Public cloud price wars put more pressure on internal IT

Time for IT leaders to step up their game, and move forward with IT as a Service.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

For IT departments, the pressure from public cloud providers grows more intense everyday. While public cloud services may have been plain vanilla and spotty even a year or so again, they are increasingly getting more robust, reliable and secure -- as well as cheaper. There's also a lot of shadow IT now in enterprises that are subscribing to various cloud services to get around IT departments.

In a recent post at InformationWeek, Michael Biddick, CEO of Fusion PPT, observes that corporate IT departments need to concentrate on IT as a Service (ITaaS) to compete and offer greater value than outside services.

ITaaS is more than just another crazy "aaS" acronym. It is the methodology needed to capture and deliver internal IT's value to the business in an era when cloud platforms swirl all around the business landscape.

There's an urgency for embracing ITaaS, Biddick points out. "The competition from public cloud services is stiff," with Amazon, Google and Microsoft now engaged in a cloud price war. This means one thing for IT leaders with internal departments: time to step up the game.

Quality of service is where IT leaders can prevail over public cloud services, Biddick states. And that is achieved through embracing ITaaS.

However, ITaaS isn't something that can be stood up overnight. ITaaS is a long-term commitment that needs to be woven closely to the business, Biddick points out.

Here is Biddick's advice for making ITaaS work a game-changer for enterprise IT:

Move fast, be proactive, and remove as much red tape as possible. "Bureaucracy is your enemy, and over-planning will kill the project's momentum," says Biddick. "Aim for quick wins that have an immediate impact." Two areas where the impact can be immediate and appreciated by business customers -- change and incident management.

But set realistic progress milestones. "Don't bite off too much; it's far better to show incremental progress with deliverables in 90 days or less," says Biddick.

Be transparent, and establish baseline metrics to measure IT service progress and responsiveness. Consider key performance indicators and quality management standards that will demonstrate ongoing success to management, Biddick advises.

Build and offer technical and business service catalogs. These should capture "business use cases, cost information, and demand expectations," Biddick relates. "Just as with online shopping, customers can select and bundle IT services and see how long it will take to receive them and what they cost, whether you charge back or not." The  technical service catalog, in the meantime, will include the "infrastructure components that make up each service."

Focus on the customer, not technology. An effective ITaaS effort is 100-percent focused on the customer, whether those customers are internal business users, or the business's customers themselves.

(Thumbnail photo: Joe McKendrick.)

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