By Reid Engstrom
“IT should be run like a business.” It’s a popular idea among IT organizations, but what does it actually mean? Usually, it means they would like their organization to have better-defined processes that provide their business stakeholders with expected outcomes. And yet with most of my strategy engagements, I find that the IT organization’s catalog of service offerings is neither well-defined or accurate—even among enterprise-class organizations.
The number of marketing-savvy compute/cloud service suppliers is growing fast. Service providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) set the bar high for stakeholder expectations, including fast provisioning, clear pricing, and well-defined levels of service. And IT needs to catch up if it wants to be competitive.
What is the IT organization missing?
- A consistent, comprehensive list of IT services documented so that stakeholders understand and can respond to them
- A pricing structure and menu that allows end users to select the appropriate service and quality level to satisfy their needs
There is often an extended transition/development time to ramp up to this kind of service offering, with extensive changes to IT processes and skill levels. That’s why I often recommend VMware vCloud Hybrid Service, which can provide organizations with a viable offering as an interim solution.
First, an IT organization can leverage vCloud Hybrid Service to quickly provide a service offering with clear product- and service-level definitions, plus specific usage-based pricing. Later the service can be positioned as a longer-term hybrid solution. This allows IT to manage its internal virtual infrastructure consistent with the external vCloud Hybrid Service, as well as moving loads back and forth when its internal private cloud service capability matures.
This hybrid cloud approach—leveraging vCloud Hybrid Service while IT develops its internal capability—provides the IT organization with an important early win, along with experience “running like a business” toward the goal of transforming into a true service provider.
To learn more about using VMware vCloud Hybrid Service to extend your data center into the cloud with the tools and processes you already have, watch this short overview video.
Reid Engstrom is a VMware Accelerate Advisory Services strategist emeritus.