ITIL® and cloud computing should not be viewed as competitors. Not only can they coexist, both initiatives can complement each other within the same organization. There’s no need to choose one or the other—organizations interested in the benefits of ITIL can also benefit from a focus on cloud computing, and vice versa.
The following are four central touchpoints between the ITIL framework and cloud computing.
- Service catalogues—Cloud services are often presented to consumers in the form of a cloud marketplace or cloud store. It’s intended to be a single place where consumers can easily understand the cloud services that are offered, what the prices of the services are, and any relevant terms and conditions. This is an example of what ITIL defines as a service catalogue. ITIL provides guidance on the creation of these catalogues, defining services in them, and how services are moved into and out of the catalogues.
- Change management—Cloud computing environments are often affected by risk associated with change. Strong change management practices in a cloud environment are needed to effectively handle the high volume of change. The ITIL framework provides guidance on establishing, managing, and maintaining a change management process in an organization, irrespective of the underlying technology. The ITIL change management process defines a concept called a standard change, which is a change that follows a pre-defined workflow and for which the risk is understood. Standard change is one method that ITIL delivers for service providers to be able to handle a high volume of successful change. Many of the activities done in a cloud computing environment fit well with this concept.
- Virtual asset management—Cloud computing environments often deal with various virtual assets. As the complexity and size of cloud environments increase, it becomes more difficult to keep track of those assets. ITIL provides a Service Asset and Configuration Management process that provides ways to manage and understand the state of various physical and virtual configuration items that are important to an organization’s daily business activities. All organizations, whether they use cloud computing or not, have assets that are important to the delivery of their goods and services, and ITIL’s Service Asset and Configuration Management process provides a way to control and manage them.
- Incident management—In traditional IT environments and cloud computing environments, things often break or don’t work as intended. ITIL provides an incident management process that is intended to focus on the quick restoration of service in the event of an interruption. Cloud computing environments can benefit from an organization’s already developed incident management process to ensure that complex cloud computing activities work as intended and are restored quickly when they fail.
Service management is needed to succeed with cloud. Existing ITIL structures may not support cloud well—that’s why adjustments must be made to ensure both are in tune. ITIL success hinges on governance, quality, maturity, organizational change and project management. These factors must remain top of mind while implementing an ITIL-cloud program.
Adapting your ITIL processes to support the cloud can position your organization to achieve greater agility, innovation and revenue growth.
Decision Brief: How ITIL® Helps Cloud Computing
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