Enterprise CIOs are facing new challenges trying to act as service brokers who manage diverse cloud computing relationships. As businesses outsource a growing portion of their IT systems to cloud providers, ITSM strategies must evolve to support interactions with these third-party vendors. Becoming a service broker demands IT teams take on new processes and competencies to support operations, and advanced ITSM solutions can help.
ITSM principles aren't just about managing technology; they are also capable of spurring collaboration and streamlined communication across organizational boundaries. Three especially noteworthy ways ITSM tools can help companies take on the role of cloud service broker include:
1. Streamlining Support Across Traditional Boundaries
Cloud computing is contributing to the data center without walls movement. The result is an environment in which IT teams must support systems across multiple geographic boundaries, creating communications barriers that can be difficult to deal with. It is one thing to run a data center in a remote office. It's a whole other issue entirely to rely on multiple third-party facilities spread over diverse locations. The amount of communication and collaboration that goes into maintaining these relationships is substantial, particularly for IT leaders trying to maintain constant uptime and provide excellent user support.
This is where operations become especially difficult. What do you do when your service desk gets a support ticket pertaining to an issue with a cloud solution that isn't directly managed by your IT department? You need to process the ticket, pass it along to the third-party vendor, make sure the cloud provider handles the issue in a timely manner and get back to the user to close the ticket. Having to communicate with cloud vendors can cause processes to stall, especially if you don't have standardized processes to handle this collaboration.
Service request management solutions can automatically sort different request types for you, breaking down the barriers between your internal systems and the vendor. Automatically sorting tickets through a service request management platform ensures the right requests get to the right destinations, streamlining operations.
2. Putting a Service Catalog in Place
You don't want your users to have to contact IT every time they need to enlist a new app or service. As users face new operational challenges, they can go to the service catalog to get a clear idea of the different solutions that are available to them. With such a solution in place, IT and support teams don't need to play intermediary between business users and cloud vendors. Instead, individuals open up the service catalog, browse applications, find the solution they need and sit back while all of the provisioning processes are automated.
3. Establishing Governance
Shadow IT is one of the greatest risks of depending heavily on the cloud. Giving your users freedom to subscribe to new services as needed can empower your business, but it also can lead to users spending heavily on apps and services, even extending beyond your fiscal limitations. You can use checks and balances within the service catalog to help with this, but you need governance over the entirety of your ITSM setup to make sure you don't end up facing cloud sprawl.
The business intelligence tools and other advanced features of ITSM solutions create transparency within your IT department, even if you are depending heavily on relationships with cloud providers. Visibility into your configuration, as well as into the interactions your organization has with cloud providers, is possible through mature ITSM operations that accelerate processes and create meaningful transparency.