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All Things IT Management

George writes about all things IT Strategy, Management, and IT Service Management

ITSM for the Cloud


Is ITSM relevant in the modern IT department?

I have heard many people say ITIL® is out of date and no longer relevant. We have new frameworks like DevOps, Agile and the like. This not a comparison or a competition with other frameworks.

The question we want to explore in this article is; Is ITIL® still relevant for the Future IT department? To answer this question we must have a picture of what the Future IT department will be like. To do that we are going to look back and see the trends that have occurred that will most likely repeat themselves.

Where we came from

Early IT department looked mostly after centralised Mainframe systems and the networks that would connect these system to user terminals, large data stores and printers. This technology architecture enabled back office business system to be used by multiple end users. However, technology began to evolve. Personal Computers were developed along with them came a new architecture for business systems. This architecture is what we commonly refer to as Client Server architecture today.IT people that had the foresight to see this architecture would be the future of computing systems and embraced it there has been decades of time to develop processes and practices that effectively support this architecture. About mid-life of this architecture the Internet began to really take off. As a result most of those Client Server systems replaced their client software with web enabled user interfaces and we ended up with the current state multi-tier architecture. For those who did not embrace these change they became less relevant to their business and over time demand for their skills began to wane. For them the world had changed around them and they found themselves wondering what happened.

Change is happening again, so what is driving it?

Global international competition for products and services is driving a market place where competition is fierce. Businesses and Public service agencies are looking for increased productivity and reduced cost to maintain their competitive edge or deliver service more cost effectively.

Common workers today have a multitude if connected technology devices they use and they use varying applications to be more productively personally. This results in an expectation, that in the corporate world that they should be able to utilise these devices applications and platforms to work more efficiently. Enter the millennial and the concept of being tied to a specific desk or specific device all day to do their job becomes absurd.They can't see how older generations had managed to do that for so long.

With the rapid growth of "Cloud / as a Service" solutions that are permeating the global IT scene, growing more and more each day and the exponential growth of things connected to the Internet you have just the right mix to demand change. Therefore change in the IT world is upon us whether we like it or not.

Interim approaches to solve the problem

Some IT shops have adopted modern development frameworks and approaches to become more agile in response to Customer demands, However, we have to ask ourselves is this the end game or just an interim approach to address anxiety of our consumers.

Some also have begun to adopt "Cloud infrastructure as a service" (IaaS) as an approach to this problem. However, moving your current Client Server Architecture based systems to someone else's machines is merely a shift in where things are done and who owns and operates the physical machines. Of course using IaaS is a step in the right direction. However, still it is not the end game.The major difference with IaaS is shifting capital expenditure for physical assets into operating expenditure so we pay as we go for compute power we use it, instead of paying for physical assets that we have to replace every 3-5 years. I see this as a step toward the end game where everything IT will be "as a Service".

Future of IT

The Future architectural model that will replace in-house owned and operated Client Server architecture is: Cloud based / "as a Service" solutions.

The future IT systems architecture model for IT solutions will be "as a Service".

Today we have the following "as a Service" options that business can subscribe to: (not an exhaustive list and it is growing every day).

Backend as a Service


Business process as a service


Content as a Service


Data as a service


Database as a service


Desktop as a Service


Function as a Service


Games as a Service


Infrastructure as a service


IT as a service


Logging as a service


Monitoring as a Service


Network as a service


Platform as a service


Disaster Recovery as a service


Robot as a service


Security as a service

Software as a service


Storage as a service

SaaS represents the biggest benefit for businesses today.

Today's world of entrepreneurs and start-ups can be up and running with fully feature rich Enterprise Resource Planning Systems, Customer Relationship Management Systems, Content as a Service systems, that can all be integrated with each other using Integration platform as a Service solutions (iPaaS). All this makes them rapidly adaptable to market and business changes and enable them to scale rapidly.

The future IT department

The future IT department must become the broker and support organisation for "as a Service" solutions of the future.

They must become the go to partner for solving business problems with "as a Service" solutions securely integrated with enterprise or "as a Service" identity management systems.

They must become the integration specialist connecting "as a Service" solutions with in-house and legacy systems where needed.

For the future IT department to stay relevant to your business you need to embrace the future of the "as a Service" architecture model that will eventually replace our current Client Server architecture of today.

Is ITSM relevant in the modern IT department?

The answer is yes.

Even though some areas of the Service lifecycle and IT Service Management process will change it still remains that IT departments must still define a strategy for the type of provider the need to be. They will still need to define Service Strategies to address their businesses challenges. Service Portfolio Management, Financial Management,

Demand Management, and Business relationship management still exist.

Service Design for the most part becomes an analytical process that understands the business problems, that are reflected in the Service Strategy and ensure the "As a Service" solutions in the market place will best meet the business needs. Key aspects to the service design package will still exist. However solution designs content will change. Service Catalogue Management,Service Level Management, Capacity Management Availability Management are still a part of service design. Supplier Management processes and practices will have to improve in most IT departments will have to change to be successful in this new world.

All of the aspect of Service Transition still remain with some tweaks to service transition planning and support as the build function is now different.However, Asset & Configuration Management, Knowledge Management, Change Management, Release & Deployment Management, Transition Planning & Support and Service Validation & Testing are still required in this bold new world to ensure we as an IT organisation and our business is ready for the change we are delivering to them.

Of course just because the service you represent to your business are developed and maintained by third parties doesn't mean that Service Operations goes away. There will still be incidents, we will still have to own and work with our suppliers to solve problems, Request fulfilment and Access Management don't go away the become more critical to the success in this "As a Service" world. And of course don't forget with the expansion of the devices connected out there the internet of things (IoT) means the Operations bridge/centre monitoring and Event Management will just become more complicated.

For all of us that understand it Continual Service Improvement, monitoring checking and initiating improvements is how we got this point we are at, where this change is upon us so embrace Continual Service Improvement as it is the backbone of staying relevant to your business as an IT service Provider.

Feel free to book an initial free consult with us if you would like to discuss how we can help you along this journey.

IT Needs to Stop Selling Services!

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Wednesday, 20 January 2021
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