Friday, May 4, 2012
Cloud computing focuses on technology solutions for cost savings, cost avoidance, and business agility, but in large enterprises cloud computing will be a catalyst for organizational realignment to converge traditional infrastructure silos. A new operations model is needed to bring insight into IT costs so that IT executives can become the brokers for internal and external cloud solutions.
Even though logic may point to a realignment of traditional silos, the shift is a challenge considering it will impact span-of-control for IT executives. In my experience, functional silos become barriers to innovation. Innovation thrives in environments that nurture ideas, collaboration, and diverging viewpoints. When departments run in silos they are not looking at broader aspects of organizational activities.
Businesses tend to structure their IT departments based on specific functional roles. These departments may include Wintel servers, mid-range, mainframe, storage and recovery, and networking. I am going to focus on one of the fundamental building blocks of cloud computing - virtualization.
Ownership of server-hosted virtualization often falls on the server team. The department that has supported the conventional physical server is not aligned from service standpoint to show the underlying costs of hosting the infrastructure. The list of services they currently provide the company are bundled into the operation cost of supporting the baseline infrastructure. Although these services are critical to the business, their operational support costs should not be a part of the core infrastructure charge-back.
The example below shows the activities your server team may be providing: