When it comes to the future of enterprise IT, there's a lot of talk about how IT needs to evolve into a set of on-demand services. No trend better illustrates that issue than the move to cloud computing.
But like most things in IT, managing IT-as-a-Service is a lot easier said than done. The simple fact of the matter is that most IT organizations don't have the right tools in place to manage IT-as-a-Service within their own organization, nevermind extending the management of IT-as-a-Service out to a third-party cloud computing provider.
That is why David Link, CEO of ScienceLogic, a provider of an IT management system, says that IT organizations are going to have to start ripping pages from the playbooks of managed service providers in 2011. Companies that deliver IT services are a lot further down this path towards the next generation of IT management than the average IT organization. Link says that internal IT organizations would do well to take a close look at the tools that managed service providers use to deliver repeatable sets of IT services to multiple customers.
The end goal for 2011, says Link, should be for internal IT organizations to deliver IT-as-a-Service in a way that allows the end users to consume a service without any direct intervention of the IT department. By putting the right tools in place, an internal IT organization can maintain control over what IT services are actually offered, while at the same time putting a little distance between themselves and the people who consume those services.
That self-service IT concept is important because that distance allows the IT organization to concentrate more on issues that add value to the business, versus spending all their time sequentially serving the needs of each individual end user.
Ironically, Link says the future of IT will be defined more by mainframe-class IT management tools that will make the distributed chaos of cloud computing appear to be one holistic fabric. The challenge facing IT organizations in 2011 is going to be finding and mastering the right tools that actually allow them to manage IT-as-a-Service.
There's an old saying that "it's the player, not the equipment." And yet, every professional athlete makes use of the latest and greatest equipment. So if you really want to up your IT game in 2010, chances are you should think about getting some better equipment and the right tools to manage it.