Author(s): Al Bender, Posted 01/31/12
Cloud computing, as we know it today, is evolving from the well-known “Infrastructure as a Service” metaphor to one of providing entire solution services. Exemplified by the ever broadening use of cloud-based CRM (customer relationship management) and cloud-based mail and office tools, one has to admit, the transition has been quick and furious. If you haven’t been watching, other emerging solutions have made their mark on the industry.
One I’d like to highlight here is ITSM (IT service management) as a service. Like CRM, it is a critical service for most enterprises. It typically provides key services required by the business such as managing IT resources and providing IT services to either internal or external end users. Functions like asset and configuration management, change and release management and most importantly service and incident management are performed by ITSM solutions. Typically these systems are on-premise and staffed by the IT department. They are capital intensive and consume large amounts of labor. Many organizations who have on-premise ITSM in place are struggling with the high total cost of ownership and administrative burden they pose. Dealing with the inevitable upgrade cycle and on-going maintenance burden are factors causing many to switch to more modern SaaS-based ITSM solutions. The delivery of these solutions mirror CRM offerings and provide the same benefits:
- Reduces overall costs
- Eliminates need to install and operate software or servers
- Provides the latest version, requiring no software upgrades
- Offers modern solutions – built for the web with latest technologies and typically easy to learn and use
- Subscription based which covers license, maintenance, and support fees
- Continuous innovation that provides new features and capabilities
- Shortest time to value – can be deployed quickly and gain full value in days and not months.
Solutions as a Service such as cloud-based sales force automation and cloud-based ITSM provide their services via the utility-based delivery model that works so effectively in the water and power industries. After all, the cloud delivery model is based on many of the same principles – shared infrastructure, over provisioned, redundant functionality, monthly fees based on usage, and best handled by domain specialists rather than individual IT departments.
One last thought before I end – think about how effortless it is today for entrepreneurs to set themselves up with some of the key infrastructure and application services they need to run their business. They can be up and running with robust, enterprise class applications in the shortest time ever – and it will only get better. This is just the tip of the cloud iceberg – much more is coming!
The statements posted on this blog are those of the writer alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unisys.
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