Cloud and IT Organizational Change

Recently, I was involved in the development of the Database as a Service reference architecture.  In developing the business and IT capabilities models, I defined Service Design and Development as required IT functions for the delivery of cloud services.  

This provided us the basis for establishing and managing the business service and technology service catalogs.  In order to effectively define the technology requirements, we needed to have a process to capture the characteristics and attributes of the database services to be delivered through a cloud model.   We had to incorporate appropriate Service Levels and Quality of Service options as well.

Once those were defined, we needed to develop technical capabilities for hosting the deployable services, along with the management of the resources and the deployed instances owned by the consumers.  The service development function was responsible for not only the packaging of the database deployment objects, but the processes and technology for service deployment, monitoring and administration.

 We looked to ITIL for guidance in defining the process for establishing the service strategy, service design, and the service operations, as well as the configurations of the resources hosting the consumer’s database service instances. 

After working on the reference architecture, I had a question – is this now an IT Capability or a series of process that IT follow?, Does the deployment of Database Services through a Private Cloud model require the IT Organization to change structurally, or do we apply the ITIL Process Framework on top of the existing IT Organization? 

The framework is certainly flexible enough to support a variety of organizational and operational structures.  I am not suggesting that the IT Structure needs to change in a dramatic way to begin to take advantage of this new capability. 

However, the ability to effectively develop the skills and experience in developing and delivering cloud services would be positively enhanced and matured through a dedicated practice within the IT organization.  This would not be dissimilar to developing Centers of Excellence for SOA or Business Intelligence.

What are your thoughts and experience?  Should a Service Architecture Design and Development be a capability supported by its own function in the IT Organization?  Should a Cloud Center of Excellence be implemented through the IT organizational structure, or a virtual organization based upon a policy and process framework?   How would this best be applied in organizations with distributed IT funding models?        

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