share in the rewards.

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Gartner research note sets out how the Cloud Services Brokerage market will grow

Cloud Services Brokerages Challenge Traditional IT Service Providers for Cloud Services Delivery

There is confusion about why the term “cloud services brokerage” is needed when traditional IT services firms already embrace an array of cloud services. We examine why we need the term “cloud services brokerage” in cloud computing and the broader traditional IT services market.

Tiffani Bova | Daryl C. Plummer

Published: 1 May 2012 ID:G00233235

Key Finding

  • Cloud services brokerage (CSB) defines a role and key value propositions for new cloud-enabled IT services offerings that the market is demanding.
  • CSBs have cloud at the center of their solutions and business models, whereas traditional IT services providers are transforming and transitioning their portfolios to include cloud services. CSBs won’t likely offer traditional application and infrastructure services without the presence of at least one cloud service.
  • Many traditional IT services providers are struggling to define their path in cloud services, as they face challenges in delivery, growth and profitability, without undoing their core business, which has been immensely successful and profitable.
  • CSBs do not eliminate the roles that IT services providers have played and will continue to play in the market. Instead, CSBs are focused on providing seamless and flexible access to multiple cloud services (many of which may reduce costs or complexity around consuming multiple cloud services). CSBs will introduce more competition and place more pressure on existing, and sometimes incumbent, providers to reduce scope, scale and complexity in their offerings.
  • Understanding the value that a CSB provides by consuming multiple cloud services gives internal IT leaders who are driving cloud adoption a focused way to understand what they should be focused on. Also, it gives traditional IT services providers guidance on which IT service roles will be most affected by cloud.
  • Many traditional IT services providers are pursuing cloud services as new offerings; however, these are not the same roles that will drive the growth of a composite CSB market. A CSB plays a specific role within the cloud services value chain and is not required in all instances.

Recommendations

  • Sourcing, vendor managers and CIOs: If cloud services are the center of a desired solution, then use the CSB select/evaluation criteria versus the traditional IT services criteria (see “Essential Provider Selection Criteria to Use When Outsourcing the CSB Role”), because the CSB attributes address a different set of requirements.
  • When planning your overall cloud strategy, taking into consideration the most effective and efficient acquisition and support model should include the option of leveraging a CSB, especially if you plan to consume more than three different cloud services.
  • Develop internal IT skills that are focused on business process management and how a cohesive hybrid IT environment can deliver expected business results.

Analysis

CSB is a term that describes the market, model and role that support the intermediation between cloud services and cloud consumers. This intermediation, and a definition of the term, is described in detail in “Cloud Services Brokerage is Dominated by Three Primary Roles.” Also brokerage, as a business component, emerges whenever a service provider-service consumer model is established (see “The Role of CSB in the Cloud Services Value Chain”). Stock brokers, real-estate brokers, travel brokers and third-party advisory/intermediary firms represent simple and well-known examples of a brokerage. The existence of brokerage models is not in question. However, the issue arises in the IT sector, when trying to compare the brokerage models with traditional IT service models. This research examines the reasons that “brokerage” as a term and a concept in cloud computing is necessary and useful. It will allow us to distinguish when traditional IT service language and approaches are good enough versus when cloud services brokerage language is more appropriate (see Note 2). This research offers traditional IT services providers and end-user organizations guidance on how new CSBs will position themselves in the market to differentiate from the traditional IT services provider.

IT Services Were Here First

One complaint that brokerage naysayers advocate is that the language of brokerage (e.g., aggregation brokerage, integration brokerage and customization brokerage) is already covered by traditional roles such as technology aggregator, solutions aggregator, system integrator (SI), independent software vendor (ISV) or distributor. They argue that there is no need for new terminology to describe what is already being done by these providers. Some traditional aggregators even go so far as to say they do not like the term “broker” because it minimizes their value into something that can be quickly commoditized. We respectfully suggest that traditional language is not always appropriate when applied to cloud-based solutions (see Note 1). The differences in the cloud model identify significant differences in how aggregation, integration and so forth must be done to deliver on the cloud computing value proposition of agility, efficiency, new capabilities and reduced cost. Traditional IT services providers often have access to, and can make direct changes to, specific technologies, which is not necessarily true in cloud delivered services (such as software as a service [SaaS], platform as a service, infrastructure as a service, and business process as a service).

