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Monthly Archives: November 2014

The Impact of ITaaS on Request Fulfillment


By John Worthington

 Automation and standardization benefits IT…and the business


Advances in technology are rapidly enabling new levels of standardization, cost control, pre-authorization and automation far beyond traditional IT environments. This makes it possible to deliver IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS), with IT focusing on the outcomes the business needs and functioning much like a business itself. This is particularly true for change request fulfillment.

To boost efficiency, the request fulfillment function utilizes a library of pre-defined and pre-authorized service requests. This can include change requests that have been adequately standardized, but in traditional approaches, many change requests are too complex and risky to be effectively standardized. In these cases, requests need to be handled via the core change and release process, and manual provisioning to fulfill the request can take weeks.

ITaaS allows provisioning to be designed as a standard change that can be handled as a service request and automated via the service catalog management and request fulfillment process instead of via change and release management. This approach can reduce the time-to-provision to hours or even minutes—without involving IT staff.

ITaaS for request fulfillment is vitally important to the success of your organization

The impact of technology-enabled ITaaS on request fulfillment is broad-based and very significant to both the business and IT. In addition to vastly more efficient provisioning, other benefits include:

  • Automation of end-to-end delivery and management of infrastructure that allows IT staff to be more productive
  • Application deployment and releases that are accelerated
  • The ability to leverage re-usable components and policy-based governance that allows for right-sizing of resources or applications at the appropriate service level
  • The ability to manage multivendor, multi-cloud infrastructure and applications while leveraging existing infrastructure tools and processes flattens the learning curve
  • Reducing time-consuming, manual processes that results in consistent, automated delivery and management of IT services
  • Request fulfillment that can establish a library of request models for all users—both business and IT

While these are usually thought of as ‘IT benefits’ they also drive universal business objectives including faster time-to-market, reduced costs, better service levels, and accelerated innovation.

Benefits also include the impact on related processes such as change, release, incident, and access management. These might be such things as:

  • Reduction in the backlog of change requests
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction, perhaps tied to a specific request model
  • Reduction in the use of unauthorized hardware and software, non-standard and variant builds that increase complexity, support costs and risk to the business services
  • Fewer exceptions reported during configuration audits
  • Fewer incidents caused by request model errors (i.e., incorrect access settings, incorrectly executed fulfillment plan, etc.)

These metrics can be used to compliment base level metrics for request fulfillment depending on the focus of the request models added to the request catalog. As with all metrics, they should be linked to the critical success factors, objectives, and the goals that they support; this can help measure the benefits of improvements to the process.

Planning for success: key terms and roles

A transformation plan is critical as you look to leverage automated, on-demand cloud infrastructures. For example, accelerated ITSM can help bridge the gap between traditional infrastructures and cloud automation by clearly identifying how existing processes, roles, and governance will need to evolve as part of your implementation plan.

As you move forward you will also want to ensure that your team has a solid understanding of basic concepts as well as the increased role that request fulfillment will play in the design stage of the service lifecycle. Taking the time to understand and define some of the terms and roles involved can improve communication and coordination as you consider your ITaaS strategy:

  • The service catalog defines the end-to-end processes and supporting IT services that are available. The service catalog management process must ensure that any links and interfaces between the service catalog and the request catalog are maintained.
  • The request catalog lists available request models that can facilitate self-service for all users—including IT staff. The request fulfillment process must manage the library of request models and must assume ownership of the request catalog.

Request fulfillment and service catalog management

Figure 1. Relationship between request fulfillment and service catalog management

  • In an ITaaS approach, the number and complexity of request models may increase significantly. The request fulfillment manager must optimize the requests associated with IT services, and make them easier for customers to request, and more efficient for IT to fulfill. To that end, the request fulfillment process owner establishes what specifications must be captured for the request model during the design phase.
  • Service owners work with service catalog management to ensure that IT services are well defined, and that standard service requests being fulfilled are associated with the IT service for an easy request process and effective fulfillment. For example, the service owner is accountable for making sure the right subject matter expert is completing the specifications during design.

Ready for a change?

