Whether you are an institution that’s already established your own public cloud, or are interested in forging your own private cloud (in order to become a vendor), you should know the perks associated with emblazoning your organization through ITIL. Establishing a cloud (or cloud service) can be a somewhat daunting task, unless of course you have strategic elements in play which can make the process more clear-cut. ITIL is an excellent supplementary form of inter-departmental control which is perfect for guiding virtually any IT organization through daily operations, problem management, and modification(s), even in a cloud environment.
However, one of the most often overlooked benefits of fostering an IT division steeped in ITIL is how much easier transitioning to the cloud actually is. This is to say that when it comes time to add cloud services, integrate current systems with cloud computing technologies, and / or adopt a pure cloud computing model, ITIL is a blessing. So, how can ITIL benefit your cloud-centric organization?
First off, the biggest rewards regarding ITIL implementation come from long-term adherence. Though ITIL is often seen as little more than a reference for the best methodologies associated with IT infrastructure management, it can also create a highly organized system concerning how operations are generally carried out. For instance, those IT departments already utilizing ITIL to manage / run their pre-cloud infrastructure(s) often find that it creates a solid foundation of stability within all areas of IT (this includes hardware / software management, as well as personnel). This extra control layer, if you will, creates a nearly automated, self-micro-managing element which allows upper IT management to focus on more important details, for example.
Let’s imagine that your organization has already established a cloud and are considering / attempting to explore the option of becoming a cloud service provider, how can ITIL assist in this type of situation? Once again, ITIL is as much a mindset as it is reference tool for traditional IT solutions; if your IT personnel are familiar with, and possess a general understanding of ITIL (especially in how it relates to the IT service lifecycle) then the entire operation will be empowered by this. It’s also important to note that certain hardware (and software) technologies have been co-opted from grid computing and applied to the cloud; meaning, in these types of instances, ITIL can be directly applied (to these components) should the need for service or solutions arise.
Cloud computing itself is a very intriguing take on computing and networking in general. The traditional, or standard IT infrastructure model, is essentially a combination of centralized assets that feed and network with a great number of individual nodes, each with their own on-site assets (hardware, software, storage, security, etc.). While there’s nothing inherently “wrong” with this model, it is extremely inefficient, especially when compared with cloud computing.
You see, in a typical grid computing / networking scenario many individual systems will often utilize excessive amounts of energy and computing power on a regular, ongoing basis. Not only is this wasteful and a pointless expenditure, it also prevents, or rather restricts the abilities of other users who could perhaps use the bandwidth / power to perform more critical tasks. Cloud computing basically seeks to centralize as many elements of computing and networking as possible in an effort to provide nearly limitless (computing) power where needed / desired.
Yet another one of the great things about cloud computing is its ability to repurpose hardware from non-cloud infrastructure. This is to say that virtually any piece of hardware which is / was used as part of a grid computing / networking setup can be “repurposed” in order to facilitate a new cloud infrastructure. Since these elements (repurposed hardware) are essentially familiar technology (though not particularly cloud-specific), they can (likely) be serviced and maintained in accordance with ITIL standards and methods; yet another great example of how ITIL can function within “the cloud”.
Whether you are an organization that’s transitioning over to cloud computing or have already done so, ITIL certification and training is something that can benefit individuals as well as the entire organization. Additionally, ITIL training can be delivered via an e-learning solution, which is not only more convenient for students, but is also extremely cost-effective (by a very wide margin). In fact, there are even bulk licenses available for those organizations that want to treat their personnel to enhanced certification.
If you are managing an IT department that’s currently contemplating integrating cloud technologies then certification in cloud computing is definitely a must for all employees. Like the various ITIL programs that are available, cloud computing training and certification is inexpensive, intensive and more than capable of preparing professionals for both certification tests as well as career challenges.