Cloud Forces a Service-Centric IT Organization

By Keith Jahn  |  Posted 2010-03-29 Print this article Print

Cloud forces a service-centric IT organization

In order to survive, IT must transform itself from a technology-centric organization (providing and managing assets) into a service-centric organization. Service-centric represents an advanced state of maturity for the IT function, enabling it to operate as a business function-a service provider, structured around a set of products that customers value and are therefore willing to pay for.

These services come into being as part of the business strategy and are organized into a service portfolio. The differentiator between this model and the capability-centric model is that the deliverable is a service that is procured as a unit through a catalog and for which the components (and sources of the components) are irrelevant to the buyer. Contrast this with the capability-centric model where the deliverables are generally a collection of technology assets that are often visible to the economic buyer and delivered through a project-oriented life cycle.

In a service-centric function, the organizing principle is the service. This means that everything is structured around the sourcing, delivery and management of services. Employing a structure similar to a supply chain model, the work associated with the services can be completed using a configure-to-order approach where standard components are used (sourced internally or externally) to quickly fulfill a service request.

The service-centric model will eliminate some existing roles and generate new ones within the IT organization. What emerges is a more nimble, agile IT organization, one that can quickly respond to changing business needs and can compete head-on with commercial providers in the cloud service marketplace.

Keith Jahn is a Director in the office of the CTO for HP Software and Solutions. During his career as an IT practitioner, architect and strategist, Keith has successfully designed and implemented technology, automation, and service management strategies. He has also led several large-scale transformation initiatives. Keith has a passion for IT-led business effectiveness and has held leadership roles in IT and commercial outsourcing at several Fortune 500 corporations. He can be reached at

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel