Cloud Services Providers, typically by taking advantage of virtualization, have made it easier than ever for Line of Business users to rapidly and inexpensively source computing infrastructure, storage, hosted development platforms and enterprise class business applications over the Internet. Usually this can be done, or at least started, with a very low monthly subscription fee, no commitment and a credit card.
In most, but not all, enterprises, IT organizations are facilitating the effective exploitation of such services, establishing standards and processes and handling negotiations to make sure that costs and service levels are managed in line with business goals. At the same time, many IT organizations are gearing up to provide services to their internal customers on similar terms, also usually exploiting virtualization. This may include rapid or even self-provisioning of infrastructure resources and internal usage-based billing. In the vast majority of enterprises, IT services are comprised of a combination of both.
|Research conducted by Enterprise Management Associates |
in 2011 shows that Virtualization is already the top driver of
network management priorities.
- They Perceive Options | Internal customers are coming to see internal IT as just one way to get the technology resources that they need. This makes it increasingly difficult for IT organizations to set service level objectives at a point that optimizes cost with outcomes based on business logic. Instead, CSPs, seeking to compete for revenue generating customers, drive the standard higher than might make sense.
- They Act Like Customers | Employees collaborate with IT to get what they need in the context of what is best for the enterprise overall. Customers decide what they want and what they are willing to pay for it, then select a provider. Someone with a customer attitude tends to be concerned with getting the best deal for themselves and tends to demand more.
- They Need the Network | None of these services can be accessed without a robust network. Ironically, even as internal customers turn to third party service providers for a portion of the services that they once looked exclusively to internal IT for, their dependence on internal IT to enable them to access these services increases. Ultimately this shifts operational priorities toward the network. The more CSP services are used, the more sensitive to network outages and performance issues users become.