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Cloud Services. Procuring, Financing and Budgeting

Written by Mark O’Loughlin

You probably already know that cloud reduces the need for upfront capital cost (CAPEX) requirements and instead costs are paid for on a utility basis, i.e. pay-per-use model.

You probably don’t know if your organization’s current procurement rules and culture is really set-up to approve, finance and support fluctuating costs from the use of cloud services, i.e. pay-per-use, over the traditional method of fixed price costs and services? Also, can your organisation manage flexible budgets?

Cloud Services

However, many organizations are finding out the hard way that uncontrolled utility based, pay-per-use cloud costs are leading to unforeseen costs. Therefore:

  1. Cloud costs must be controlled in line with expected, planned and costed usage
  2. To cater for flexible budgets to cover flexible demand for cloud services, organisations need to introduce proper charging mechanisms for the use of cloud services
  3. A cloud strategy needs to cover the management of cloud budgets and the billing mechanism for actual cloud consumption

The Professional Cloud Service Manager (PCSM) course from the Cloud Credential Council (CCC) provides guidance on how to deal with the changes in the Procurement, financing and budgeting of cloud services

The Professional Cloud Service Manager (PCSM) Certification

Enables participants to design and deliver cloud services. The certification provides a hands-on, practical approach to understanding how cloud computing and cloud-based services impact operations, and how to adapt existing processes to deliver better services.

RU Digital Ready?

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.

More details

Scaling with Cloud Services. Flexible Change Management & DevOps.

Written by Mark O’Loughlin

You probably already know that cloud provides an organisation with the ability to scale IT resources and business and consumer applications quickly and efficiently, thus reducing IT overcapacity and lowering CAPEX costs.

This happens because cloud can be enabled to scale on-demand, or extremely quickly to meet sudden changes in demand for IT compute services. Therefore, demand for IT services can be matched exactly to the required capacity. This reduces the CAPEX costs of scaling IT to meet only occasional spikes in demand.

Change Management & DevOps

However, any organizations are finding out the hard way that traditional change management approval times can eliminate the ability of the organisation and the IT function to scale cloud services quickly and when needed.Even worse, scaling cloud services quickly, and in an un-planned manner, can incur additional and unexpected costs.

The Professional Cloud Service Manager (PCSM) course from the Cloud Credential Council (CCC) provides guidance on how to identify the right balance between pre-approved auto-scaling and manual scaling and when not to scale prior to receiving additional approval, generally regarding the approval of additional costs and spend.

PCSM advocates a flexible approach to change management for cloud services and promotes a DevOps approach where suitable to include the automation of many of the change management tasks to ensure bottlenecks are eliminated, while ensuring appropriate change controls and governance remain in place.

The Professional Cloud Service Manager (PCSM) Certification

Enables participants to design and deliver cloud services. The certification provides a hands-on, practical approach to understanding how cloud computing and cloud-based services impact operations, and how to adapt existing processes to deliver better services.

RU Digital Ready?

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.

More details

Why ITSM Managers Are Ideally Placed to Become Cloud Service Managers

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.

ITSM managers are ideally placed to become Cloud Service Managers

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?

Cloud service providers
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
  • Governance
  • 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?

The Professional Cloud Service Manager (PCSM) Certification

Enables participants to design and deliver cloud services. The certification provides a hands-on, practical approach to understanding how cloud computing and cloud-based services impact operations, and how to adapt existing processes to deliver better services.

RU Digital Ready?

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.

More details

Cloud Services. What is Changing for IT, Operations and Service Managers

Written by Mark O’Loughlin

You probably already know that cloud service providers are using the latest in technology and IT platforms available to deliver services to their consumers and client organisations.

By leveraging and using cloud services organizations have access to the latest in IT technology, without the associated costs of ownership, maintenance and upgrading. This supports organisations in their endeavours to drive down costs, gain competitive advantage, increase sales and to provide superior services themselves.

You probably don’t know that when moving to the cloud only a portion of the management and operational activities associated with supporting the IT infrastructure will move to the cloud service provider. It is unlikely that the organisation will see or have any interaction with any of these cloud management activities which is to be expected because you are now receiving Infrastructure, Platform and Software as-a-service where these management activities are included in that service.

