Posts Tagged ‘cloud education’

Service Management in an as-a-service world – Part 2

August 6th, 2015 Comments off
Reading Time: 4 minutes

This is part 2 of a guest blog I was asked to create for the Service Management Conference. you can find the original here and where it was published completely in the July issue of the itSMF Bulletin.

Why business mapping is critical to effective Service Management and how to get started.

In Part 1 we looked at why the cloud can give IT service management team more control – not less. Now let’s look at how to use business mapping to provide control and visability in a world where applications are offered as subscription services, from a multitude of vendors.

Use Business Mapping To Ensure IT Truly Supports the Business

A map looks at the context of complex systems. We’re familiar with technology roadmaps that match short-term and long-term goals with specific technology solutions to help meet those goals, often presented in a diagram. They are designed to help customers (including internal customers) understand the technology, current and future, that is at work in their business. But the technology view is only one part of the puzzle.

In addition to addressing the business’ immediate and projected needs you need to have a larger view of the product/capability that your organisation provides and the market forces that may impact it. The external forces range from market segment growth, competitive situation and your distribution channels through to political, economic and environmental factors – and more. There are also internal forces including the company, customers, suppliers and other constituents. This view is known as a market audit.

A business map takes this to the next level. It starts with identifying the need that the organisation is addressing with its product or service, the evolution of that product/service from an idea through to a marketable product and eventually a commodity.

Business maps arm the technologist, and business professional, with information that can be used to understand the overall business’ direction and what factors influence the various capabilities that underpin the central need of the value chain. This holistic view of the business gives context for recommendations and decisions. Hint: Get it right and there will be less instances of Shadow IT, as you will be able to understand the emerging needs of the business as it relates to its strategy

Here are six questions to help you start the mapping process:

  1. Where are we now with the business capabilities, supporting processes and technologies?
  2. What is the visibility and value placed on each of these
  3. Where do we want or need to go with these? Ultimately the drive is to head toward commodity, however, that isn’t always the right answer as there are sometimes constraints
  4. How do we get to where we want or need to be?
  5. As the organisation moves from new and novel to commodity, what are your options for sourcing and delivering?
  6. How will we know that we are on track?

If you’d like to know more about business mapping read my blog or go see Simon Wardley’s blog

Transparency across multiple vendors

IDC predicts more than 65 percent of enterprise IT organisations globally will commit to hybrid cloud technologies before 2016. This hybrid environment encompasses everything from applications, to platforms to business services, providing the services the business needs dynamically.

So once you’ve mapped your organisation and selected your solutions how do you track and manage service delivery across multiple delivery modes and suppliers? How do you let the business know what is available to it? And how do you encourage the innovation through the adoption of new services?

Integrating the disparate IT and business systems and providing a clear view of what services are available to the business based on Persona allows everyone to know what is available. Most importantly this provides a way of tracking and measuring the services, both individually and holistically as they underpin key business capabilities.

So there’s no need to fear the cloud. Recognise it for what it is – a different way of delivering services that can actually give you more control, not less, provided you take the effort to jump into the driver’s seat and use your map.

NOTE: Original post included corporate product links, I’ve removed them from here and made specific reference to Simon’s blog (which was found through my blog link in the original)

Cloud, not quite a flat pack solution.

April 28th, 2011 Comments off
Reading Time: 2 minutes

For all those shocked into the stark revelation that “Cloud” service failures might mean you need to THINK about how you architect your solutions, post recent AWS failure, break out your cat5-o-nine-tails and give yourself a good self-flagellation.

As Cloud services increase in mainstream popularity and start ups build upon these services to launch their “NextBigThing (TM)”, both the awareness and the flow on affect of failures are noticed and reported on far more widely.

A quick recap for those that don’t know the definition of cloud computing:

Service Models:
Cloud Computing is an on-demand; elastic; heterogeneously accessed; resource-pooling; measured service.

Delivery Mechanisms:
Cloud Computing is delivered in a number of ways; generically grouped together as:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS) – Applications provided with limited or no configurability;
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) – Programming Languages, Libraries or Tools; and
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – Compute, Storage, Networking.

Deployment Models:

  • Public Cloud – Services made available to the general public. This is generally reachable over the Internet only.
  • Private Cloud – Infrastructure operated for a single organisation. Can be delivered
  • Hybrid Cloud – A combination of the above.

Or for a more concise definition and evolution see Simon Wardley’s blog.

