Welcome!

Artificial Intelligence Authors: Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez

Blog Feed Post

Conclusion: Cloud Computing and the New Role of the IT manager

Read Part 1 and Part 2 (IaaS) and Part 3 (SaaS) here.

In the previous entries we discussed the possible impact of IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), SaaS (Software a as a Service) and even briefly PaaS (Platform as a Service) on the role of our Cloud IT Manager separately.

It is, however, important to realize these three models are not happening separately; they are all happening at the same time and as result are influencing each other. As all three models are delivered "as a service", vendors are preparing themselves to play their role in 1, 2 or even all 3 of these markets. Will our Cloud IT Manager only be a consumer of services provided by these vendors or will he retain other responsibilities as well? Sourcing services will certainly be a core activity, not only for end user services (like CRM) but also for IT services like Infrastructure, security and support as a service.  Before reaching a preliminary conclusion about our IT manager's future role, one of the questions I'd like to ask is:


Will a Cloud IT Manager be a more Lean IT manager?
Connecting Cloud Computing and Lean IT may at first glance seem farfetched, but both Cloud Computing and Lean IT are leveraging the concept that mass produced is almost always cheaper than custom made. Cloud Computing offers mass produced standardized services to millions of users, and as a result monthly amounts per user can be relatively low. The proverbial Ford Model T was all about using standardization to drive cost down - any color as long as it is black! Toyota perfected Lean manufacturing to be able to offer choice at affordable cost. They did so by using highly standardized components and combining these into unique, desirable automobiles, by using standardized processes in the last phases of their manufacturing process.

More on the relationship between Cost and Cloud at a later date, but at minimum, what our Cloud IT manager can do today is use the Lean IT mantra of Maximizing Value (only do what adds value to the end customer) and Minimizing Waste (eliminating steps that do not add value) to guide his  current decisions on Cloud Computing. Just take any cloud proposal and evaluate it against these two criteria.  More long term I'd like to think that a Lean IT approach will help our Cloud IT Manager to combine standardized low-cost cloud services, into unique desirable and differentiating - customer relevant - services.

This last sentence sounds a bit too much like brochure talk, so let's explore this a bit further: Imagine a sporting goods manufacturer that traditionally ran a planning application to manage its logistical operations. This manufacturer outsourced most of its manufacturing to third parties. It may however still offer this planning application to help this "Extended Enterprise" go to market more efficiently than its competitors. Or one could think of an electronics manufacturer that differentiates itself with "unmatched customer service". This manufacturer runs a return-and-repair management system even though 90% of the repairs and returns are handled by third parties.  The traditional idea that internal applications are intended primarily for internal staff is increasingly no longer sustainable. A number of forward thinking companies therefore no longer provide their business applications (exclusively) on their own network. They take their applications and offer these on the Internet as a service. In some sense they have become cloud service providers, like a bank offering home banking or a travel agent offering online booking to its business customers. In some organizations the synergy between the original activities and providing the service makes them more competitive, others may at some point spin off this new activity as a new venture, while for some running the service is all they will be doing (having outsourced manufacturing, logistics, design, etc.). Our Cloud IT Manager is no longer just aligned or even integrated with the business, he is becoming the business.

Reaching conclusions on Cloud Computing is not easy. To some the whole cloud thing may be a bit overwhelming, providing yet more acronyms and complexity; to others it may seem the best idea since sliced bread. IT magazines continue to talk almost exclusively about Cloud Computing, as if there is nothing else left to invest in. For larger organizations Gartner disagrees with that and recently predicted that through 2012, IT will invest more in private than public cloud providers. Last month the US government announced a major many billion dollar large cloud computing initiative, while at the same time in Europe the Dutch Government basically forbids any use of the Cloud by government.

So when and where should your organization start?  Several organizations have started building Private Clouds. Not as a pilot, but as a first real project. Disentangling existing applications is way too expensive and labor intensive to just have a look; you need to build a business case. Others have started with SaaS for some less business critical applications (somehow CRM and sales force automation still seem to classify as such).  If you are serious about engaging with the business I would encourage you to investigate some PaaS platforms (like Force.com) and some technology for connecting Cloud and non Cloud applications (like Dutch based "Cloud Orchestrator" Cordys).

But no matter what you decide to do first; deployment will be more successful if you have a relative high level of maturity in your existing processes. Cloud Computing offers more options, more flexibility, more opportunities for efficiency and automation. But just like in the past: automating chaos will only give you one thing: automated chaos. If this four part blog only gave you one insight, I hope that it is that frameworks like ITIL and COBIT with their best practices for service portfolio management, security and risk management, configuration and asset management. etc.  are crucial to our Cloud IT Manager's chances of success, now maybe more than ever.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Gregor Petri

Gregor Petri is a regular expert or keynote speaker at industry events throughout Europe and wrote the cloud primer “Shedding Light on Cloud Computing”. He was also a columnist at ITSM Portal, contributing author to the Dutch “Over Cloud Computing” book, member of the Computable expert panel and his LeanITmanager blog is syndicated across many sites worldwide. Gregor was named by Cloud Computing Journal as one of The Top 100 Bloggers on Cloud Computing.

Follow him on Twitter @GregorPetri or read his blog at blog.gregorpetri.com

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DSR is a supplier of project management, consultancy services and IT solutions that increase effectiveness of a company's operations in the production sector. The company combines in-depth knowledge of international companies with expert knowledge utilising IT tools that support manufacturing and distribution processes. DSR ensures optimization and integration of internal processes which is necessary for companies to grow rapidly. The rapid growth is possible thanks, to specialized services an...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...