Because cloud providers do not generally allow a third party to have general access to all back-end systems, code, technologies, or even visibility into how the service is built or architected, the ability to have (implementation or integration) control, is severely limited. This represents a major difference, for example, in how one must approach integration in the cloud versus on-premises, custom-built implementations.

We Must Use More-Effective Terms When Describing Changes to Markets

In the cloud brokerage world, the new terminology is intended specifically to introduce the concept of three or more independent parties (provider, consumer and broker) working together, where no one of them has complete control over the actions of the others. Brokers intermediate rather than control; Traditional SIs, ISVs and aggregators control more often than intermediate. In the cloud, intermediation is more about coordinating the inputs and outputs of multiple services, rather than about controlling how their technology is implemented. This highlights the core difference. Using the traditional IT services language can imply that a certain level of technology control or assurance is available in the cloud when it is not. Neither the integration brokerage nor the consumer controls the technologies or the business workings of the original cloud service providers whose services are being integrated. In this way, cloud brokerages are responsible and must manage the risk of failure, low service quality, inadequate security assurance, and liability between providers and consumers — all through a relationship in which the brokerage is the customers’ single point-of-contact for multiple cloud services, even where they have little control over certain outcomes.

However, at no point does Gartner suggest that cloud services brokerage should replace traditional IT services or minimize them. Instead, we offer CSB as a set of roles (within a composite CSB market and using CSB models) that can be adopted by traditional IT services companies whenever they need to add additional value to cloud services on behalf of their customers (such as hybrid cloud solutions, or integrated cloud services). For example, the SI role and the CSB aggregation role are not the same, but they represent complementary approaches to solving customer problems in managing products or services from multiple providers. A CSB must interact with at least one or more cloud service, otherwise the term is inappropriate and the CSB would continue to be considered a traditional IT services provider because it was providing integration services.

Also, other differences are worth noting. Gartner has identified six key differences that make CSB something more and less than traditional IT services.

No. 1: The Buyers Can Be Different

Cloud brokerages will have buyers ranging from individual consumers to small or midsize businesses (SMBs) and large enterprises. This range of buyers is seldom served by traditional IT services providers exclusively.

No. 2: The Cloud Brokerage Cannot Modify the Actual Service Implementation or Own the Technology

In traditional IT service scenarios, the SI usually has access to, and sometimes complete control over, the technology within the provider solutions that they are delivering. The potential removal of that control places different burdens on the integration brokerage, which has to integrate or aggregate services it has little ability to change.

No. 3: The Technology Used for Integration, Customization and Management Can Be Different as Can the Integration Scenarios

CSBs may use different technology than the traditional system integrators employ to deliver solutions to their customers. These technologies not only require different skills to use, they apply to different kinds of integration scenarios. Federation, API management, governance (for policy management and enforcement), and offline asynchronous access are among the simple differences. Cloud brokerage technologies for integration and governance in shared multitenant environments account for more than half of the difficulty in integrating cloud services, as opposed to on-premises technologies.

No. 4: The Contract Is Managed Differently

Although the relationship management side of purchasing cloud services will remain relatively the same as traditional IT purchases, the CSB model will lessen the need for high-touch, high-trust relationship-intensive models when it comes to contracting with all the individual cloud service providers that customers choose to work with.

Cloud contracts will typically involve multiple companies that are given assurances only through the contract that may rely on outcomes to manage. In other words, a cloud integration brokerage must integrate services where the only guarantee of performance or availability is through the established SLA agreed on in the customer contract or the brokerage agreement.

Although this happens at times in traditional technology integration, in the cloud, the added restrictions makes it much more difficult to get detailed information about the system underlying the services being integrated, which can cause significant risk for CSBs.

Establishing who is to blame for a problem is an extraordinary challenge for customers and brokerages alike. It is critical that CSBs keep their focus on demand/experience fulfillment, and responsiveness to incidents/issues to ensure that the relationship is consistently supported by a positive experience.

No. 5: The Channel for Cloud Brokerage May Be Widely Different Than Those Established for Traditional System Integrators

Selling through and with other channels adds a layer of complexity to the CSB role. Determining the best way to market will drive increased adoption. However, in the cloud service value chain, the suppliers and distributors will often be new entrants to the market with relatively unknown capabilities and brands.

