When we think about cryptographic keys, we tend to think about closely guarded secrets. Keys are the only thing that keeps the attacker away from your encrypted data. Some keys are usually treated with the appropriate level of respect. Security professionals in the payments industry, or those that have deployed a PKI, know all too well about the importance... 

Richard Moulds

IT Service Management (ITSM) And The Cloud

IT Service Management (ITSM) And The Cloud

IT service management is an integral player in cloud computing, but figuring out where ITSM ends and the cloud vendor begins can be a trial to say the least. ITSM’s role in cloud computing varies from a symbiotic relationship between an IT department or company and a 3rd party cloud vendor, to a fully integrated cloud system that is built and operated by the same department. In this bit we’re going to address the possible benefits and dangers of both approaches.


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ITIL Lifecycle and the Cloud

ITSM’s best practice lifecycle is about service strategy design, service transition, service operation, and continual service improvement. When ITSM interacts with cloud vendors at least part of that ITIL lifecycle needs to be outsourced to the cloud vendor. The biggest draw and advantage of cloud computing for an IT service professional is that if an entire corporation is running their programs directly off of the cloud, then performing a software update requires only that the cloud be updated that one time, rather than that each computer has to have it installed individually.

In the first part of the lifecycle, the strategy design phase, ITSM can clearly operate on its own. Here the current system problems are addressed and solutions are developed. However during service transition the lines begin to blur. Should the update be installed by the IT personnel or the cloud vendor? If something is wrong who will be responsible for addressing the problem? It’s not always immediately obvious whether a problem stems from the new program code, or from the way it’s interacting with the existing programs on the cloud. The IT personnel may know what’s in their update, but since they won’t have built the cloud themselves they may not be able to troubleshoot some problems, and vice versa. Dealing with this type of confusion requires thorough, well-defined, and effective change management procedures.

ITIL Lifecycle integrated in the Cloud

A variety of ITIL service management software types now offer tools for ITIL integrated cloud computing which means cloud and ITSM professionals are working together throughout the entire ITIL lifecycle. Since this means keeping both groups of IT professionals in-house this means potentially higher costs for the business. Of course as businesses continue to outsource more and more of their IT services outright, and as industry software becomes more commercially available rather than having to be created in-house, it will become increasingly cost-effective as third party IT firms begin offering fully integrated cloud computing management and IT services.

BYOD, the Cloud, and the ITIL Lifecycle

An additional benefit of an integrated Cloud Service/ITSM team is that the two together will have a considerably easier time working out exactly what type of support software will be required for mobile management or integration of foreign devices from third party vendors in order to make them function on the cloud.

By Kyle Hurst,

Kyle Hurst writes for manufacturing supplier about IT services, ERP software, and manufacturing software.

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