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Cisco Data Center 2011-Texas: ITaaS Clouds Over ITIL

With the rapid increase in cloud services adoption, many in the industry are asking: Is the current IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) service management framework relevant to emerging cloud and IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) providers? In Cisco IT, we think it is. When our new Texas Data Center 2 (DC2) facility is complete, Cisco IT will be delivering private cloud services to our internal customers and transforming into an ITaaS provider. To find out more about how both Texas DC2 and ITIL are integral to this transformation, read more below.

Our ongoing chronicle Cisco Data Center 2011-Texas describes our goal to become a truly service-centric IT organization.  In Toward IT as a Service, we discuss how the building, deployment and management of our virtualized, cloud-based Texas DC2 facility under construction will help realign our organization and its practices to support an ITaaS environment.

But transforming an established IT organization into a service-centric, IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) model doesn’t happen overnight. Texas DC2 will be just one milestone in that roadmap for Cisco IT. This transformation is also discussed in Jim Robshaw’s post, IT as a Service: Building a Partnership Between Business and IT.  As Jim describes it, ITaaS is more than a technology model;  it is also a business model requiring “progressive cultural and process change.” For Cisco IT, much of that change has been influenced by ITIL best practices. Cisco IT began using ITIL as a tool and methodology for functions such as planning, change management, staff development, and service-based costing in 2004.  Most importantly, our adherence to ITIL’s focus on the service lifecycle (rather than on technology releases) has helped shape and motivate our IT organization’s vision for the cloud services that provide the foundation of an ITaaS model.

Through our shift into a service-oriented culture, ITaaS has become more than a vision.  Today, it’s a demand. It’s also the natural evolution of listening to our internal customers and learning to support and accelerate business.  With the availability of Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) and other cloud-based technologies, we can become service-centric not just as a deliverable or business process, but in the way we actually manage and use our network resources.  And we can contribute back into the best practices and framework that helped get us there. In this way, we will continue to benefit from evolving frameworks like ITIL, and new technological, cultural and business processes like ITaaS.

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