Thoughts ...

Practical delivery of cloud based solutions

Working at the cutting edge of service delivery I can’t help thinking about how we can improve the service we offer, but more importantly making our lives a little easier in the process.

If you are like me – you’re constantly ‘phone-dodging‘ sales calls proclaiming to have the next biggest thing in the IT arena!  

In my early years I was a sucker for this but quickly realised that I’m not paid to sit on the phone listening to ‘features & benefits‘ it quickly dawned on me that they all can’t be right.

Cloud Computing has been the ‘new kid on the block‘ for a while, and whether you regard it as an old method that has been dressed up in new clothes or not it does illustrate two things (1) It is quite a compelling solution and (2) They’ve all decided to use the same name for the ‘new thing’.

We all know customers are demanding more from their IT solutions, they want it faster and in larger quantities – in plain-speak more colours, more dynamic, more storage, quicker and real-time interfaces with colleagues and friends. So anything that will relieve the hassle of maintaining all that technology must be worth a look?

The majority of IT departments provide their IT services from the basement of their buildings … go-on – tell me you don’t in either case we all carry concerns about giving up our ‘train-sets‘ to someone else.

I was thinking about the practical delivery of cloud based solutions when I came across a piece on the OGC Best Management Practice Virtual Conference website that talked about where best practice can fit into ‘cloud’ technology. 

It covered all the concerns that cloud solutions uncover – as with all new concepts and ideas, there is an amount of fear and trepidation. 

The presenter made a link to using ITIL (Service Management framework – IT Infrastructure Library) – the concept of utility and warranty to uncover value from services being placing into the cloud, but it stopped there – a view from the supplier’s perspective was missing.

Our serious fears come from the capability of suppliers we select to host our services in the cloud (assuming that we are looking at the public cloud rather than a private cloud). The assets of suppliers, namely their capabilities and resources play a large role in uncovering further value that can be gained. Without them, service levels may be affected as will the confidence our customers will have in us as specialists?

I agree, the use of a best practice framework makes good sense, the cloud – in it’s infancy – lacks any best practice guidance. 

Although there may be light at the end of the tunnel – the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) are working to address this with the publication of the CIF Code of Practice which encourages ‘cloud providers’ to sign up to a Code of Practice to assist specialists such as ourselves in determining who offers good practice, transparency, capabilities, service levels, licensing and much more.

The practicalities of delivering cloud based solutions to your customers and users must start with some reference to good practice As a minimum it may make our lives a little easier. 

Is that the phone I can hear, ringing again?


Photo credit: broo_am / / CC BY-ND