There’s absolutely no doubt about it, cloud computing has arrived and it isn’t going away any time soon.  However despite its growing popularity and use within IT, government, and across the world, cloud computing is lacking in several ways.  For example, cloud computing is lacking a standardized set of processes, methodologies, or systems for establishing, running or appending infrastructure(s).  This is slowly changing however as establishments like ITIL are starting to devote more attention toward establishing a definitive guide for cloud computing (infrastructure and operation), it’s definitely on the horizon, so to speak.

But aside from any planned long-term adaptation of ITIL to cover cloud computing concerns, the fact is that it (ITIL) can already be applied (to cloud computing) in a number of novel ways.  One of the most obvious things that ITIL can do for cloud computing is to assist in the construction of its infrastructure.  This is to say that elements from ITIL and the IT lifecycle can be leveraged against, or rather synched up with individual components or portions of any cloud service model.  For instance, in IaaS (Infrastructure as a service) ITIL can be used to help individuals or groups manage those areas which their respective vendors aren’t responsible for (like applications, data, runtime environment, and middleware).  This is of course the view from the cloud computing client’s point of view; those organizations which are actually providing cloud services can utilize ITIL to cover pretty much any area of any cloud service model.

Of particular interest is the way that ITIL can be used to handle on-site activities related to servers, storage, and networking.  Even though cloud computing uses a completely different (structure) model apart from traditional IT (grid-based computing / networking), it is still reliant on nearly identical IT-intensive duties, processes, routines, and concerns.  This is to say that the manner in which work is carried out by grid vs. cloud IT squads are certainly different but they’re not radically different; therefore, many of the same principles held in high regard by ITIL aficionados should also apply (to the cloud model).

At its heart, ITIL is really about creating as solid an IT infrastructure as humanly possible

Security is a big concern for cloud computing and ITIL can definitely be used to not only correct and prevent data breaches, but also to generate solutions so that IT can stay ahead of the game, so to speak.  What does ITIL do for cloud computing and its security?  ITIL is helping to centralize cloud computing so that it can become stronger, more transparent, and expansive.  One of the biggest perceived weaknesses in cloud computing is its apparent lack of a centralized establishment which is capable of creating guidelines for other startups to follow.  Currently, it could be argued that (the general idea is that) as more and more institutions begin exploring and setting up their own clouds, a body of logistics will emerge from those that were successful, while those that failed will represent the path(s) that should not be taken.  However, this is not so much a solution or intelligent advancement of cloud computing as it is wishful thinking.  This is of course the reason why ITIL has made such a big push toward establishing a body of knowledge surrounding cloud computing operation and methodology in recent years.  By now it should be obvious to everyone that ITIL is headed in the direction of dealing with cloud computing.

At its heart, ITIL is really about creating as solid an IT infrastructure as humanly possible, which is also very central to cloud computing as well (or any other form of computing / networking).  Since many of the hardware and software elements of cloud computing are merely repurposed from grid computing, it only follows logic that (at the very least) some holdovers from grid-based ITIL can be applied to certain cloud models.

But in order to truly understand how these two disciplines fit together (cloud and ITIL) you must familiarize yourself with both of them.  This is of course where ITIL training and certification, as well as cloud certification are of extreme importance.   Here are the facts:

  • ITIL and cloud computing are slowly merging
  • Businesses, employers and IT groups are coming to rely on ITIL (and/or are expecting their IT employees to be well versed in the subject)
  • Cloud computing is everywhere and growing in popularity with each passing day

Every IT professional should be aware that neither ITIL nor cloud computing are going away any time soon.  The reality here is that both of these areas of study (cloud and ITIL) are part of an entirely new emerging trend in computing, networking, and IT; if you truly want to remain relevant in a changing environment you have to get with the program, so to speak.  Luckily, there are dedicated, cost-effective, digitally-delivered e-learning training and certification programs available for both Cloud Computing and all levels of ITIL.  If you want to stay ahead of the game and are a true careerist; training and certification in both of theses disciplines is highly encouraged.


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