Embracing IT Service Management in the Cloud

Michael Vizard

There's a lot of pressure these days on IT organizations to come up with more efficient ways of managing IT environments. A lot of that effort seems to focus on revamping the internal help desk by embracing new processes such as those defined by the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) specification.


But it takes a lot of time and effort to re-engineer those processes, so you can't help but wonder if perhaps the better part of valor, not to mention quickest time to deployment, is to embrace IT management-as-a-service that is delivered via the cloud.

That's the fundamental value proposition of Service-now.com, which announced that it has hired a new CEO, Frank Slootman, formerly CEO of Data Domain, which was later acquired by EMC. The former Service-now.com CEO, Fred Luddy, is now the chief products officer for the company.

One of the more compelling things about delivering IT as a service, says Slootman, is that it provides an opportunity for IT organizations to create a centralized "system of record" to unify all the IT management tools that have been deployed over the years.

In fact, Luddy adds that as cloud computing evolves, managing IT using existing toolsets is only going to become more difficult because all the different cloud computing platforms effectively isolate the applications that run on them from most of the internal IT management tools in use today. Furthermore, IT organizations are going to have to deal with managing any number of cloud computing environments, which Luddy contends is going to be a lot easier to do using a service that already runs in the cloud.

For example, Luddy envisions IT organizations leveraging the application programming interfaces made available by Service-Now.com to create portals, otherwise known as IT service catalogs, to manage federated cloud computing deployments.

The simple fact of the matter is the future of enterprise IT is going to be defined by any number of "borderless applications" that make use of a wide variety of distributed platforms both inside and outside the data center. Managing those hybrid cloud computing environments is going to require new IT service management (ITSM) tools and processes that will need to span multiple organizations. But before any of that can happen, there's going to not only be some common agreements worked concerning systems management vernacular, there's going to have to be a centralized location through which all the stakeholders can work together. Chances are that place is going to be in the cloud.

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