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Patrick Kavanagh

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Driving Change With Cloud Services

Patrick Kavanagh on February 8, 2018

Driving Change With Cloud Services.png

It's just getting too hard to support the business that wants more flexibility, cheaper service provision, faster implementation, connectivity worldwide and the supply of information to multiple user access devices. All must be delivered on a reduced budget.

Can anyone help?

Why Change?

ICT has transformed how organisations operate and interact with each other. This has encouraged major corporations and Government institutions to embark on a transformational agenda to invest in new technologies to deliver better, more efficient services across the supply chain, enterprise or to the public.

Unfortunately, the majority of these very large IT/IS enabled change programmes have been plagued by the “human factor” outlining a history of failure characterised by:

  • Delay, poor performance and abandonment that has led to excessive overruns in time and cost;
  • Lack of clear Senior Management leadership, governance, programme/project management;
  • Underestimation of the business change required and ineffective engagement with

This has led to legislatures, statutory authorities and regulators creating a complex array of new laws and regulations designed to force improvement in organisational information governance, security, controls and transparency. The impact of these legislative changes led to a global revolution in governance, best practice with legislation that directly affects Information Management practices whose focus is the integrity, protection and value of data. Multinational Organisations and companies that do business internationally may also be subject to the laws of foreign jurisdictions.

These may include:

  • AS8015 Australian standard for corporate governance of information and communication technology
  • ISO/IEC 27001 Information security management systems
  • ISO/IEC 20000 IT Service management
  • AS4590 Australian Standard for the Interchange of Client Information
  • i2010 – A European Information Society for growth and employment (EU)
  • The Computer Misuse Act 1990 (UK)
  • Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 (USA)
  • The Homeland Security Act (HSA) of 2002 (USA)
  • Information and Technology Act 2000 (India) 

This complex array of legislation that is underpinned by standards and best practice has led to a significant burden being placed on the traditional ICT department who are constantly struggling to deliver compliant ICT services that provide value to their customers.

Taking these concerns into account is it time to radically rethink how traditional services are delivered in the future to Corporate/Public sector users and whether organisations, in particular the Public Sector, deliver ICT services using a 'Cloud/Utility Model' similar those used within the Telecommunications industry.

These services may include core, enterprise and industry specific applications.

If your ICT department is faced with this dilemma, what is the answer? As a provider of ICT services are you asking yourself the following questions?

  • Are we satisfying the current demands of the business, and how will we satisfy future demands?
  • Why can’t we deliver ICT services that the business accepts as value for money?
  • Why do our customers always complain about the costs of ICT services?
  • Why can't we find the right skills to supply ICT services that the business demands?
  • Why are the users unsatisfied with the level of ICT services that we supply?

To answer these types of questions this paper puts forward a practical approach that explores alternative service options.

Overview of The Approach

We have believe the best approach to ascertain if a cloud strategy/solution would benefit a given organisation, is to apply a combination of management principles from Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) and Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)v3. Experience has taught us that from a people, process and technology perspective organisations have different levels of management maturity, so adaptation of this model would vary accordingly.

Leonardo Consulting employs a unique approach to prioritise the programme of work to gain most benefit from options such as cloud services. This overall approach is illustrated at Figure 1 and further outlined within this document.

Service_Transformation_Model.png

Figure 1: Service Transformation Model

Step 1: Understanding the business direction

The first step in ascertaining if the business would be better supported using a 'Cloud' based services, is to understand the aspirations of the business.

In particular:

  • What are their aspirations over a five-year time period?
  • What goods and services will they be supplying now and into the future?
  • What are their growth aspirations etc?

In large institutions this information is usually documented with in the strategic five-year plan.

 

Step 2: How does ICT support the business

Once the strategic business direction is understood, an analysis of the information systems and underpinning information infrastructure is undertaken to get an appreciation of what enhancements or creation of new services are required to support the business strategy. The overall objective is to align ICT to the business in its future state and specify the ICT pipeline. Analysis of the ICT department is required to identify the services that are currently being supplied to the business and at the same time assess overall maturity level of these services. In organisations that have implemented service management best practice this information would be found within the service catalogue.

To achieve this we would apply the following steps:

  • Identifying and document the service portfolio in accordance to ITIL v3 best practice;
  • Map the service portfolio to the business at process and departmental levels;
  • Determine the 'business value' of each service by specifying the cost and value to the business;
  • Determine the 'customer value' of each service by ascertaining if the service is 'fit for purpose' and 'fit for use';
  • Production of a service status

Service Dimension Model

Leonardo Consulting will then evaluate each service using a 4D value dimension model to determine the 'business value' and 'customer value'.

Business value evaluates the service from a business value perspective.

To determine business value, the following dimension measures are assessed:

  • ‘Strategic Alignment’ to the business in its current and planned future
  • ‘Service Cost’ in relation to how many users there are of the service. Identifying the number of users who actively use the service and dividing this by the cost of supplying the service determines

Customer value evaluates the service from the customer perspective.

To determine customer value the following dimension measures are assessed:

  • 'Fit for Use' capability, for example, does the service definition clearly articulate what it actually delivers to the business and by using the service does it deliver the outcomes the business 
  • 'Fit for Purpose' This is determined by carrying out an evaluation of service reports that are attributed to the service.

