Service Design for Cloud
The second session of Special Interest Group (SIG) on "Cloud Service Management" from ITSMF Australia, Victoria Chapter, was conducted on 17th June 2012 at the Infosys Australia Docklands office. Topic of the discussion was "Service Design for Cloud". What followed was a fantastic focused group discussion that brought forward very innovative points being put up by the participants on key aspects of Service Design for Clouds - on service catalogues, cloud services and service integration management. Here is an excerpt of few interesting points discussed ...
Given that most organizations in the industry are in the process of adopting the cloud, designing the services around the different variants of cloud is of critical importance today. On these lines, the group spent about 90 minutes discussing on 5 processes which are part of ITIL Service Design, namely: Service Catalogue, Capacity & Performance Management, Information Security, IT Service Continuity and Service Level Management.
On Service Catalogue, one of the cloud service catalogues was shown to the participants, where some types of servers with specifications such as speed and memory could be requested. This led to a heated discussion that - this was only one form cloud service catalogue!! What about others where cloud based applications or services could be subscribed to?
Should the cloud services be categorised under business services or IT services? Potentially, SaaS based services can be said to be business services as they provide business or application services and are requested by business users. On the other hand, PaaS or IaaS based services can be categorised as IT services as they are mainly requested by IT users. This is an interesting food for thought ... Would you agree to this?
A contrary view point and question that was posed was - given today's advent of cloud solutions, do we really need a service catalogue as we know it today? Or maybe something else? By trying to fit in cloud services into the service catalogue from the non-cloud era, are we trying to squeeze in a spherical object into a square box? This question was stunning and made the group sit back and think about it ... It would be interesting to take this thought further and discuss it some more, but due to time limits on the session, the group moved on to the next discussion point. But, please share if you have any experience or point of view on this suggestion.
On Service Level Agreements, we spent some time discussing on the evolving roles that many service providers are taking up as agents or integrators of cloud services - given the wide range of cloud service providers provided best of breed solutions within each domain. Such roles would entail assisting organizations in integrating various cloud services and offer them jointly so that the client organizations would not need to manage multiple service contracts, whilst at the same time getting access to the best services available on the cloud. Likewise, the role of service manager being catalysed into the role of a cloud service manager who would help integrate and manage the cloud services and ensure that the agreed services are provided within the service levels defined.
The group also discussed on points such as - how capacity management for cloud services should be practised, how can performance be monitored on public clouds, security as a critical consideration for clouds, types of service contracts for clouds, using clouds as production and internal infrastructure as DR environments and so on.
Overall, it was a very satisfying discussion with participants taking away lot of learnings (and a few questions to ponder) at the end of the session. The group also decided to write a joint paper on "Service Design Considerations for Cloud".
For more discussions and thought sharing on this topic, please join the ITSMF Australia Cloud Service Management SIG LinkedIn group here. The third session for this SIG is planned to be conducted in September 2012. Keep watching the ITSMF Australia Events page for details which will be published once the session is finalized.