No. 6: There Are New Cloud Specialists

This may be the most important reason for having new terminology. New cloud specialists that do brokerage, integration, customization and aggregation do not necessarily come from the traditional IT services world and do not associate themselves with it (see “Who’s Who in Cloud Service Brokerage”). They approach customers with different marketing messages. They have different technical and business-related skills, establish new value propositions, generally have well-established partner ecosystems dominated by third-party cloud-native IT providers, demand new types of relationships (with providers and customers) based on cloud-centric innovation and business models, and use new technologies and integration scenarios to provide cloud-based solutions.

The Impact

Cloud computing is moving fast (“Forecast: Public Cloud Services, Worldwide and Regions, Industry Sectors, 2010-2015, 2011 Update”). The influx of new cloud specialists is helping in the adoption, however there is still a significant skill gap for providers that have cloud experience and internal domain expertise for implementing and integrating multiple cloud services (see “Cloud Adoption at Risk Without Big Channel Investments”) broadly across the market.

Gartner predicts that the number of CSBs that will go for scale and large market reach will be in the hundreds worldwide, and include communications services providers, IT wholesale distributors, retailers and large direct market resellers (to name a few) because they have the existing customer relationships with a majority of the SMB market and are pushing for greater relevance in cloud. This is not to say that others won’t become CSBs, which are more locally focused on vertical markets or segments and keep their offerings to a tightly managed set of services.

Companies taking on the CSB role are expected to handle certain scenarios that would previously have primarily been the domain only he traditional IT services providers. This suggests that there is some urgency to either capture market share in the cloud for those original providers before new companies do it, or that traditional providers will likely acquire the new cloud specialists that are brokerages, to fill out their cloud portfolio. One other option is that companies need to do it before the original cloud service providers acquire new cloud specialists to fill out their new cloud channel ecosystem.

Conclusion

The relationship between CSBs and other types of IT services sourcing and delivery models can be confusing. In particular, the question is often asked: What is the difference between CSBs and traditional IT services offerings?

For clients who have followed Gartner’s cloud research, certainly both terms include similar concepts, since brokerage deals with aggregation, integration, custom development, or even governance/management of cloud services are also attributes of traditional IT services providers’ offerings.

The answer for IT providers and buyers of cloud services lies in examining what is different enough about cloud computing to warrant the CSB term. Service providers need a mental framework for deciding how to migrate services to the cloud, while consumers of cloud services would benefit from the same mental framework to be used in helping them decide how to pick the right cloud brokerage providers.

Please not that the above text is not a complete version of the research note most of the six key differences have been edited.

Cloud Service Model

Key difference No.4 – The Contract Is Managed Differently

The traditional approach to managed services is to create a thin retained layer or carve out responsibility to the procurement capability for oversight and governance of the Service Provider.

With the Cloud new Service Delivery models will evolve and the role of the Cloud Service Broker will be to stitch the end-to-end service value chain together.  The complication with these new ways of working is that the CSB has limited control of the service provided to the Business.

I do not agree with Tiffani / Daryl that the answer lies in a Service Level Agreement with defined penalties.  This will not enable the CSB to provide predictable service levels.

What is required is a refresh of the way that Service Management Practices will enable the Business, Retained IT and the CSB to review Business Outcomes instead of service metrics and process measures.

For example – the cloud enables elasticity and can provide capacity on demand to process  a significant volume of invoices during peak periods where previously they may have been stuck in the system or a backlog built up.

For me, a Cloud Service Model means that utility / warranty (defined in the ITIL 2011 Edition Service Strategy core volume)  is delivered from a “Black Box” so rather than focus on managing the CSB the Service Management role will need to become a hybrid manager and focus on enabling Business Change.

Most service organisations already have a Business Relationship Manager role, however these individuals will need to shift their attention away from just Portfolio and Demand Management more towards presenting options to the Business that demonstrate how the Cloud platform can bring new solutions to the table.