Cloud Computing services can be SaaS delivered with PaaS components riding on top of various IaaS components. Hence the recent AWS failure was felt far and wide through the likes of Reddit, Foursquare and Quora (Quora, hasn’t that flash in the pan past and did people really notice?).

Doesn’t it now mean Cloud Computing is IKEA-like?

Not quite. Public Cloud services by definition need to be designed for failure. Resilience can be in Cloud Computing services, however, the users and developers need to understand how they design for this. As an aside I suspect that a fair few developers will be getting slapped across the head and the Infrastructure Architects will be brought in to assist in remedying the various deficiencies.

Cloud computing solutions today are not simple snap together pieces and still require careful architecting of components to ensure that they are designed for failure.

When people talk crap

November 11th, 2010 Comments off
Reading Time: 2 minutes

I really hate it when people talk at you and all they really are is regurgitating someone else’s view verbatim. I say talk at because they have put little (or no) time into understanding what is being said and most importantly misconstrue, deliberately or otherwise, the message.

Best example of the moment is Cloud Computing and the jargon and descriptive characteristics that go along with it. My biggest bug bear is the use of the word “commodity” when they really mean “a race to the bottom” or “a cheap solution”. So often I hear marketing and sales people use the word incorrectly and wish I could yell and scream at them but know it would get me nowhere.

People get yourselves a dictionary!!!

com mod ity

a raw material or primary agricultural product that can be bought and sold, such as copper or coffee

  • a useful or valuable thing, such as water or time.

Or as the Wikipedia definition so nicely puts it “A commodity is a good for which there is demand, but which is supplied without qualitative differentiation across a market. Commodities are often substances that come out of the earth and maintain roughly a universal price.[1] A commodity is fungible, that is, equivalent no matter who produces it”

Ultimately what you don’t want is your product reduced to a commodity where it is stripped of its service differentiation and it is considered the same as the rest of the market. Always be aware of what it is that makes your product unique and how that benefits the customer.


is CloudCamp relevant?

August 24th, 2010 Comments off
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Currently on the twittrsphere there is was a debate on the value and benifits of CloudCamp:

This was quickly followed by a number of points of view, rants, and seemingly irrelevant comments.

When you look at the the “mission” of CloudCamp,

CloudCamp was formed to provide a common ground for the introduction and advancement of cloud computing

Or look at the opening statement on the homepage:

CloudCamp is an unconference where early adopters of Cloud Computing technologies exchange ideas. With the rapid change occurring in the industry, we need a place we can meet to share our experiences, challenges and solutions. At CloudCamp, you are encouraged you to share your thoughts in several open discussions, as we strive for the advancement of Cloud Computing. End users, IT professionals and vendors are all encouraged to participate.

Ruv (Ruven Cohen) responds with:

Whilst these are all well and good what seems to happen, from my own experience, is that a number of the louder attendees take over the sessions they are involved in either to push their product or get an answer to a specific problem (the last one in Sydney was a perfect example of that).

I think that the education part is a little tired now and there are more than a few resources online that can sufficiently educate the masses. As for furthering Cloud Computing… at this early stage, I don’t see any of it happening.

The standard format of CloudCamp is:

  1. Lightening talks – Sponsor presentations that go for ~5 minutes
  2. Unpanel – an impromptu panel of “experts” who get to respond to questions from the audience.
  3. Unconference Breakout Session planning – attendees get to put up options for discussion and the ones with the most votes get discussed in breakouts
  4. Breakout Session 1 – Topics get discussed  (groups formed and scattered around the conference facilities)
  5. Breakout Session 2 – second round of topics discussed
  6. Social event – normally drinks somewhere

The biggest issue is actually being able to measure the effectiveness or the value of the current CloudCamp model. As by definition it is an unconference, therefore it’s pretty hard to get a solid handle on any measurement criteria ahead of time.

With all that said, I think that they are still useful, especially outside of the U.S. where there isn’t really another Cloud Computing related conference to attend as a single place to go to see what is happening in your local market.

A couple of points where I think improvements can be made:

  • Pick a theme for the event:
    • This way attendees can have a clear understanding of what they will learn.
    • It will also curb the tendancy for “Lightening Talks” to be vendor pitches
    • hopefully this will also stop irrelevant talks.
  • Supply some form of online feedback ability – You can’t make it better/more relevant if there isn’t the ability to have an open dialogue with the actual community (locally that is).