By John Dixon, Consulting Architect, LogicsOne
Corporate IT departments have progressed from keepers of technology to providers of complex solutions that businesses truly rely on. Even a business with an especially strong core competency simply cannot compete without information systems to provide key pieces of technology such as communication and collaboration systems (e.g., email). Many corporate IT departments have become adept providers of technology solutions. We, at GreenPages, think that corporate IT departments should be recognized as providers of services. Also, we think that emerging technology and management techniques are creating an especially competitive market of IT service providers. Professional business managers will no doubt recognize that their internal IT department is perhaps another competitor in this market for IT services. Could the business choose to source their systems to a provider of services other than internal corporate IT?
IT departments large and small already have services deployed to the cloud. We think that organizations should prepare to deploy services to the cloud provider that meets their requirements most efficiently, and eventually, move services between providers to continually optimize the environment. As we’ll show, one of the first steps to enabling this Cloud Management is to use a tool that can manage resources in different environments as if they are running on the same platform. Corporate IT departments can prepare for cloud computing without taking the risk of moving infrastructure or changing any applications.
In this piece, I will describe the market for IT service providers, the progression of corporate IT departments from technology providers to brokers of IT services, and how organizations can take advantage of behavior emerging in the market for IT services. This is not a cookbook of how to build a private cloud for your company—this instead offers a perspective on how tools and management techniques, namely Cloud Management as a Service (CMaaS), can be adopted to take advantage of cloud computing, whatever it turns out to become. In the following pages, we’ll answer these questions:
- Why choose a single cloud provider? Why not position your IT department to take advantage of any of them?
- Why not manage your internal IT department as if it is already a cloud environment?
- Can your corporate IT department compete with a firm whose core competency is providing infrastructure?
- When should your company seriously evaluate an application for deployment to an external cloud service provider? Which applications are suitable to deploy to the cloud?
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