How do you view your organization's applications and IT services? At GreenPages, we often suggest that organizations begin to conceptualize IT services as corporate IT evolves from a technology provider to an innovation center. Now, there are ways to establish and maintain a service portfolio through ITBM (IT Business Management or IT Financial Management) systems, but these are often out of reach for customers less than enterprise level. However, you can conceptualize IT services by looking at your applications from five different perspectives. Let’s use Microsoft Exchange as an example.
Exchange is an enterprise application that provides email and calendaring. If you’re reading this, there is a good chance that you own servers that host the various components that comprise Exchange. One way to think about cloud is to identify the Exchange servers, their operating systems, the application version, performance requirements, etc. and identify a “place in the cloud” where you can procure servers of similar specifications and migrate the instances. I consider this as the infrastructure perspective. When it comes to cloud computing, this is perhaps the least important.
To take full advantage of cloud computing, understand your applications and IT services from a few additional perspectives:
- Operational (including lifecycle)
Hopefully, after looking at these different perspectives, you’ll see Exchange as part of an IT service that fits this description:
“In operation for over 20 years, E-Communications is a business service that allows each of our 1,200 employees to communicate through email, coordinate meetings, find coworkers’ contact information, and organize tasks using their PC, Mac, mobile device, or home computer 24x7x365. The service is supported by Microsoft Exchange and Active Directory, which both run under VMware vSphere. The service requires 1 full-time administrator who added 12 new users and logged 157 support tickets in 2014. In 2014, charges for software maintenance, personnel, infrastructure depreciation, and outside support services totaled $87,456. A software upgrade is planned for 2015. Users do not generally complain about the performance of the service, other than the size of their mailbox quotas (which are limited to 10GB per user). The company as a whole plans to offer telecommuting packages to more than 250 employees in 2015.”
Armed with this understanding of your IT service that includes Exchange, you might take the following action:
- Fund an Office365 migration with capital you had allocated for the Exchange upgrade project
- Provide copies of Office applications to telecommuters (without additional charge)
- Expand the mailbox quota from 10GB to 50GB
- Repurpose your Exchange admin to help telecommuters establish their home offices in 2015
- Reduce your spend on E-Communications by more than 50% (from $72.88/user to $35.00/user)
Of course, not every application is easily identifiable as belonging to an IT service. The functionality or financial aspects of IT services are often difficult to quantify. However, at GreenPages, especially when looking at cloud computing options, we recommend examining all of your applications through these five perspectives. For this reason, GreenPages has embedded this process in a piece of software that can quickly build your services portfolio and recommend optimizations based on current offerings available – such as Microsoft Office 365.
What are your thoughts?
You can hear more from John in his eBook, "The Evolution of Your Corporate IT Department"
By John Dixon, Director of Cloud Services