Information Technology Infrastructure Library and the cloud

Many IT organizations rely on the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework for service management and operations. Over the years the ITIL has proven a useful set of practices for IT Service Management (ITSM) and for aligning IT investments and operations with business goals. Among its benefits, advocates and practitioners of ITIL point to increased reliability, uptime, and predictable costs.

ITIL fundamentally concerns itself with IT services; that is, the functions and processes that the IT
organization provides to the business. A service is something—an application, a set of applications,
information, people—that a business user consumes in order to perform a business function. In
general, the cloud as a technology does not change the goals of ITIL; however, the cloud can
dramatically change how services are delivered, as we have shown.

ITIL consists of five key strategic areas:


 IT Service Strategy ITIL’s Service Strategy provides a set of frameworks for determining what
services are delivered, how their value is measured, how to measure cost and provide a measure
of return on investment (ROI), and how to manage the IT relationship with its business partners.
Earlier in this chapter, we described how to set up a strategy effort that defines the overall goals—
technical, financial, and organizational—of the cloud migration effort.


 IT Service Design In IT Service Design, design of processes and how they relate to one another,
service level agreements (SLA), capacity and availability management, business continuity
management, security, and supplier management are covered. We discussed these topics as well
earlier in this chapter; patterns for backup and business continuity are provided in Appendix B.
IT Service Design also notes the need for a service catalog, of which the portfolio management
and configuration management systems described earlier are key parts.


 IT Service Transition Service Transition governs how services are delivered and deployed. Such
areas as change management, release and deployment management, and service evaluation are
typically part of the transition phase. The goal, of course, is that new services and changes to
existing services are deployed with minimum impact to the overall IT ecosystem.

Whereas the structure of service transition remains the same, the actual tasks when deploying a
service to the cloud change significantly as we have described. In particular, the emergence of
DevOps and its associated methodologies means that the processes and tools associated with
deployment are new and different. In addition, IT departments might want to think about such
areas as SLA measurement differently, considering that there might be additional latency to the
cloud, for example.

Similarly, IT departments should set up a test cloud environment mirroring the production
environment in order to allow user acceptance testing (UAT), load and penetration testing, and
integration testing with other applications prior to full production deployment.


 IT Service Operation Service Management covers the management and monitoring of services,
and how issues are managed and resolved. Key to the Service Management component is the
notion of a Service Desk, the primary point of contact for service incidents and events. The service
desk as well as the call center and help desk, if separate, will need to be trained to support cloudbased
services.


 IT Continual Service Improvement In Continual Service Improvement (CSI), IT personnel and
business teams work together to ensure services can quickly meet new and emerging business
requirements. CSI is heavily data driven and relies upon operational statistics as well as business
insights to determine where focus should be placed.
In general, cloud migration will force organizations to change some of the mechanisms and processes
by which they implement ITIL, although the basic structure of ITIL is generally technologyindependent.


However, organizations should also consider how to extend their own processes to
be more agile than ITIL might suggest; given that experimentation and prototyping (as we have
discussed earlier) are quick, think about how to do them as part of the strategy and design phases
of ITIL.

Source of Information : Microsoft Enterprise Cloud Strategy

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