IBM's Cloud Platform: Optimized Service
Management, Tailored for Your Needs

IBM's Cloud Platform: Optimized Service Management, Tailored for Your Needs

SERVICE MANAGEMENT IN ACTION The power of cloud computing to drive positive change in enterprise IT is becoming clearer and clearer—and given the state of business today, it couldn't come at a better time.

Confronted with a wide range of IT challenges, today's organizations can leverage cloud architectures not just to solve those challenges, but also to create a solid foundation of future growth.

Clouds can, in a business sense, do more than merely provide cover. They can also make it rain.

That's particularly important at a time of rapid change, when new complexities and new opportunities are both emerging more swiftly than ever. Among others:

Cloud architectures can address all of these complexities—transforming business infrastructure and services to foster innovation and generate superior value.

Thanks to extreme efficiency as service delivery platforms, for instance, clouds can empower organizations to create, deploy, and optimize services far more quickly than ever before. They can improve security, support regulation compliance initiatives, and reduce management complexity and operational costs. They can deliver access to key services or data to partners or clients in a safe, context-aware fashion that creates new value but avoids new risks.

All of these points are likely to show up on the To Do list of today’s CIOs.

IBM can help optimize integrated service management via cloud

“A cloud can be a transparent, next-generation engine of business strategies. Customers can track how well the cloud is executing those strategies, assess when changes are needed and implement those changes, and thus respond quickly and easily to shifting business demands or circumstances. They can, in short, get a superior business outcome…while also driving down costs and risks of many kinds.”

Moving forward with a cloud initiative, however, will mean implementing cloud in a way that makes the best business sense given the specific context of the organization, taking into account many possibilities and complexities. Toward that end, organizations will usually benefit from a trusted partner with extensive experience in cloud, to ensure they get the right cloud implementation for their circumstances (both now and going forward).

IBM is exceptionally well positioned to be that partner. In addition to an industry-leading portfolio of cloud solutions and services—ranging from private cloud offerings within enterprise IT to managed cloud services available over the Internet—IBM offers some of the industry's most experienced and informed consulting, applicable to organizations of all sizes and challenges in all industries.

Already, IBM has worked with more than 2,000 clients to leverage cloud computing to best effect in industries ranging from banking to retail to software development to insurance. Each industry was characterized by a different business context, and each organization had its own goals and interests; the common factor they shared in getting a successful outcome was IBM.

One reason for this is IBM's vision of integrated service management to achieve holistic, end-to-end optimization. Making that vision possible: IBM solutions that offer enhanced Visibility (seeing the business), Control (making adjustments to the business), and Automation (leveraging intelligent industrialization to render services with maximum consistency and lowest costs).

Thanks to IBM's expertise and solution/services portfolio, cloud architectures don't have to be simply another IT investment that will deliver an uncertain return. Instead, a cloud can be a transparent, next-generation engine of business strategies. Customers can track how well the cloud is executing those strategies, assess when changes are needed and implement those changes, and thus respond quickly and easily to shifting business demands or circumstances. They can, in short, get a superior business outcome…while also driving down costs and risks of many kinds.

IBM can even, in some cases, be the single-source provider of complete cloud strategies, centralizing both project management and accountability for the client. That's a value proposition few other IT solution providers can offer—if any.

Tailor your cloud implementation to your needs

Of course, "cloud computing" means many different things in many different situations—and achieving the full potential of cloud in your own situation will mean making pragmatic choices that reflect your infrastructure, your goals, your business challenges, and other factors. One question to consider, for instance, is what sort of cloud will be best suited—a private cloud under your own control? A public cloud service available from a third party? A hybrid cloud that utilizes elements of both of those architectures?

Beyond that initial question are many other possibilities. You may wish to implement cloud in a very limited way at first, taking more advantage of it over time. Perhaps this would take the form of deploying high-impact workloads only, in which the advantages of a cloud would be strongest. Alternately, some organizations might find that a more full-scale cloud implementation could be used to optimize one or more data centers in a much broader sense.

Should cloud services involve IT Operations, IT Development, or both? And how hard (or easy) would it be to apply service management strategies to different forms of cloud implementations? These are all important pieces of the overall puzzle—and it can be a difficult puzzle to solve.

Fortunately, IBM offers a refined capability maturity model that describes a simple progression over time. This model involves four basic phases through which organizations can gradually transition from the conventional IT architectures of today to the customized cloud architectures of tomorrow—getting clear benefits at every phase, while also managing change and the associated costs and risks.

These phases are:

Clouds deliver benefits from the finest detail to the biggest picture

Wherever organizations may find themselves in this model, IBM can work with them to pursue the next step—getting remarkable and quantifiable benefits from cloud computing in many ways, from the most abstract to the most specific.

Among the specific cases, consider these compelling possibilities:

Of course, these are all very specific instances. Pull back your perspective to the big picture, and you'll find that cloud projects can deliver impressive benefits across the full service lifecycle and at multiple levels of the IT infrastructure.

For instance:

If these ideas sound attractive, IBM can help you achieve them, or any combination of them, in a way that delivers the intended value on schedule and under budget. Also important: IBM can help you avoid the complex and costly rip-and-replace implementation you'd get from other providers. Instead, IBM's comprehensive cloud service delivery platform leverages the IT investments you've already made to superior effect…while dramatically improving your business agility.

A specific case—and some very impressive results

Just that outcome was achieved by a European banking client confronted with commonplace challenges: the need to reduce IT costs, accelerate IT service delivery, and compete better in a demanding and unpredictable business climate. This organization chose cloud computing as a solution—and IBM to help them create it.

By working with IBM, they were able to create a cloud architecture in which new virtual servers, provisioned by standardized server images, are created in a matter of minutes. Furthermore, thanks to solutions from the IBM Tivoli service management portfolio, they are now orchestrating service management cloud-wide—across multiple domains and business contexts—for superior value at every step along the way. And with help from IBM consultants, they integrated the cloud with their existing management systems for automated workflow across various job roles and duties.

The results? Faster time to market for new services. Improved visibility of emerging needs and issues. Accelerated problem resolution. Reduced delivery costs. Superior service management for a wide variety of services.

That's the promise of cloud computing. Work with IBM to achieve it today.

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