As organizations become increasingly dependent on software-based solutions, strategies to improve their efficiency and reliability are critical. IT Service Management (ITSM) provides a blueprint for the business strategy required to facilitate collaboration between your organization’s operations and the technology used to support them. CloudOps takes this one step further, allowing organizations to focus on their core-competencies rather than on creating and maintaining backend IT infrastructure and underlying technologies.
ITSM with CloudOps: Pros and Cons
CloudOps can be a tremendous ITSM ally, but not without a certain set of challenges to consider.
Pro: Managing and maintaining an expensive network infrastructure is not an easy task. By leveraging CloudOps, your organization can utilize existing cloud service providers. As an added benefit, the recent increase in cloud computing providers should mean higher quality and more competitive pricing.
Utilizing CloudOps means less worry about large up-front capital expenses stemming from the need to acquire and upgrade servers, software licensing, databases, storage, and networking infrastructure. CloudOps can also reduce operating expenses; let your provider worry about hiring the experts and keeping the lights on!
Con: Without your own staff of CloudOps experts, all requests for changes to your software infrastructure are likely to come with additional ad-hoc costs. Because a la carte pricing can add up quickly, it is important to understand what is included with your support contract.
Pro: More storage, processing power, or bandwidth is only a phone call away! Many cloud computing providers allow you to set rules to auto-provision servers to keep up with demand.
Con: Be sure to read the fine print. Can you scale back on your cloud capacity as easily as it was expanded? Does your cloud computing provider utilize ‘pay for what you use’ metered services?
Pro: Many high-profile cloud computing providers ensure that their infrastructure provides a compliant environment for many industries, such as healthcare, finance, and education.
Con: To protect from failures, cloud computing providers often engage data centres in several geographic locations. While this offers protection from data loss and eliminates the possibility of a single point of failure, it may be difficult to know for sure where your data is being stored. This is of particular concern for industries where information should not cross borders.
Pro: Cloud security is achieved through the use of many tools and best-practices to reduce risk, exercise appropriate threat-prevention, and remediate vulnerabilities.
Con: Many tools require configuration and monitoring to be effective.
Pro: CloudOps are not dependent on any onsite servers or infrastructure, making services easy to manage from anywhere at any time.
Con: Because management of CloudOps can be done from a wide variety of connected devices located in virtually any geographic location, there may be additional security risks and concerns. Be sure that users are only granted the access that is absolutely necessary.
Pro: It is the goal of CloudOps to provide continuous operations. This means zero downtime, which requires a comprehensive system that offers fail-over, backup, recovery, and provisioning.
Con: Do not test your disaster recovery plan for the first time in the middle of a disaster!
Also read: Top ITSM Tools & Software for 2022
Employing CloudOps for ITSM: Considerations
- CloudOps does not eliminate the need for traditional change management procedures. Cloud computing providers can offer stability, but ultimately your organization is still responsible for the software solutions you deploy on their platform.
- Giving up control over your IT infrastructure may mean having to move at the speed of your vendors. As server operating systems, databases, and other fundamental technologies are upgraded and updated, it may have a downstream impact on your own custom and procured software applications. The reverse may also be true, if you are planning a new development project that utilizes newer software or hardware technology than your cloud computing provider currently offers.
- Cloud solutions come in three sizes: public, private, and hybrid.
- Public cloud solutions are the most affordable, leveraging costs across multiple organizations (which may also introduce an increased risk for security vulnerabilities).
- Private solutions could be considered your ‘network away from home’, giving you complete control but at a much higher financial investment.
- Hybrid solutions offer the best of both worlds.
- CloudOps works in tandem with DevOps, it does not replace it. DevOps is still required as a part of the software development process by providing a methodology for creating, building, deploying, updating, and redeploying software applications that align with business objectives.
- CloudOps can make asset management more challenging.
Should Your Organization Use CloudOps for ITSM?
ITSM dictates how your team manages the complete, end-to-end delivery of IT services. CloudOps supports these activities by giving your DevOps team the ability to deliver applications and services quickly and easily.
That said, organizations should refrain from thinking of “the cloud” as a destination. Instead, it should be seen as a resource to leverage business efficiencies: don’t spread your IT priorities too thin, let your DevOps team focus on achieving your business objectives instead of worrying about network architecture and hardware procurement.