In a recent post, I gave an overall description of a service portfolio and the key components of a portfolio. Here, I will describe how a cloud services provider might implement an ITIL service portfolio. A cloud services provider will regularly have a set of services under development, a set of service in live operation, and a set of services that are retired.
The Service Pipeline
The service pipeline will contain services that are in various stages of development. In order to be a competitive and effective cloud services provider, an organization must regularly survey the business environment and make decisions about what types of services to pursue. This could include completely new services to refactoring of existing services. A common item that would exist in a service pipeline for a cloud services provider would involve changes to the technologies that underpin cloud services. For example, if new virtualization software is released, a cloud services provider would likely have services transiting through the pipeline that are being modified to work with any new technologies that are released.
The Service Catalog
The service catalog for a cloud services provider will contain those services that are currently operational, as well as any operational details of those services that are important for customers to know about the service. For example, when I look at one famous cloud services provider’s current catalog at a high-level, I see services that fit into the following categories:
- Computing resources
- Dynamic database services
- Deployment and management support
- Application services
- Virtualized network services
- Virtual storage
I’ve purposefully listed these services at an abstract level. I also purposefully didn’t use terms like IaaS, Paas, and Saas. A typical service catalog provides the specific detail about each of these categories of services that a customer needs to make a decision about purchasing those services.
Retired services for a cloud services provider will include those services that have become obsolete or are no longer profitable. Businesses keep knowledge of retired services around for many reasons, one of which is that business conditions might change making a case for the return of the retire service to meet some business need. For a cloud services provider, retired services might include versions of their services that use obsolete, legacy, or replaced technology. It could also include services that the cloud services provider attempted to offer, but found to be unprofitable.
This post gave an example of a service portfolio that might be offered by a cloud services provider. In the next post I will discuss other real-world examples of service portfolios that we interact with on a daily basis.