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IT Operations and Keeping Up with the Cloud

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IT management is hard. Managing people, technology, and an ever-growing list of business requirements comes with the job; go ahead and add dealing with a fundamental change in the approach to service delivery to that list too.

Whether it is the consumerization of IT, cloud computing, or more savvy technology users, IT is being asked to rewrite how the approach and the delivery of services to the enterprise. The challenge being that IT is being asked to change while at the same time being expected to continue maintaining all of the existing systems in place.

Commenting for an article in ComputerWorld UK, Forrester Research pointed out challenges facing IT,

“IT is really flat out at the moment. There’s no capacity and they have so much running,” he said (Marc Cecere of Forrester). “On the other side you’ve got tech savvy business people in managerial positions, as well as those entering the workforce, with all sorts of technology demands.”

It would be one thing if IT had more time to plan for this service change, but business users are showing no sign of patience when it comes to deploying new applications. If IT can’t handle it internally, the business is going to find someone outside the company walls that can.

In the article, “IT increasingly bypassed on cloud adoption,” half of those surveyed, said the process of going through IT operations to adopt cloud services takes too long. This, along with the 61% of respondents who said it is easier to provision the services themselves, is why Tyson Hartman, CTO of Avanade, said businesses are adapting to the cloud much like they would any other new technology.

"If you look at any technology at different points of adoption as it matures, you tend to find this side-effect of technology sprawling or growing outside of a prescribed governance model."

Despite facing few repercussions for looking past corporate policies that prohibit non-IT departments from adopting cloud services on their own, the real consequences for business units that don’t include IT will likely be felt after deployment. Because the control and governance of cloud services ultimately falls in the hands of the IT operations team, which is responsible for ensuring that all systems work and comply with security and other regulatory requirements, it is critical for business units and IT to work together to develop a plan to support these new business services.

As IT enterprises become more agile, the ability to monitor and manage existing operations while at the same time adapt to new internal and external services will be essential. While a quick implementation may get them in the game, having a robust strategy for IT management will make sure operations is able to guarantee service delivery.

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