Innovative Cloud Solutions

The cloud enables you to think beyond the traditional

You have to make cloud transformative for your Business

If you’re not thinking out of the box you are not really thinking about the cloud in the right way

 You are not doing the things that the cloud makes possible

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Perspectives on Service Management Practices

Service Management Perspectives

Webinar on Friday 16-MAR-12

Ian Clayton (Principal – Service Management 101) and Kenneth Gonzalez “KENGON” (Managing Partner – Engaged Consulting)

Ian and Ken shared their perspectives in an informal manner.

Subject Matter

  • Fall from C-Level grace of ITSM, BSM and ITIL
  • How to successfully develop a service catalog
  • Next Generation Talk – what is around the corner?  Drop the IT from the front of ITSM
  • Framework Wars – futility of COBIT vs ITIL argument proposing that one is better than the other

Fall from C-Level grace of  ITSM, BSM and ITIL

Causes and Consequences

So what happened to the promise of ITIL and ITSM, why have they fallen from grace?

Dropping the IT from ITSM is not going to make a difference.

Need to explain ITSM and set senior stakeholder expectations.  Service Management applied to IT

What are the immediate and future consequences?

Budgets are constrained so explore concept of Quick Wins – which are only true if the customer declares it a quick win

Putting things in 30, 60 and 90 day containers is important.  Chop transformation project up into small bits

Build customer centric outcomes

There are so many sources of guidance that can be mined

Collaborate with communities of practice to solicit others viewpoints – LinkedIn, #Back2ITSM, #USMBOK etc.

How to successfully develop a service catalog

What is the definition of a service that a customer will recognise?

Example Product Catalogue.  Relates to a customer scenario and what they are doing on a daily basis

A service is a type of product

Bundling and Unbundling services

Build a service request catalog

Service offerings are different based on which customer segment is utilising it

Next Generation Talk

Is it time to press reset on the service management button?

Is it you or your management who have pressed the button?

How is what you have implemented working for you right now?

Define and agree what do you need

Practitioners believe that we need to do things differently.  Update or refresh our thinking

It is important to explore thinking and methods used by successful service provider organisations as a blueprint for next generation service management

Conversation is more vibrant around Next Generation.

We are not saying that anything is wrong however we must keep on the move – keep pace

Make sure are tools are sharp and training is even sharper

Do we need to press the reset button?  No we need a mechanism for maintaining momentum

Framework Wars

Futility of COBIT vs ITIL proposing that one is better than another

It is the height of lunacy to only choose one.

How do we compare and contrast guidance in order to apply it more effectively

Frameworks must be compared against the same criteria

Position USMBOK – 90% of which is outside of IT.  USMBOK – this is the language that I use

Customer centric thinking Outside-In conversation

What I consistently hear from clients is that ITIL is a dirty word because the significant project cost did not deliver the stated benefits or culture change.  The PINK folks talk about Attitudes, Behaviours and Culture.  Listen to what Troy has to say:  

Practitioner Radio Episode 21

Culture & ITSM Transformation Projects

Troy DuMoulin LINK

I agree that removing the IT from ITSM is not a panacea for all ills.  Service Management is not the exclusive domain of the IT organisation rather Customer Service Management, Field Service Management and Supply Chain Service Management have been around just as long.

How about we focus on defining and agreeing upon the set of Service Management Practices which become the overarching theme (roof) that sits above the different process frameworks (pillars).  (ITIL 2011 Edition, COBIT5, ISO/IEC 38500, ISO/IEC 20000, USMBOK, TIPU etc.)   

Service Management Practices aim to strengthen the focus on ‘Business and IT integration’ and also recognise the need for management of IT throughout the complete service lifecycle. 

You would not play a round of golf with only one club in your bag, so I agree with Ken that “it is the height of lunacy to choose one” over another framework.

 Internal / External Service providers should strive to achieve Service Excellence by choosing from a smorgasbord of good (not best) practice guidance rather than eat from the one dish.  Sitting at the table with the Business to talk about the desired outcomes they value is a given.  

“The Outside-In Service Management™ (OI-SM) program helps service organizations apply “Outside-In” thinking to service management initiatives, ensuring customer centricity, customer thinking, and the creation of value for customers.”

I have not religiously applied “Outside-In” to my client projects choosing to stay with proven Six Sigma Voice of the Customer [VOC] principles.  Basically the Voice of the Customer is a term that is used to describe the process of finding out what your customers want and need. This is accomplished by using surveys, stakeholder focus groups, workshops and actual interviews with your customers. 

