Adopting a cloud-oriented business model for IT is imperative to successfully transforming the data center to realize ITaaS.
Much like devops is more about a culture shift than the technology enabling it, cloud is as much or more about shifts in business models as it is technology. Even as service providers (that includes cloud providers) need to look toward a business model based on revenue per application (as opposed to revenue per user) enterprise organizations need to look hard at their business model as they begin to move toward a more cloud-oriented deployment model.
While many IT organizations have long since adopted a “service oriented” approach, this approach has focused on the customer, i.e. a department, a business unit, a project. This approach is not wholly compatible with a cloud-based approach, as the “tenant” of most enterprise (private) cloud implementations is an application, not a business entity. As a “provider of services”, IT should consider adopting a more service provider business model view, with subscribers mapping to applications and services mapping to infrastructure services such as rate shaping, caching, access control, and optimization.
By segmenting IT into services, IT can not only more effectively transition toward the goal of ITaaS, but realize additional benefits for both business and operations.
A service subscription business model:
The concept remains the same as it did in 2009: infrastructure as a service gives business and application stakeholders the ability to provision and eliminate services rapidly in response to budgetary constraints as well as demand.
That’s cloud, in a nutshell, from a technological point of view. While IT has grasped the advantages of such technology and its promised benefits in terms of efficiency it hasn’t necessarily taken the next step and realized the business model has a great deal to offer IT as well.
One of the more common complaints about IT is its inability to prove its value to the business. Taking a service-oriented approach to the business and tying those services to applications allows IT to prove its value and costs very clearly through usage metrics. Whether actual charges are incurred or not is not necessarily the point, it’s the ability to clearly associate specific costs with delivering specific applications that makes the model a boon for IT.