IT's All About the Services, Stupid

by: Jeffrey M. Kaplan

This was the title of one of my first commentaries for ITworld’s old Utility Computing portal back on January 14, 2004. I had to laugh when I saw a blog post Friday with the same title on GigaOm’s site regarding a panel session about Private Clouds during this week’s Structure ‘09 conference.

My original commentary focused on the hesitancy among the major technology vendors to adopt a services-driven strategy that would capitalize on the rapidly evolving Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and managed services capabilities which were emerging in 2004.

Based on the summary in the GigaOm blog post, it appears that the Private Cloud panel focused on all the reasons why enterprise IT shops have been slow to fulfill their roles as internal service providers.

Of course, the irony is that many of the vendors represented on the panel have encouraged their IT customers to be more focused on managing technology than delivering quality services. That is because despite all the advancements in cloud-based technologies and the success of SaaS and other cloud-based services, the major players are still stymied by their own internal operating and cultural constraints from aggressively pursuing and promoting meaningful cloud computing solutions.

So, it is easy to blame the customer for being reluctant to move to the cloud when traditional vendors are afraid of the business implications and financial consequences of this migration process.

This doesn’t excuse the failure of IT organizations to change their approach to developing and delivering applications, or the way they acquire and utilize computing resources to support them.

It is time to carefully evaluate how today’s rapidly evolving cloud computing services and best practices can be applied to corporate IT operations and leveraged to achieve their corporate objectives.