In addition, Lean Six Sigma for Service also sets out the way to focus on customers.  LINK

A common mistake that I see with problem projects is that there is no concept of a joint Business and IT implementation team.  Moreover the delivery of stated benefits is not reviewed regularly with the customer and formal sign-off obtained before the project advances to the next stage.

Cracking video from the Process Excellence Network

It is about what your organisation does for Customers

[youtube http://youtu.be/8ckn9KjkgK0]

Process excellence improves the way you create and deliver value to customers,

In a Service Economy what you make is not the differentiator, it’s WHAT YOU DO and HOW YOU DO IT

02:22 You must understand and deliver what your customer needs better than your competitors

“No one knows everything, but everyone can learn something”

Sean Gregory Derrick

Have fun out in the market.  My next post will be after Easter

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Journey from IT to Empowered Business Technology

The Brightalk folks organised another set of super Wednesday webinars.

The subject that caught my eye was entitled “The new normal for IT Management” and was presented by Forrester analyst Eveline Oehrlich.

Here is the LINK but please note that you may have to register in order to view the webinar.

The key messages that I took away from her presentation were as follows:

Clients are buckling up on IT Consulting spend which is down from 11% last year to 6%

The Business is bypassing IT and building their own Shadow IT capabilities.

Shadow IT is the BYOD [Bring Your Own Device], on demand software applications and customised services that sit outside the control of the traditional IT organization.

This means that collaboration between the Business and internal / external service providers is critical to success.

We are on a journey from IT to empowered Business Technology innovation.

What is Empowered Business Technology?

The empowered era has brought about a paradigm shift for IT organizations. Employees and customers are no longer relying on IT to provision and manage technology. They are using social, mobile, cloud, and video technologies to bypass IT.

Forrester believes that these changes bring a unique opportunity for CIOs to step up and transform their IT organizations into influential and critical business partners. The voyage will not be easy for many CIOs, and it will require a completely different mindset, organizational competency, governance model, and sourcing strategy.

How CIOs can enable an empowered Business

Forrester sees three forces reshaping IT by 2020: the explosion of business-ready, self-service technologies; the growing influence of a tech-savvy, self-sufficient workforce; and a radically new business market shaped by emerging economies that will soon dwarf the established ones. These may not sound like IT concerns, but they will profoundly affect how IT is viewed.

In the past, when new waves of technology swept into our businesses-beginning with PCs in the 1980s and continuing to today’s self-service technologies-the reaction has been a pendulum swinging between centralized, industrialized IT and decentralized, embedded IT.

Businesses must move to a model we call Empowered Business Technology (BT), which embeds enabling technology innovation into the business while providing just enough centralized coordination and oversight to meet enterprise wide goals and control costs.

Empowered BT lets businesses pursue opportunities with grassroots solutions while still balancing enterprise concerns.

Key to success is the interplay between four new meta-roles:

  • Visionaries, who look for new tech-enabled business opportunities;
  • Consultants, who provide on-demand expertise to turn these ideas into reality;
  • Integrators, who connect innovative solutions to each other and to core systems; and
  • Sustainability experts, who ensure solutions are scalable and sustainable in the enterprise.

These roles are combined with a new operating model based on guidelines, mentoring and inspection. Each business organization will fill these roles in their unique way.

What does this mean to CIOs?

First, work with your business colleagues to determine how radical a change your company envisions so you know what priority to place on transforming IT. Then work with the innovators in your company to craft a firm-specific vision and begin working toward it. To do this right, IT needs to embrace business ownership of technology decisions. As CIO, you should be poised to help your company profit from the massive change that’s afoot in the business climate.

Alex Cullen and James Staten are vice presidents at Forrester Research.

Beyond alignment a road map for business centric CIOs

by Nigel Fenwick with Khalid Kark, Lauren Blackburn

Extracts from the Full Article

Forrester characterizes the change in how CIOs must think about the emerging role of IT as part of the customer-value ecosystem as a move toward “empowered business technology.”

CIOs have successfully implemented any one or more of a wide range of frameworks, methodologies, and practices such as ITIL, COBIT, ISO 17799, CMM, PRINCE, MSP, PMBOK, Balanced Scorecard, and Six Sigma.

