Webinar – Managing The Cloud In The Digital Era

Join Peter Hubbard a Principle ITSM Consultant at Pink Elephant and Mark O'Loughlin the Managing Director of the Cloud Credential Council as we explore how ITSM is affected by cloud computing.

Cloud computing brings many business benefits ranging from increased cost efficiencies, business agility, improved use of resources, reduction of operational issues and capital expense but it also brings many challenges to address. How can ITSM ensure that cloud services are managed and deliver real business benefit for their organisations?

Successful cloud adoption can enhance economic growth and have significant industry impact across the economy, but unsuccessful cloud adoption can open the organisation up to potential data breeches, cloud sprawl and loss of control.

In this webinar Peter and Mark discuss how to avoid the lack of control that blights many cloud adoptions in the digital era.

https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/10001/318627

Watch this playback on-demand now.

Passed ITIL Practitioner. Some Musings On The Experience

Just finished sitting the new ITIL Practitioner exam online with PeopleCert. And the scores are just in. A pass and a good pass at that. So just taking the time to post a few brief comments on my experience with this new certification from AXELOS.

My first exposure to the ITIL Practitioner course was an official reviewer of the publication and its associated toolkits. Initially I was impressed with the approach, the content and the way the authors (yes numerous authors here) joined up the material. Although at the early stages of development, these was feedback given on how to improve things (in my view).  Fast forward to 2016 and the polished up text was approved for publication, shortly followed by the official exam and certification.

Next up I took part in one of the Train the Trainer (TTT) sessions for ITIL Practitioner provided by ITpreneurs. Incidentally, ITpreneurs are one of the few official courseware providers, for the immediate time anyway – which ensures that quality content is provided to delegates attending the course. I can say first hand that the trainer material provided by ITpreneurs is of excellent quality, concise and very helpful to both trainers and delegates.

After that, I must admit, my focus was 100% put towards passing some recent exams for an MBA which I am in the middle of.  So self-study (trainer) time for ITIL Practitioner was limited.  

The ITIL Practitioner exam is open book. This is a welcome advancement as I am an advocate for open book exams under the right learning conditions. The sample exam is good. The syllabus is clear. The ITIL Practitioner Guidance book is easy to read, follow and use. All this helped towards my exam preparations.

In the interest of integrity I will not discuss the exam proper or its content. Only to say that a small number of the questions could have done with having some more specifics included to help identity the BEST answer. Or maybe it’s me? The other point I think I can make is that anyone with a reasonable background in organisational change or continual service improvement initiatives and ITIL would have a reasonably good chance in passing this exam.  There is ample time to complete the exam even though there is a lot of context to be read in the scenarios. The ITIL Practitioner Guidance was liberally used and references during the exam.

By the way I stuck to my first answer on ALL the questions, even though I had ear-marked five for a final review. Goes to show – go with your gut instinct. It can serve you well.

In closing I am excited to have passed the latest offering from AXELOS. I am very pleased with the ITIL Practitioner Guidance and having been part of its development as a reviewer. I wish it every success and hope people and organisations will benefit from having a standardised approach to making improvements continually. For me it is back to the MBA and six months of more study, assessment and exams (really) – but the optimist in me says that at the half way mark the glass seems half full!

Calling all Irish based IT Service Managers, IT managers and anyone else in the industry…

Calling all Irish based IT Service Managers, IT managers and anyone else in the industry…

Can you help with the following research project by answering a small survey?

Aislinn Collins is currently completing her 3rd year of a BSc. in IT Management in the Institute of Technology Tallaght.  

In order to complete her 3rd Year project she is undertaking research on the impact of the adoption of Cloud Computing on Information Technology Service Management within Irish organizations.  

The focus will be on large organizations but she is happy to receive completed questionnaires from micro, small and medium-sized organizations in order to compare experiences across different sectors.  

Research questions to be answered include whether there is a need for formal ITSM practices such as ITIL or COBIT to be adapted or augmented in light of the new service and deployment models associated with cloud computing.

