|By Unitiv Blog||
|January 21, 2013 09:30 AM EST||
IT departments today are in a new position. No longer simply providers of technology to an organization, they’ve become true service providers. Today, the IT department or data center leverages advances in infrastructure and virtualization technology to change the way we do business for the better.
Yet, transitioning into a service provider who offers internal cloud solutions can be a challenge. Here are some principles for efficient internal cloud service management you need to follow:
- Start with your current quality of service and cost metrics. You need to understand where you stand. Do some benchmarking, and identify where you’re using your resources. Compare your output with third party cloud vendors and you’ll see opportunities for improvement.
- Organize your internal cloud services. You need to be able to define what internal cloud services you offer to your organization. This should include service level agreements, just like those business units would receive from third party providers. It should also include costs. Actively identify which applications can be moved to the internal cloud, and what it would take.
- Standardize a self-service IT model. Once you’ve organized your internal cloud offerings, you should be able to automate provisioning and fulfillment. A business unit can request a service, and you can use your internal cloud tools to provide that service, measure SLAs, and enforce delivery of those services.
- Move to billing based on consumption. This is an essential step for internal clouds, but it’s one that many organizations are reluctant to take. The fact of the matter is that billing out to other departments helps to make your internal cloud defensible. Even if your organization won’t support a full chargeback process, you can offer a showback whereby you provide a summary of the value of services that IT provides to business units via their cloud solutions.
Internal cloud solutions benefit organizations in a number of ways. They offer internal solutions for some applications that would otherwise be sent to third parties, and they offer business units the ability to decide whether they prefer to use an internal or external resource for many of their applications.
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