Yet despite all of these frameworks to run IT (or in some cases perhaps because of them), business units within our organizations continue to feel that IT cannot respond fast enough to needs of the business.

EMPOWERED BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY WILL RADICALLY CHANGE THE CURRENT IT ORGANIZATIONAL MAKEUP

The successful CIO in the age of the customer will possess equal measures of business competency and technical understanding; will be a skilled communicator and a passionate leader, equally comfortable meeting customers and executives; and will be obsessed about customers. For tomorrow’s CIOs, an MBA will provide a stronger educational foundation than a degree in computer sciences.

And not all of today’s IT employees will feel comfortable moving toward empowered BT. Some roles, like business relationship managers, will evolve into more pivotal roles for IT’s success, while others, such as application development and operations have already started moving out of IT. While IT will still develop applications within an empowered BT environment, and operations will still maintain server farms and networks, more and more of these roles will shift toward vendor-provided solutions and services.

So what is my take on the journey from IT to Empowered Business Technology.

If you look back to any Investment Banking Trading Floor a few years ago you will have found a myriad of very high specification personal computer hardware sitting under peoples desks.  These configurations allowed the analyst to have full access and control of their custom applications and data.

About 5 years ago Hedge Funds needed more raw compute power for their Algo / Quants Trading so the Business would order in more blade servers and storage required to gain a competetive edge.  The IT folks would only find out about the new kit when it arrived on-site.

These are but two examples of old school “Shadow IT”.

What is different about the new normal is that the Business can now purchase and consume complete end to end solutions.  For example Salesforce CRM or Workday “Software-as-a-Service”.  This means that the portfolio of services that IT provide is being eroded and there is a real risk that IT will be left running legacy applications (Keep the Lights On / Keep the Show On the Road}

I definitely agree that the Business Relationship Manager or Business Partner role is a pivotal one.  The role is described in the ITIL 2011 Edition Service Strategy Core Volume.  

Going forward all IT organisations will need the BRM to sit at the intersection between Business and Technology.  This means that the BRM must be involved in Investment decisions and the prioritisation of Business projects.  Please note that there is no such thing as an IT project there are Business projects with Technology components.    

The immediate challenge we face in making the journey from IT to empowered business technology is to define, agree and implement just enough centralised co-ordination and governance oversight.  

I recommend that you look to COBIT5 for guidance on how to define Enterprise and IT related goals in order to stay relevant. Link to the Reference Guide.

Finally let’s hear what Forrester has to say about the age of the customer and the need to focus on customer facing processes / customer data.

Sharyn Leaver spends much of her time advising CIOs and firmly believes that the CIO can drive innovation because they are able to take a cross functional view

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Do metrics / KPIs help deliver real Business benefit?

This week Robert E Stroud posted a message asking whether #itil or #iso20000 metrics were more important in your organization.

RT @wdgll @RobertEStroud ITIL KPIs too broad. ISO20000 reqs are too easy. My choice is COBIT 5 where you are on the ISACA board so u know
@wdgll I am looking forward to #Cobit5 – it will assist business and IT to drive value whilst effectively managing #risk  
So what does the ITIL 2011 Edition have to say.  Continual Service Improvement core volume states that the treatment of service measurement and service reporting has been clarified. Because all processes have an element of measurement and reporting embedded within them, service measurement and service reporting are not considered to be processes.
 

Metric definition – (ITIL Continual Service Improvement) Something that is measured and reported to help manage a process, IT service or activity.

[youtube http://youtu.be/z5N-vPPP8SQ]

Malcolm Fry talks about the power of metrics. IT measures what we can do rather than what we can achieve.  IT must set targets that make sense to the Business.

KPI definition – (ITIL Continual Service Improvement) (ITIL Service Design) A metric that is used to help manage an IT service, process, plan, project or other activity. Key performance indicators are used to measure the achievement of critical success factors. Many metrics may be measured, but only the most important of these are defined as key performance indicators and used to actively manage and report on the process, IT service or activity. They should be selected to ensure that efficiency, effectiveness and cost effectiveness are all managed.

Achieving ISO/IEC 20000. Making Metrics Work – Jenny Dugmore and Shirley Lacy.  This book gives a practical view of metrics and service reports and explains their importance in delivering an effective service and to service improvements.

