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Cloud Computing Can Be Tricky

On the face of it, the move to the Cloud is a straightforward business decision; in one fell swoop the business is better served by agile IT services, costs are spectacularly reduced and the organization streamlined.

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On the face of it, the move to the Cloud is a straightforward business decision; in one fell swoop the business is better served by agile IT services, costs are spectacularly reduced and the organization streamlined.

So what's the catch?

Well for a start it is highly unlikely, nay improbable, that a business's IT service requirements can be fully met purely by Cloud based solutions. So a combination of Cloud and conventional services is inevitable and unavoidable for the immediate future.

But the major catch is this: the CIO has to instantly figure out how to cost effectively provision these new, diversely supplied, and highly flexible low cost Cloud services the business wants. What is more, this has to be done at the same time as efficiently running the traditional services the business depends upon.

The big challenge is how to ensure this all works together coherently end-to-end; how to ensure the service providers are held to account for the performance commitments they have made; and how to make all of this agile in practice.

Why is this so tricky?
The primary reason is complexity, specifically the growth in complexity Cloud ushers in. It fundamentally challenges the traditional ways of doing things. As the number of service providers increases, say from 3-4 to 15-20, the challenge of performing the routine activities of governing and managing these arrangements explodes, and so do the costs. Different commercial agreements, different performance management regimes, different ways of working, all collide to produce a tsunami of operational issues that makes achieving the smooth and effective coexistence of Cloud and conventional service nearly impossible unless a different approach is taken.

So how to fix this problem? What needs to happen and when?
Recognition that the current way of working requires a fundamental re-think needs to happen first. In short, understanding that a major transformation in how IT serves the organization needs to be embraced and acted upon. Tinkering at the edge, buying a new tool, won't do it; this is open-heart surgery.

The good news is that a new model is established and readily available that addresses most of these challenges: Service Integration, or in Gartner parlance, Multi-sourcing Service Integration (MSI).

Service Integration, or MSI, address operational dissonance, organisational misalignment and resource challenges head on. The model describes highly structured new ways of working, which all parties must adhere to. Based on industry best practice, it unambiguously defines the functional boundaries and operational accountabilities and responsibilities between the CIO, service providers and business customers. The model standardizes how things are done and how performance is measured, and ensures services are integrated end-to-end. Consequently, control and order can be established, change accelerated, and waste squeezed out of the system.

Once established, Service Integration provides the CIO with the means to smoothly govern and manage the new complexity while, at the same time, providing the opportunity and resources needed to build a more intimate relationship with the business in collaboration with the CDO.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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cloud computing capgemini technology

Chris King

The author director - Global Service Integration Leader at Capgemini. He is responsible for the development of Capgemini's Service Integration offer and go-to-market activities globally. I am accountable for the Service Integration sales performance throughout the Infrastructure Service SBU.

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