IT shops deploying clouds over the past year have been focused on Infrastructure as a Service ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrastructure_as_a_service#Infrastructure ) as a way to drive speed in virtual and physical server provisioning, cost savings in operations, proactive service level agreements, and increased control and governance. In one of my blogs I introduced our Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud http://blogs.cisco.com/datacenter/the-secret-is-now-out-you-can-simplify-cloud-deployments-with-cisco-unified-management/ and how that addresses both private, hybrid and public clouds IaaS. Key to this is the service catalog and self service portal. Moving to cloud is NOT about taking hundreds of server configuration templates and moving to them immediate self service. All you are doing in that model is automating VM sprawl. They key is defining a limited set of services and options that your end users such as application owners and technical folks can order through a self service portal and manage their life-cycle.
My key prognostication is that the market will move beyond IaaS in the second half of this year. Deployments will need end user based services such as employee on boarding and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desktop_virtualization#VDI . These are employee based services that need their own service catalog and self service:
These catalogs and self service for end user services have been around for over a decade. newScale, a company Cisco purchased spearheaded the term Service Catalog http://www.servicecatalogs.com/ , and the concept of IT as a Service (ITaaS). The ability to aggregate IT services across IaaS, end user services, PaaS, etc is going to be all the rage moving forward:
This uber catalog and self service model is a key enabler of Enterprises and Service Providers offering modern services to their end users and partners. As customers of our cloud stack, Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud, deploy Compute as a Service and Infrastructure as a service, we quickly find the need for other services such as Network Topology as a service and Storage configuration as a service. Can I on board a new employee? Can I get them remote access? Can I also offer a way for employees to get access to applications? Even if they are cloud hosted? Yes, Yes, Yes. Supporting this will be the ITaaS portal.