COBIT 5 describes Enterprise Goal Metrics and IT Related Goal Metrics.  Here is an example of the goals and metrics:

Enterprise Goal – Agile response to a changing businesss environment.

Enterprise Metric – Level of Board satisfaction with enterprise responsiveness to new requirements

IT Related Goal – Adequate use of applications, information and technology solutions

IT Related Metric – Percent of business process owners satisfied with supporting IT products and services

Regardless of whether a service organisation is measuring performance using metrics (efficiency, effectiveness) or KPIs the metrics that matter most are those that are aligned to Business outcomes.  A business metric is any type of measurement used to gauge some quantifiable component of a company’s performance, such as return on investment (ROI), employee and customer churn rates, revenues, and so on.

When a service organisation has identified and deployed the right capabilities major transformation is possible.  Here is an example: 

[youtube http://youtu.be/Ny5S8Kt7Txw]

The key stakeholders for any Transformation programme must be the CFO and the COO.  GBS has freed up $560-$690m of value

It is recommended that a service provider take an “Outside In” approach in order to define and agree the metrics that matter most to the Business. 

To all you Business Relationship Managers or Business Partners, I recommend that you become familiar with the Goals and Metrics set out in the COBIT 5 Process Reference Guide.  This will better enable you to focus on delivering real  benefits to the Business.

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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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What is my Cloud Computing Strategy?

At its most basic level, Cloud Computing allows users to obtain computing capabilities through the internet, regardless of their physical location.  Computing clouds are in essence online huge datacentres containing thousands of servers hosting web applications.  Cloud services from infrastructure to complete business processes can be purchased through web interfaces and turned on and off as they are needed.

Most Business and IT senior executives are aware of the benefits that cloud computing can bring – capital light, lower run costs, agility and faster time to market – all enabled by flexible access to applications and processing power on a pay-per-use basis.

 Red Flag 1 – The discretionary (Variable) and non-discretionary (Fixed – Keep The Lights On) cost management pressure that business place on IT will increase to become the new normal.  In addition use of an IT resource no longer depends on having the capital to own it.  The business is able to source, scale and deliver compute capacity unbound of physical location or labour thanks to the cloud.  

Red Flag 2 – Business Units are already choosing third party cloud vendors and bypassing the in-house IT function, which they find to be too slow, bureaucratic and difficult to work with.  While IT remains cautious, business users have fully embraced Cloud based services. Cloud usage in the enterprise today is widespread and uncontrolled, with security and audit implications.

 It is important to revisit the IT Strategy to incorporate the cloud and the new services it will enable.  With this in mind what guidance is available to help formulate the strategy?  The most common frameworks are ITIL, ISO 38500 and COBIT 5.

ITIL 2011 Edition – Service Strategy

“Strategy Management for IT services (page 136) is intended for managing the strategy of a service provider: it will include a specification of the types of service it will deliver, the customers of those services and the overall business outcomes to be achieved when the service provider executes the strategy.”

“Strategy Management ensures that all stakeholders are represented in deciding the appropriate direction of the organisation and that they all agree on its objectives and the means whereby resources, capabilities and investments are prioritized.”

Figure 4.3 The strategy management process (page 138) illustrates the Assessment, Generation and Execution phases.

Appendix C – Service Strategy and the Cloud (Page 387)

“The basic principle of the cloud is that whatever IT service or utility a customer needs can be provided directly using the internet (or intranet) on a pay-per-use basis.  Customers do not see, nor do they care, how the services are created and delivered.”

ISO/IEC 38500 Corporate governance of information technology

“The objective of ISO 38500 is to provide a structure of principles for directors (including owners, board members, directors, partners and senior executives) to use when evaluating, directing and monitoring the use of IT in their organizations.

 Directors should govern IT through three main tasks:

1. Evaluate the current and future use of IT.

2. Direct preparation and implementation of plans and policies to ensure that the use of IT meets business objectives.

3. Monitor conformance to policies and performance against the plans”.

 COBIT 5

COBIT 5 introduces a Governance Domain which has 5 EDM processes as described in my previous post.

In summary the guidance (What) provided by these three frameworks will help design and establish a robust governance framework; however there is limited (How) detail around the specific approach to take for Cloud enabled services.