Each of the value dimensions are scored from 0 - 10 attracting a red, amber or green colour as illustrated at Figure 2. The output of this analysis is then placed on a service status map, as illustrated at Figure 3.Service_4D_Dimension_Model.pngFigure 2: Service 4D Dimension Model

 

Step 3: How ICT will support the business in the future

After analysis and placing the services onto the service status map a clear picture will evolve across the entire service portfolio identifying services that 'meets expectation', those that would require some 'realignment or improvement'  and those that 'fails expectation'. We use this analysis to prioritise services that could be transferred to cloud service offerings. 

In some cases after analysis we have discovered that all services can fall within the ‘fails expectation’ part of the map. This is usually due to inadequate supply of the underpinning information infrastructure. To resolve this particular issue it would be wise to seek providers who supply Infrastructure as a Service (laas), Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS) cloud solutions. 

Another cause of multiple failures can be the lack of integrated service management processes. To resolve this issue consideration should be given to move all services to a cloud service or instigate a service improvement programme to uplift the 'fit for use' service component.

  Service Status Map (incorporating Service 4D Dimension Model.png

Figure 3: Service Status Map (incorporating Service 4D Dimension Model)

 

Step 4: Define The Programme of Work

The analysis performed in step 3 will expose the services that are difficult to supply effectively. The next step is to create a transformation programme whose likely objectives will be:

  • To improve the services that fall with in the 'requires improvement' segment of the map;
  • Establish the root cause regarding the services that fall within the 'fails expectation' part of the map and then plan the appropriate

Likely root causes:

  • Service levels do not match business expectations;
  • The technology that underpins the service is vintage; 
  • The skills required to supply the service are inadequate;
  • The cost to supply the service seem excessive;
  • The service is not reliable;
  • The service is not customer

The ultimate goal of the transformation programme is to move all services to the 'meets expectation' part of the map. To achieve this you may consider moving some of the services to cloud providers. lf this analysis points to cloud provision it would be necessary to consider the organisational changes needed to be made within the incumbent ICT team from both a people process and technology perspective. It is for this reason we recommend MSP as an enabler to manage the transformation. Applying this management method to the transformation will ensure that from the outset the benefits are fully articulated, strengthening the case for transformation across the stakeholder community. It would also provide the necessary governance across the programme and incorporate organisation change leading to the assurance of benefits.

To assist on this journey Leonardo Consulting has identified current industry offerings in a number of capabilities marketed as Cloud or Utility Computing. 

These fall into three main categories: 

  • General;
  • Software; and
  • Hardware

Relationships to software and infrastructures are shown below in Table 1.

 

General

Software

Infrastructure

Cloud Computing

Application as a Service (AaaS)

Servers (Beyond Blades)

Grid Computing

 Application Platform as a Service (APaaS)

Virtualisation

 Client Server Model

 Platform as a Service (PaaS)

 Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

 

 Software as a Service (SaaS)

 Hardware as a Service (Haas)

 

 

 Unified Communications

 

 

Unified Communications as a service (UCaaS)

 

 

On-demand self service

 

Table 1: Cloud Offerings

The levels of service offered for Cloud can be grouped into the following three levels.

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): In this most basic cloud service model, cloud providers offer computers, as physical or more often as virtual machines, and other resources. Examples of IaaS include: Amazon Cloud

Formation (and underlying services such as Amazon EC2), Rackspace Cloud, Terremark and Google Compute Engine.

  • Platform as a Service (PaaS): In the PaaS model, cloud providers deliver a computing platform typically including operating system, programming language execution environment, database, and web

Application developers can develop and run their software solutions on a cloud platform without the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying hardware and software layers. Examples of PaaS include: Amazon Elastic Beanstalk, Heroku, EngineYard, Mendix, Google App Engine, Microsoft Azure and OrangeScape.

  • Software as a Service (SaaS): In this model, cloud providers install and operate application software in the cloud and cloud users access the software from cloud clients. The cloud users do not manage the cloud infrastructure and platform on which the application is running. This eliminates the need to install and run the application on the cloud user's own computers simplifying maintenance and support. Examples of SaaS include: Google Apps, Quickbooks Online, innkeypos, Salesforce.com and Microsoft Office 365.

Step 5: Transition to the new service model

Once the programme has been defined and agreed the programme will enter into the mobilisation stage, likely to include the following activities:

  • Mobilisation of the communications strategy;
  • Messaging to stakeholders, specifically giving them updates regarding the benefits;
  • Distribution of the programme definition outlining the programme project portfolio;
  • Programme project kick-off;
  • Instigation of the programmes detailed project

Step 6: Was it successful

During the programme definition stage benefits will have been identified and profiled. As the programme progressed through its lifecycle, programme governance would have ensured the benefits were tracked and reported on. The measurement criteria specified within the profiles will be used to report on the programmes success.

Conclusion

If you take a look at the telecommunications industry you will notice that a majority of the services they provide are done so by a utility supply model.

This model will be further adopted by the IT industry as standards and ways of working mature, thus migration to utility provision will become a reality.

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Topics: BPM - Business Process Management, Intergration