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Applying Cloud Principles in the Service Desk

02/10/2014 by: The SunView Team

Businesses that turn to cloud computing solutions can easily run into a situation in which corporate perception of IT changes. After all, when companies implement a public cloud, they are just moving all of those complicated and costly IT management tasks to a third-party cloud service vendor. At least, it looks that way on the surface. Non-technology users can easily buy into the public cloud hype and think it eliminates their internal IT service management requirements. The reality is that while the cloud alleviates the hardware support and some application maintenance challenges facing IT departments, cloud computing also creates significant operational challenges and forces IT teams to take on a more strategic role in operations.

This transition begs the question, "What do IT teams need to be more strategic in their day-to-day operations?" Deploy an advanced IT service desk is the natural answer.

Cloud computing's impact on IT service management
Yes, the cloud can ease system administration tasks and other core IT processes. However, service desk teams still need to manage issues like user authentication, ensure cloud applications integrate well with the existing configuration, manage legacy systems, help users submit tickets with the service provider, govern broad purchasing strategies based on operational needs and ensure technology processes comply with regulatory standards.

Turning to the cloud may simplify certain aspects of service management, but the way it forces IT into a more strategic role creates plenty of new challenges. This results in a situation in which service desk managers need more data. They need to be able to see how different technologies are used across the organization; which incidents are common; how cloud vendors deal with those issues; how similar concerns are handled internally and which service request load balancing. The right statistics can guide service desk decisions, something that enables companies to take the overarching principles of the cloud to the service desk.

Applying cloud principles to the service desk
To be clear, looking at cloud ideals and moving them to the service desk has nothing to do with technology. Instead, it is an issue pertaining to why companies move to the cloud in the first place. Many businesses facing the current economic reality are looking at their fiscal situation and realizing that they cannot afford waste. They also realize that they need to invest strategically in new solutions that give them the edge they need to grow. The cloud is ideal in this area because it serves as an innovation enabler and provides the kind of flexibility necessary to avoid the risk of fiscal waste.

Now, think about those core principles and consider your service desk. Do you have a solution in place that simultaneously eliminates process waste and provides the governance and oversight necessary to gain more control over key tasks like problem, change and release management? Many conversations surrounding the cloud talk about how heavy cloud investments lead to the cloudification of internal IT systems. Cloudification refers to the act of applying solutions like automation and virtualization to give internal IT systems functionality similar to public cloud systems.

The need to keep up with the cloud spreads outside of the IT systems in place. As businesses witness the operational and cost efficiency of the cloud, they will start to see a significant return on investment. Once you get a taste of these gains it is easy to look at the rest of your IT systems and wonder where you can get similar gains through the right upgrades. A strategic service desk investment gives companies the ability to institute operational and support excellence, delivering a considerable ROI and enabling them to take the core principles that make the cloud popular and applying it throughout IT.