Formulating a Cloud Computing Strategy

So let’s explore five key decisions that will need to be addressed in order to formulate a cloud computing strategy:

  • Do we continue to build out our own computing infrastructure?

IT must determine if the computing infrastructure is expensive and too inflexible because a highly virtualised and well managed infrastructure saves money.  Some legacy applications  will remain core and do not lend themselves to a cloud strategy (e.g. SWIFT transactions) however applications approaching end of life should migrate to avoid further investment.

  • Which parts of the Business do we move to the cloud?

IT should consider the cloud for new applications or business processes as requirements evolve.  The cloud can significantly reduce time to market when rolling out new functionality and processes.

  • What type of cloud deployment do we use?
  1. Public Cloud: scalable bandwidth shared with multiple tenants.
  2. Private Clouds : applications and services deployed through the cloud but within the confines of the organisations on premise data centre or off premise (TelCos building private clouds for customers)
  3. Hybrid Clouds: Mixing Public and Private Clouds is the preferred solution for the business because it provides the best balance of flexibility and risk management.  
  • How must our governance framework evolve?

IT must retain control over which services are offered and managed and business units will have a say in getting the technology they need.

  • How do we protect sensitive customer information?

New measures will be required to help ensure that while data can be accessed anywhere and anytime, businesses do not breach data protection laws.

Cloud Computing – Not If but When

What are the actions needed to create the cloud enabled business?

IT must partner closely with business customers across the enterprise to understand and meet their needs in a responsive and cost effective way, while also helping to manage and integrate private, hybrid and public cloud based services alongside existing core business applications and technology.

Appoint a Cloud Leadership Team to drive change across the organisation in a co-ordinated effort that is led by Business and IT champions who aggressively push communications.  The team should develop a position on how the cloud will impact the business – create new opportunities, new channels to market and new competitive threats – and how the technology can accelerate existing needs.  The Cloud Leadership Team will need to specify which changes are going to have the most profound impact and prioritise these initiatives based on business benefit, difficulty of migration and any required investment spend.

IT must develop and implement a roadmap to replatform or replace existing business applications over time and then to build new applications using cloud based platforms.

As IT implements its new cloud strategy the IT function has a great opportunity to transform its role and establish itself as the business’s supplier of choice.

IT will require new skills and capabilities, for example hybrid managers who are close enough to the business to fully understand their issues and how cloud computing can respond to meet their needs quickly and cost-effectively.  These hybrid managers will manage all the current and future cloud vendors and integrate cloud services on behalf of the business.

IT will act as the key service interface between the business units and the various suppliers.  Ensuring seamless data integration between cloud and non-cloud services is a critical element of IT’s new role.

IT will need to assess and mitigate the risk of “lock-in”.  With Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud makes it easier to migrate relatively smoothly to another provider.  But with Software as a Service (SaaS) data is stored on the supllier’s servers making it difficult to disentangle.

 As companies start shifting computing tasks to outside providers in the cloud, intermediaries have emerged to help them do it.

Cloud Service Brokerage

 “A successful cloud computing strategy often involves customizing services from one or more vendors.  One way to do this is through an intermediary service provider: a Cloud Services Brokerage.  A CSB can make it easier to consume and maintain cloud services, while reducing the cost and risk encountered when an enterprise tries to address these issues alone.” Gartner

If you want to consume SaaS, access an Information store or other services then the Cloud Service Broker provides a single interface and can also offer managed services, professionbal services or Business Process Outsourcing. 

The Cloud Service Broker sits between public cloud services and the customer taking the commodity like cloud services and customising them to be more specific to the customer. CSB also allows the business to extend their control over their applications and data into the cloud.

The Cloud Service Broker adds value when it is aggregating multiple services.

A recent Gartner report outlined three categories of cloud brokers that will enhance cloud services:

Cloud Service Intermediation: An intermediation broker provides value added services on top of existing cloud platforms, such as identity or access management capabilities.

Aggregation: An aggregation broker provides the “glue” to bring together multiple services and ensure the interoperability and security of data between systems.

Cloud Service Arbitrage: A cloud service arbitrage provides flexibility and “opportunistic choices” by offering multiple similar services to select from.

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