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ITSM Trends in 2014: Cloud Computing Won’t Work Without the Right Service Management

My prediction for 2014: Companies benefit from cloud services only when they bundle the right offers to business-focused services. Providers need more than ITIL to provide the services reliable.

There is no bold prediction that in 2014 the subject of cloud computing will continue to play an important role. Probably we will see a greater acceptance. In order to benefit from cloud services, companies have to change the way how the operate IT: there will be less IT to operate. Cloud computing and out-tasking or -sourcing means that infrastructure and applications are purchased as a service. The operation is performed by a service provider.

The company’s IT needs four important skills in order to cope with the change:

  • Intelligent Sourcing
  • Provider management and monitoring
  • Service management and
  • Governance

The adoption of cloud services and multi-sourcing strategies inevitably leads to the fact that a real service management within firms should be developed. This is in my view the most important success factor.

Aligning services with the user

It ‘s not about IT services. It’s about business focused IT Services – Business Services. Services that bundle in the language of the user services of different providers, together representing actual value for the company – to support business processes meaningful.

What does it mean for the IT-department?

  • Identify the requirements of businesses units and processes very early
  • Support changes in the business model – be a change agent
  • Listen to the users and enhance the services
  • Remove IT-driven impediments from the users and processes

For this purpose, a new role in the business units is necessary: the business-IT translator or even business analyst called.

Cloud Computing in 2014 and beyond will serve as a catalyst for service management. Companies need to look far beyond ITIL.

Automation of IT operations

Cloud computing will not penetrate into all business and all IT departments, so that IT Automation 2014 will be an important and especially technical subject.

It is both sexy and scary when a hypervisor is fully automatically updated to 40 servers at night. To ensure that all virtual machines running then again, proper working processes are the key success factor. Above all, change and release management are crucial. It needs to be tested and ensured in advance that the new release and deployment works.

Automation will help to relieve the staff from routine tasks and to stabilize the operations. Companies need to ask in advance whether their IT processes are precisely enough and thus the risk is acceptable. Automation is one bulding block for successful provider.

Tailored IT processes

When it comes to IT operations and release management DevOps will automatically jump in. DevOps means the close integration of development and operation. I do not want to argue whether continuous deployment is really a worthwhile goal. It just shows that ther is a mind shift: 2014 more and more IT organizations and especially IT provider will consider to think about their way of providing the services. ITIL is in this case one possibility. But there are more interesting approaches:

Agile methods such as Scrum, Kanban and of course DevOps could be as source of meaningful ideas.

It is in the hands of the actors to take up the right actions for their organization. They have to put together the different ideas into a meaningful whole. I hope that we can finally begin to say goodbye to “ITIL implementation projects“. We need to define ourselves and to provide business focused IT services.

What is your Service Management prediction for 2014?

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Author: Robert Sieber (All Rights Reserved by the author).
Source: Original text (based upon first hand knowledge).
Image: © SimpleFoto –
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