Zen & The Art Of Service-Oriented IT

Good article in Information Week by Michael Biddick on the practicalities of implementing "IT as a Service" (ITaaS).  The key challenge for IT in adopting ITaaS is that it requires a different IT business model to do it effectively. While the advent of cloud is certainly a key enabler in implementing ITaaS (or what Gartner refers to as "Real-time IT"), it is not a panacea -- i.e. spinning up a private or hybrid cloud environment is NOT ITaaS. ITaaS is more about automating the complete supply-to-demand chain of how internal and external services (IaaS, SaaS, XaaS, and virtualized workloads) are sourced, managed and delivered to their business end-users.

As an example, many companies have embarked on setting up private IaaS clouds, generally as an extension of their existing virtualization environment, but the end-users are typically Dev/Ops types vs. actual business users. End-users want solutions, not infrastructure services, and until IT can automate the end-to-end process regarding how application services are deployed, managed and delivered in a cohesive manner -- business users will continue to bypass IT when able and source services directly from external cloud/SaaS providers (thus continuing the build-up of 'Shadow IT').

Making the transition to cloud-enabled ITaaS requires a different IT business model where IT acts as both an application service provider (i.e. proprietary or mission-critical apps deployed on their own private or hybrid cloud) as well as an aggregator of external cloud/SaaS offerings (e.g. MSFT Office 365, SalesForce and other biz app services). This is step one, after which cloud delivery and management tools such as what Jamcracker provides can serve as a means to automate the sourcing-management-governance-consumption-chargeback lifecycle processes.

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