This means that, for example, public cloud providers will not provide root cause analysis (RCA) for problems affecting their clients and end-users. Nor will the client be made aware of incidents and changes occurring in the cloud providers environments.
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Priority resolution times are generally not provided by public cloud service providers, who favour providing cloud services to availability service levels instead. This is different to the ITIL approach of using urgency and impact to define the priority, which then defines the different levels of resolution and fix times for incidents and major incidents.

Also, responsibility rests with the client organisation who must now architect their services taking the cloud service providers contract into consideration in order to meet the cloud service providers definition of 1) availability and 2) unavailability of a cloud service, not the client’s definition.

Cloud ServicesIt also means that it is very difficult, and in some instances impossible, to negotiate a contact with a public cloud provider. This is to allow the public cloud provider to be able to provide a general as-a-Service offering to a global market. Generic cloud services tend to lead to lower costs services at the expense of less flexibility for both organisations and their end-users.

The Professional Cloud Service Manager (PCSM) course from the Cloud Credential Council (CCC) provides guidance on understanding the significant shifts from how Traditional IT was managed to how cloud services are designed, built, operated and managed today. Using a modular approach PCSM covers the following:

  • Cloud Service Management Fundamentals
  • Cloud Service Management Roles
  • Cloud Service Strategy
  • Cloud Service Design, Deployment and Migration
  • Cloud Service Management
  • Cloud Service Economics
  • Cloud Service Governance
  • Showing the Value of Cloud Services to the Business
  • Popular Service Management Frameworks

So, ask yourself some simple questions:

  • Do you really know what is changing in your industry and how that will affect your current role?
  • Do you know how to upskill to remain relevant and to deliver value in the digital age?
  • RU Digital Ready?

The Professional Cloud Service Manager (PCSM) Certification

Enables participants to design and deliver cloud services. The certification provides a hands-on, practical approach to understanding how cloud computing and cloud-based services impact operations, and how to adapt existing processes to deliver better services.

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.

More details

White Paper: IT Service Management and Cloud Computing

Mark O’Loughlin

This white paper sets out to describe at a high level what cloud computing is, how cloud computing is a disruptive innovation and what this means to IT organizations across the globe. Under examination will be the effect of cloud computing on existing IT management practices, including IT service management (ITSM) and ITIL® best practices.

The paper contains a number of real-life examples where current approaches require some adaption to cater for cloud computing. The summary concludes with an approach on how an IT organization can retain its current ITIL best practices in an environment using and adopting cloud computing and cloud based services.

White Paper: IT Service Management and Cloud Computing

 

Mark O’Loughlin is the Service Management Principal for I.T. Alliance and Auxilion. In addition Mark is a service architect, consultant, author, speaker and trainer and a former director at itSMF Ireland. Mark is also the founder, Managing Director and Principal Consultant of Red Circle Strategies, specialising in cloud and service management consulting. A director at the CCC, Mark is actively involved in creating and promoting and teaching best practices for cloud computing and service management.

Mark is the Lead Author and Architect of the Professional Cloud Service Management course and certificate for the CCC. Mark was one of the first people globally to be awarded the ITIL Master accreditation, is an ITIL Expert and is the author of ‘The Service Catalog – A Practitioner Guide’.

Reviewers

AXELOS would like to thank the following for reviewing this white paper:

Marcel Heilijgers is the Executive Director of the CCC. Prior to joining the CCC, he drove Marketing Strategy towards the adoption of Microsoft’s open cloud solutions across Central and Eastern Europe.

Patricia Fridman is a PM & IT Consultant and a freelance EXIN Accredited trainer ITIL®. Jayson Kurisinkal is Lead Consultant at Infosys Ltd.
Zenith Law is CEO of Zenospace Ltd.

The Professional Cloud Service Manager (PCSM) Certification

Enables participants to design and deliver cloud services. The certification provides a hands-on, practical approach to understanding how cloud computing and cloud-based services impact operations, and how to adapt existing processes to deliver better services.