Teaching Management to think New Thoughts

Teaching Management to think new thoughts

HP has a range of services that are about educating C-level executives about Cloud Computing. They call it their Cloud Discovery Workshop. Alright, not so appealing in name and

While I was here at VMworld, HP took me through what this looks like and, weirdly, this has led me to appreciate something that I haven’t quite thought through. Changing how managers and project managers think about processes is going to be part of the challenge. I think that most engineers are getting used to the following slide and that most of us understand the revolution in virtualised infrastructure.


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One of the biggest blocks for the adoption of cloud is any form, private/public/hybrid, is that our management and project management people are using thinking and processes that are not able to cope with Service Portfolio of . That is, ITIL has seen the rise of project based accounting where a given need is given a dollar value and then implemented. But Cloud Computing fundamentally breaks this model by basically forcing the concept of a Service Portfolio. That is, instead of buying a server and OS and application and so on, and having that cost encapsulated in a single project budget, we have to build a new form of IT that says the cost of a VM with these parameters of CPU, Memory, Network and Storage is going to cost “this much”.


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The gap between project based portfolio management that is so loved by ITIL graduates who get indoctrinated as part of their PRINCE2 certifications, to think in a certain way is that they continue to think in vertical blocks of changes. Need – Cost Analysis – Business Plan – Service Overiew – Technical Plan – Implement – Operate.

Cloud Computing

So Cloud Computing breaks the learning of ITIL by creating portfolios of portfoilios. Something that ITIL cannot comprehend. That is, a Service portfolio for ITIL refers to things like accounting, productivity apps, and so on that is abstracted from the delivery. A Cloud Portfolio creates an IT portfolio that the Service Portfolio must use.

And that’s where most Managers stop thinking because that get very hard to implement and visualise.

So, A workshop

HP has obviously seen this problem as a threat to future sales because they have developed a workshop that is targeted at Executives to help through the process of identifying where Cloud Computing and Infrastructure Service Portfolio. Now this is normally something that I would scoff at, but there is an element of truth here.

Lets assume that our managers need help to comprehend the fundamental change that’s happening, and that listening to their own people / engineers isn’t working because of some imagined communication gap. Then this workshop is probably just the thing to open some dialog.

The workshop develops through nine phases that nicely reflect a MBA’s dream of how “things should work” and talks through the changes in areas like Governance, Business Case, Service Management and more.

The EtherealMind View

If your executives are struggling to understand what Cloud Computing means, or what the advantages are, then this is a service from HP that you might want to consider. It’s a day long, on site professional service using HP resources to help management understand the changes. It is light on technology, long on MBA speak, and probably just the thing for executives.

Ultimately, the cloud needs changes in our IT processes, and the only people who can make that change is management. This might be one way to make that part happen a lot quicker.


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About Greg Ferro

Greg Ferro is a Network Engineer/Architect, mostly focussed on Data Centre, Security Infrastructure, and recently Virtualization. He has over 20 years in IT, in wide range of employers working as a freelance consultant including Finance, Service Providers and Online Companies. He is CCIE#6920 and has a few ideas about the world, but not enough to really count.

He is a host on the Packet Pushers Podcast, blogger at EtherealMind.com and on Twitter @etherealmind and Google Plus

You can contact Greg via the site contact page.

  • http://twitter.com/trejrco TJ

    Just about any ‘business transformation’ requires management (of some form) to think in the correct terms of the ‘new’ model … sadly, so many managers are unable | unwilling to do so, preferring to stay within their comfort zones and maintain an “as it is now, so shall it always be” mindset. Which is atleast partially responsible for many companies’/products’ failures …

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