Written by Mark O’Loughlin
Cloud service providers are similar, in some aspects, to traditional IT service managers and traditional IT providers in relation to their need to provide quality, cost-effective, secure and available IT services.
However, a key difference, and a value proposition, of a cloud service provider is the provision of IT infrastructure, platforms and software applications as a service under a utility or pay-per-use model. Core infrastructure and applications no longer have to be built but is instead hired, leased or rented.
Under the cloud model, Primary Cloud Providers (PCPs) provide the entire cloud infrastructure, tools, applications etc., basically the entire cloud eco-system. A primary cloud provider has to provide for the upfront costs of the cloud eco-system via capital expenditure (CPAEX).
PCPs design, manage and improve the cloud eco-system. They are responsible for managing incidents, problems and change requests within their eco-system. They should perform DevOps, Agile and LEAN practices so they continually deploy and deliver improvements to their consumers and to continually reduce waste.
Intermediary Cloud Providers (ICPs) use cloud eco-systems from primary cloud providers thus requiring less capital expenditure and only operational expenditure (OPEX) aligned to actual usage of cloud services. However, this model of payment against usage is changing in some cases.
Services provided by the ICP are dictated by, and limited to, the level of service they receive from, the Primary Cloud Provider. ICPs typically manage incidents, problems and change requests for the integrations they provide between the PCP and their client.
The roles of the Primary and Intermediary Cloud Provider have different levels of responsibility, accountability, capital cost requirements, service levels, controls and governance requirements, and configuration capability. Cost of ownership differs significantly as does responsibility for risk, privacy and security.
Here are some questions for you to consider.
- Do you know the difference between a primary and intermediary cloud provider?
- Do you recognize which type of cloud provider your IT department is?
- Could your IT department be both a primary and a secondary cloud provider?
Service managers, IT managers, IT departments and CIOs need to understand the benefits and limitations of being either a Primary Cloud Provider or an Intermediary Cloud Provider?
Why, because their organisation will require that they know the difference and fulfil these roles on their behalf.
But, if you don’t know the difference between a Primary and Intermediary Cloud Provider and their different roles, responsibilities and commitments, you and your organisation are very likely to experience continual problems with the provision of cloud services and are likely to agree to terms and conditions which do not meet the actual needs of the end-user or consumer.
For organisations using a public cloud, the default position is that the IT function will automatically assume the role of the intermediary cloud provider, providing cloud services to the organisation end-users and consumers.
Therefore, IT Service Managers are ideally placed to upskill and take on the role of the Intermediary Cloud Service Manager, and in some cases where a private cloud is in use, the role of the Primary Cloud Service Manager.
The Professional Cloud Service Manager course from the Cloud Credential Council (CCC) upskills IT Managers and Service Managers providing them with knowledge and information to deal with the following from a cloud perspective
- Basic understanding of cloud
- Hybrid cloud and hybrid IT scenarios
- Service Level Agreements
- Contracts and terms and conditions
- Integration challenges
- Consumer and end-user requirements
- Data privacy and legislation requirements
- Showing the value of cloud
- Cloud strategy development
On a personal level, it is imperative for people performing IT and Service Management roles to realize the necessity and absolute requirement to upskill and to adapt to new and emerging roles such as the Cloud Service Manager
Otherwise how are you going to be able to manage the newer technologies and services models of this new Digital Age?
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About the Cloud Credential Council
The Cloud Credential Council (CCC) is a global community driven organization that empowers companies in their digital transformation journey. We do this by offering vendor-neutral certification for IT Professionals including Cloud, Big Data, and IoT.
The CCC Cloud Certification Program enables IT Professionals to maximize the benefits of cloud solutions within their organizations.