A cloud service is any IT activity which utilizes resources accessed through broad network access, such as a web browser.
These resources are available on-demand, measured, and scalable based on the requesting demand.
Cloud services are an infrastructure-focused solution, providing the appropriate hardware, software, and virtual landscape required to meet business objectives.
The responsibility of the service may extend to the management of internal and external provisions of resources, and require a significant effort in identifying, evaluating, and managing suppliers of required cloud resources. Many IT services may utilize cloud services wholly or in part based on their requirements, sensitivity of data, and the availability of existing solutions.
The scope of a cloud service is largely based on the level and depth of abstraction provided through virtualization by the service provider. This document assumes that cloud services are managed centrally by a single group of dedicated architects, though the provision of actual cloud services may be fulfilled by several distinct service providers. Process Overview The process for developing capabilities is aligned with leading frameworks and standards in IT service management such as ITIL, COBIT, and ISO.
The five major phases of the process are: Defining Goals and Objectives Designing the Capability Implementing the Solution Maintaining the Solution Continual Improvement Defining Goals and Objectives In IT service management, the adoption of cloud services can be compared more closely with managed services or application hosting services, than business process services.
However, there may be opportunities available where a business process may be fully supported using cloud resources.
Because of the diversity of publicly accessible cloud services, it is difficult to carefully put all cloud services into a single classification.
NIST provided the first official definition for cloud computing, but there are just as many cloud services that do not fit the definition perfectly as there are those that do. Additionally, an organization may decide to seek cloud services for a multitude of reasons: reducing IT costs and competitiveness are becoming two major reasons.
The difficulty of the problem for organization is to determine the first step: does the organization choose to adopt cloud services then seek to change their business models to assimilate any chosen services, or do they create a viable business models then choose the cloud services to support and supplement the requirements? Until an organization fully understands and embraces cloud computing, we recommend the latter approach. Exploiting Potential Value in Cloud Computing — 16 Competent and motivated business and IT personnel 17 Product and business innovation culture 17 Knowledge, expertise and initiatives for business innovation The goals cascade and related generic goals can provide a context for mapping business processes and IT services, specifically as an effort to achieve the first IT-related goal of aligning IT and business strategy.
This cascade can be used to address the entire enterprise and its relationship with IT or individual business processes and services as identified in the previous section. In ITIL, a service is defined as “a means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs or risks” (Service Strategy, page 13).
In other words, the purpose of an IT service is to ensure that the outcomes of the business process are achieved.
From a COBIT perspective, achieving the goals for enablers, IT, and the enterprise will ensure that the stakeholder’s needs are met. Service Portfolios and Catalogs The number of publicly accessible cloud services should give any organization a pause, especially since some can be activated for free or minimum subscription fees.
These business models are geared toward individual use rather than corporate use of cloud services.
For the enterprise, this means that employees may already be familiar with these cloud services and may bring their use into the organization, often without any sanction from management.
It also means that any corporate spending on IT is being piped through corporate credit cards rather than matured procurement processes. The best approach of wrangling in rogue use of cloud services is by evaluating these cloud services based on agreed criteria and by publishing approved services through some internal catalog to employees.
This also enables the organization to track interest and usage in different types of cloud services, as employees access services through the catalog. The criteria used to approve cloud services must be consistent with current company policies and should reflect the financial concerns of using a cloud service.
For instance, most organizations have a policy regarding information security and how sensitive data should be handled.
Policies could restrict the use of publicly accessible cloud storage, like DropBox, to store confidential documents, but allow non-sensitive documents to be stored.
The approaches to controlling misuse of cloud services are through sporadic auditing, impacting employee training and behavior, or restricting the use of public cloud storage. Cloud service catalogs provide the best means of identifying and controlling the use of cloud services within the organization.
Several products can be used in conjunction with the catalog to monitor employee and corporate usage and performance of each service, such as Cloudability, Cloudyn, and Progress Software.
Additionally, cloud service catalogs provide a portal into multiple cloud providers and their services, enabling the organization to visibly “sanction” specific cloud solutions.
This portal can be automatically modified based on the employee’s login and role within the organization, for instance, only giving application designers and programmers the ability to access PaaS solutions while disabling these same solutions for other roles. Designing the Capability
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