Putting a Stop to Cloud Services Sprawl

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Make the Financial Case for Virtualization and Cloud Computing

With the delivery of infrastructure, platforms and software as a service, it's not all that surprising to discover that IT organizations are struggling a bit to keep pace with who is using what service when and for what. In fact, the odds are good that there are multiple duplicate services being delivered, which means the organization is not using volume pricing to get a better deal on a specific class of services.

Chaos, however, will inevitably get someone's attention, which is why Hewlett-Packard has launched a new HP Service Integration and Management service based on the company's IT Performance Suite software that helps organizations identify all the cloud services that are being used across the organization.

According to Michael Garrett, vice president and general manager for HP professional services, as cloud computing adoption increases, it's becoming clear that organizations of all sizes are starting to struggle with the complexity of trying to manage multi-source environments. The end result is often not only expense in the form of duplicate services, but also a lack of realization as to when it makes financial sense to consolidate a set of services or simply move them back on premise. This is because monthly fees are exceeding the cost of what would be required for the internal IT organization to deliver that service themselves.

The new HP service, says Garrett, allows organizations to leverage the skills of HP consultants using the latest version of HP's IT management tools to identify what cloud services are being consumed by what departments across the enterprise. Once armed with that information, IT organizations can then make a stronger business case for which service should be delivered by what provider, which in many instances may turn out to be the internal IT organization.

As it is with most bubbles, there is a certain amount of irrational exuberance taking place around everything cloud. Before that exuberance gets any more irrational, it's important to start identifying those services by classes of technologies. This is usually the first step towards the reintroduction of rational IT behavior that ultimately changes the role of the IT organization in the era of the cloud.