Please take the short questionnaire https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NZ7H7FF

Thank you for your help with this research project.

Passed The New RESILIA Foundation Course

I am delighted to have just passed the new RESILIA Foundation exam.

As this is a brand new course and certification released by AXELOS, I thought it would be a good idea to provide some details of my experience and the materials I used to prepare for and take the exam.

As part of the current international Train The Trainer (TTT) programme for RESILIA I was provided with comprehensive courseware provided by ITpreneurs. ITpreneurs is one of the four official global RESILIA courseware providers licensed by AXELOS.

I was provided with a copy of the trainer slides which are externally interactive and a digitally protected softcopy version of the student handbook, which includes comprehensive notes and guidance on both cyber resilience and areas which are likely to be examined.

The course book contains one full sample exam and a second sample exam is available for download from the RESILIA website (login may be required). This provides delegates with a total of one-hundred sample questions to use to prepare for the exam proper. The exam consists of fifty questions with a pass score of 65%.

First off I scanned the course book and slides. As the RESILIA foundation course is based at Blooms Level 2, key definitions are certainly examined. Also examined are key and pivotal points and areas regarding cyber resilience. As a trainer it was easy enough for me to spot the key tenants of the course and using the syllabus I got a clear view of what areas are examined. Then I took a day out oy my schedule to read, take notes, prepare, do the sample papers, review and repeat the process again.

Beware though, this approach is not for everyone, and as I learnt later on during the exam proper, once you rule out the question distractors you are generally left with at least two plausible answers.

As part of the TTT, I was provided with an exam voucher to take the exam online. As I am registered through PeopleCert, I took the online exam with them. The process was seamless and best of all, with online proctoring, I did the exam in the comfort my own home office.

Overall the courseware is good, the book is concise and the two sample exams help prepare for the exam proper. Beware though, the exam is not to be taken lightly.

For those trainers out there who want to upskill and deliver RESILIA courses, I understand there is still an opportunity to register for the RESILIA Train The Trainer for free up until the end of August 2015, at least through ITpreneurs.

The next step is to tackle the forthcoming RESILIA Practitioner exam in order to quality as an official trainer for the RESILIA Portfolio.

Report highlights service and support issues when adopting cloud computing

My latest article on cloud computing is available at the below links and is also reproduced here

http://bizplus.ie/auxilion-report-urges-more-cloud-awareness/

http://www.businessandleadership.com/leadership/item/51521-report-highlights-service/

Businesses adopting cloud computing services need ask a range of questions about support, backup and security to ensure that they receive adequate levels of service from their provider, according to a new report.

“Cloud computing and cloud based services are growing exponentially, yet many are unaware of the questions they need to ask to ensure quality of service,” said Mark O’Loughlin, head of cloud advisory and consulting at Auxilion and author of the report.

The IT service management and cloud computing report highlights key issues that need to be discussed with the provider before implementing cloud services, including the legal jurisdiction the data stored in and the level of service and back up provided.

“For example, customers may assume that their applications and services are fully resilient and backed-up, only to find out during a service outage that they have inadequate arrangements in place,” O’Loughlin said.

“The legal jurisdiction of where the data is stored also poses serious legal and compliance issues such as who has access to the data from a legal perspective and what data protection laws apply.”

The report advisers that cloud computing and cloud based services customers should expect, and demand, at least the same levels of service as those provided by traditional IT service providers and internal IT organisations.

And it recommends implementing ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) principles to support the adoption and use of cloud computing and cloud based services.

“Applied properly, cloud computing has huge cost and productivity benefits,” said O’Loughlin. “For example, businesses no longer need to procure, operate and maintain full and complete back-end IT infrastructure and applications. In addition, smart phone and tablet devices have enabled new mobile business models which did not exist ten years ago, via cloud enabled applications and improvements in data communications and broadband access and speeds.

“However, when adopting cloud computing and cloud based services, businesses should not forget the basic principles of IT service management.”