Unlike IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, etc. ITaaS isn't a technology model. It's a new mind-set and approach to delivering enterprise IT services - where IT operates and competes for "business" as-would a service provider.And, like a commercial SP entity, it actually tries to encourage service consumption, rather than discourage it.
This is in contrast to the stereotypical IT department that runs a bottleneck help-desk, issues locked-down equipment, charges the enterprise with a flat operating "tax", and is organized along purely technological lines.
This "new" IT thinks more like a business - not that it needs to deliver a profit per se, but that it's more customer (line-of-business) focused, understands its costs, and "competes" against alternatives that users now have outside the enterprise (a.ka. Shadow IT). The new IT thinks Self-Service provisioning, Choice Computing (BYoD), monitors variable costs and unit consumption, and is organized to deliver services, not technologies.
ITaaS Model - Components and Pointers
When IT begins thinking about becoming an "internal" service provider, there are 3 conceptual models that need to shift - (a) how services are generated and consumed, (b) a shift in how technology is leveraged, and (c) a change in operations and organization.
Where can you find the most authoritative information about ITaaS? I'd like to believe that EMC is leading the way with, among others, our own IT Department. But resources abound on the topic... I've begun to collect useful pointers from many points of view. And, from time-to-time, I will update this list with additional pointers, insights and success stories.
Don't take my word for it. Others are beginning to write about ITaaS, its benefits, its positive impact on business agility, and about where to start your plan:
- Channeling Entrepreneurial Spirit to Launch ITaaS by Jon Peirce, VP Infrastructure, EMC
- There's No Need to Reinvent the ITaaS Wheel on the EMC-IT Blog
- The Blind Men and The Elephant on the EMC-IT Blog
- EMC IT's Journey to the Cloud experience (PDF)
- IT-as-a-Service: Models for Consumption, Operations and technology on Fountainhead Blog
- IT-as-a-Service: Taking Care of Business from InfoWorld, 2007 (Prescient)
- IT-as-a-Service: Starting from the End from RES software blog
- IT-as-a-Service: Ten Key Steps on the Journey (PDF) via EMC
- IT-as-a-Service in State and Local Government (PDF) Center for Digital Government
- Three Steps to make IT Run Like a Business from CIO UK
If the enterprise is to undertake the ITaaS transformation, then senior IT leadership - as well as line-of-business leadership - has to be 100% behind it. But the traditional CIO-as-Technologist model necessarily has to give way to CIO-as-businessman. Running IT like a business means complementing technology with knowledge of how the enterprise's core business runs, IT financial management, IT organizational transformation, and even IT services-supply-chain management.
- Leading an IT Transformation Sajay Mirchandani, CIO on Chuck's Blog
- Are CIOs Doomed to Vanish in the Cloud? from CFO World
- The Top 10 Pitfalls of ITaaS Transformation on Chuck's Blog
- The "Cloud Concierge" - The new CIO Creating IT as a Platform from Clouds of Change Blog
IT Financial Transparency
A key characteristic of transformation to ITaaS is the ability to understand the costs of delivering individual services, and thus be able to allocate and price them appropriately. Once variable IT costs are understood, measured, and shared with the business, IT has a higher stake in ensuring that services are delivered and priced efficiently and transparently. And, by creating and assigning per-unit costs to services, IT can more efficiently match supply with consumption. Ultimately, improved IT financial transparency ensures more accurate decisions made both by IT and lines of business.
- How to Break Down the OpEx vs. CapEx Cloud Computing Debate by Bernard Golden
- Why CFOs and Cloud Computing Have a Love-Hate Relationship by Bernard Golden
- Achieving Financial Transparency on Chuck's Blog
- IT-as-a-Service: Guiding Principles for Achieving Financial Transparency [PDF]
- Delivering Financial Transparency From The Ground Up on the EMC-IT Blog
- Mapping a New Direction in IT Finance on the EMC-IT Blog
- IT Financial Management Can Help CIOs Align IT With Business Goals from Government Technology
- Private Clouds Shouldn't Mean Secret Pricing from ReadWrite Cloud
- The Pressing Need for IT Cost Transparency [PDF] by EMA for Apptio
- The End of Flat Tax Funded IT Blog by Paulo Prazeres
- How To Create a System for Charging-Back IT Services from CIO UK
- Other resources at the IT Financial Management Association
In a transformed IT environment, the goal is to drive an increase in service consumption by the business. The shift also includes IT viewing its business model as a profit center rather than a cost center, with more of a commercial mindset. To accomplish this, IT must change its operating model to simplify access to services, and to facilitate delivery of services – regardless of whether they are internally or externally generated. And, if IT is to become this ‘broker’ of services, it must develop a customer-centric supply-chain approach to delivery of services that the business demands, no matter their origin.
- An Image Makeover for IT on Fountainhead Blog
- IT-as-a-Service: Competing for Business vs. "Shadow IT" on Fountainhead Blog
- IT-as-a-Service: Chargeback and the Service Catalog from RES Software Blog
- How to Fight The Rise of Rogue IT Services: Compete - by Rodrigo Flores on Service Catalog Community and Blog
- Five Lessons of IT Consumerization from Datacentre Solutions, UK
- Cloud CIO: The Challenges of Competing with Cloud Computing Providers by Bernard Golden on CIO.com
- Learning to Compete: IT's Next Transformation read Report on EMC's CIO portal
- Image Template Considerations for Cloud Service Catalog from IBM Thoughts on Cloud
- The Consumerization of Tech: The New Enterprise Disruptor by Dion Hinchcliffe
Transforming Organization, Roles, Skills
As the IT organization transforms itself to become more like a service provider to the enterprise, internal IT skills, roles, and even the entire organizational structure will necessarily change. Traditional technology specialization areas will make way for more general, services-centric roles. Skills will shift from specialists who craft technology stacks, to generalists who manage holistic systems that produce user-centric services. Service product managers (both in-bound and out-bound) will also be in demand to maintain value alignment with line of business users.
- Organizing for Success on Chuck's Blog
- My IT is Ready. My People are Not on Fountainhead Blog
- Understanding Changing Roles in the Data Center on Managed View Blog
- The Evolution of IT: Don't Forget the People [PDF] from Deloitte
- Transforming the IT Workforce [PDF] from Accenture
- Preparing People and Processes for IT's Organizational Challenge [PDF] from EMC
IT-as-a-Service is still new, and most companies who have embarked on the transformation are still mid-stream. But a few are making their journeys public. Here are a few I've found.
- Accenture: Running IT Like a Business from Accenture's own IT department
- EMC: EMC IT's Journey to the Private Cloud: A Practitioner's Guide [PDF] from EMC's IT department
Industry analysts are beginning to adopt the "Run IT like a business" perspective, and even the ITaaS label. Here are some pointers (some reports require Analyst website logins/subscriptions)
- Forrester TechRadar™ for I-and-O Professionals: Mature Your ITSM Processes To Shift From Primary Service Provider To Service Broker (Q1 2012)
- Forrester Blogs Warning: Your Journey To “Demonstrating IT-Delivered Value” Passes Through The Quaint Little Town Of “Understanding IT Costs" (Nov 2011)
- Gartner Research: Hybrid IT: How Internal and External Cloud Services Are Transforming IT (Feb 2012)