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Guest post by Winifred Powers, Solutions Architect

Whether your customers are internal or external, your business is likely providing a service. Your ability to deliver that service is very dependent on how the systems behind it are managed. Especially now, as you start developing a strategy around using public, private or hybrid cloud solutions, it’s important to understand your processes and adopt a framework to guide you. More than likely it is demanding that you do. By the NIST definition of Cloud Computing, characteristics such as on-demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity and measured service, scream of requiring you to have your act together.  Enter a widely adopted IT Service Management framework, ITIL.

Why is it more important now? Expectations are higher, budgets are tighter, competition is fierce and regulations abound. The ultimate goal of cloud computing is to allow IT to provide additional services to the business, whether those are IT’s internal or the company’s external customers. Based on recent publications by Malcolm Fry, the traditional approach to delivering new services is up for review. There are a number of things that need to be approached differently when considering the life cycle of a service as it applies to the cloud – How are the life cycle components (service strategy design, service transition, service operation and continual improvement) of a service or application, going to be handled? This is more critical as their control will sometimes be remote. Successful cloud computing takes these and many other factors of IT Service Management into consideration.

What do you think?  Is an ITSM framework more important now than ever before as companies move to the cloud and this is ripe, or is this just hype?

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