What Cloud Will Change For ? #4 : Renaud Brosse, A Sourcing Perspective

What Cloud Will Change For ? #4 : Renaud Brosse, A Sourcing Perspective

Following the third post on this topic by Kwame Yamgnane, with A practical implementation perspective on what Cloud Computing will change, Let me introduce this fourth post.

“What Cloud Computing will change for ?…”

Thanks Renaud !

Is there a change?

Cloud computing is well beyond the “buzzword” or slide ware the stage. It will definitely have a large impact on every player in the IT game – end users & customers, business users, service providers, telcos, software vendors, IS shops & IT professionals. The benefits are just too great to be ignored.

What kind of change ?

Obviously, the changes (opportunities & threats) will differ vastly depending on the players. In 2010, Cloud computing has been adopted mostly by small & medium sized-organizations who saw immediate benefits in the speed of delivery, low entry costs, full-fledged service, time to market provided by SaaS.

Larger enterprises are still in the « early adopters » stage. The more entrepreneurial or risk-prone ones have started implementing IaaS, usually for non-mission critical compute/storage clouds or email/unified communications, and a few select, low-criticality, low-integration applications such as CRM, marketing, collaboration or event-related web or video sites.

If the projects where Timspirit is involved are any hint, 2011 will definitely see growing « tactical » adoption of IaaS and to a lesser extent SaaS or PaaS by large enterprises, with two main triggers : the need for new infrastructures for new application projects , and the renewal of existing infrastructure hosting/outsourcing contracts.

We think that private internal clouds will never really appear : most companies lack the skills, resources, long-terme investment capabilities to build a « true » cloud computing infrastructure on their own. Instead, they will buy private space from cloud vendors, or ask these to build them specificically.

Finally, the public sector – although still in the early stages- is definitely showing huge interest in rationalizing large infrastructures through PPP-type clouds.

What is the change for IT teams?

Over time, cloud computing will profoundly change IT shops. As with every revolution, the key change will be with Governance – with three main aspects :

  • Governance of IT budgets & IT strategy decisions. If CIOs fail to take the lead with cloud computing, then the business heads are simply going to do what they did with PC’s 20 years ago : buy cloud services over IT’s head. IS shops need to finish what they have started in the past few years – repositionning themselves from technology gurus to « preferred partners » to the business. One good start is to engage the business to developp a cloud strategy. At Timspirit, we use a simple, 5 step process to do that.
  • Governance of IT services. The advent of ITIL a few years ago signalled the start of the « service » mentality. Right now, a large IT shop typically has 200-2000 application services served with 100-250 infrastructure service entries in their catalogue – all being delivered +/- 50% internally and by 5 to 10 major service providers. As IaaS / SaaS progresses & triggers a new outburst of innovative solutions, the complexity of this « multi-sourcing » model will explode. The good news is that with more mature & industrial solutions, there might be less incidents & service outages per service. However, this will only alleviate the problem, not solve it. IS organizations must see it as one of their primary competence to develop, deploy & manage a strong, standardized service delivery model – in a « hub & spoke » fashion.
  • Governance of value & innovation : With IT/IS brains freed up from the daily chores of implementing & running services, it’s high time they focused on something far more important : maximizing the value organizations can derived from their IT (cloud based) services. We’re not only talking about innovation & new features, but also on ensuring customer buy-in, making sure that solutions are leveraged. This will obviously require new skills. May we suggest that you start hiring a few business school graduates as « product managers » to complement your « service managers ».

Cloud Computing and  Timspirit ?

Well, as a consultancy, we’re really excited to help its Clients for moving to the Cloud with the right practices such as eSCM for Sourcing guidelines. Cloud Computing is a new era for Sourcing and Timspirit will be in !

Also, we’re practicing what we’re teaching. Our key systems (authoring, mail, collaboration) have been cloud-based since 2007. Most of of our business processes are run off the cloud as well ; and we’re in the last stages of selecting a  cloud based Project Management/Project portfolio/Professional services automation suite out of over 50 cloud-SaaS vendors… a topic for a new post maybe ?

Renaud Brosse is the Co-founder of Timspirit a specialized Consulting company for IT Service Management (with ITIL expertise), Sourcing (with eSCM expertise) and IT Performance Delivered. For more information, you can contact Renaud : renaud (at) timspirit (dot) fr. Renaud is also an active contributor for itSMF France and Ae-SCM associations.

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