The benefits of an ITaaS approach to request fulfillment are many and far-reaching. But maximizing the benefits requires a studied approach to transformation. Carefully defining IT Services, Standard Service Requests and the supporting processes can help design a catalog architecture that meets your current and evolving requirements.

John Worthington is VMware Transformation Consultant with 30 years experience in the Information Technology industry. John’s been involved in IT Service Management since 2000, is an ITIL® Expert, and holds the PMP and CISA certifications. He is an accredited instructor for all levels of ITIL® certification, as well as a TIPA™ Lead Assessor. 

Living in the Age of the Software-Defined Taxi

Kipp_Bertke Co-authored by: Kipp Bertke and Scott Weinstein

How on-demand service, on time delivery and full cost transparency make Uber customers very happy—and what that means for enterprise IT

If you’ve ever tried to hail a taxi when it’s raining, you know it can be nearly impossible. But Uber—an app-based service that connects users with a taxi, private car or a rideshare in minutes—has leveraged innovations in software and smart phones to ensure that a dry car ride is always just a few clicks away. With just a few taps, Uber has completely disrupted the traditional taxi business in 200 major cities across 45 countries—and they’re just getting started.

Why is the software-defined taxi service so compelling?

The rising popularity and adoption of Uber highlights the fact that customers are turning to software-defined services in droves, and coming to expect the service on-demand model in more and more areas of their lives. And that paradigm is carrying over into enterprise IT departments. How will that affect your IT department? To answer that question, let’s compare the traditional taxi service to the traditional IT department:

Traditional taxi service Traditional IT department
Delivery Time  Unpredictable at best, unavailable at worst. The time for traditional IT to deliver a new service can exceed weeks to months.
Cost Transparency  You get the bill at the end of your ride, and you hope you have enough money. IT spend is hidden in the costs of projects – and emergency funds might be requested mid-project.
Operations  They use an inefficient, outmoded system (hand gestures, telephones and CB radios) to attempt to match taxis to customers. Siloed teams work on core competencies, which can result in disparate views of the health of a service, and no desire to share whatever visibility IT has with others.

As you can see there, are a lot of similarities to the pre-Uber taxi industry and the traditional IT department. Ask yourself this: if you could pick the size and type of car, the exact location where the taxi picks you up, and get complete transparency of the cost to get to your destination, would you ever take a traditional taxi again? Now, ask yourself the same question in the context of IT: if you were working on a project with aggressive timelines and high business value and you could provision your own services—including all security needs—in minutes with just a few clicks of your own mouse, would you ever go back to waiting months trying to get IT to do it for you?

Now, ask yourself the same question in the context of IT: if you were working on a project with aggressive timelines and high business value and you could provision your own services—including all security needs—in minutes with just a few clicks of your own mouse, would you ever go back to waiting months trying to get IT to do it for you?

  Uber Transformed IT
Delivery Time


Real-time and adaptive End-to-end services fulfilled in hours
Cost Transparency


Cost before commit Reasonable cost estimation and interactive cost modeling and reporting


Customer focused transparency of service availability Single window of a services health and proactive corrective actions

It’s time for a change

Delivering on the growing demand for end-to-end delivery of cataloged services, resources on-demand, and “pay-for-what-you-use” resources  is simply not possible with existing models used in traditional IT environments. If you have an entrenched workflow and no interest in finding a different—better—way to deliver services to your end-users, you just may be replaced by the new guard, one that lives in software, imagines a world without boundaries, and embraces capabilities with no dependency on people, processes or technology. The software-defined enterprise represents a sea change, similar to the one Uber brought down on the traditional taxi industry. Navigating the shift to a service delivery model—based on a software-defined foundation and abstracted from the physical world of traditional IT—calls for a transformation, and not just with technology. The people and processes used to deliver IT services must transform as well. This calls for a total enterprise-wide transformation to deliver IT-as-a-Service (IaaS) for business users.

Kipp Bertke is a Business Solutions Architect for VMware Accelerate Advisory Services.

Scott Weinstein_Profile1 Scott Weinstein is a Senior Systems Engineer at VMware.