The following is Q&A with Mark O’Loughlin discussing Cloud Computing for ITSM. This interview was held in advance of the itSMF Estonia conference.

On December 2nd, itSMF Estoniais hosting their 9th annual full-English conference, presenting a wide range of topics around ITSM, including DevOps and Cloud. Delegates will be able to enjoy a truly international selection of speakers, including Kevin Behr (co-author of The Phoenix Project) and Adrian Cockcroft (previously Cloud Architect at Netflix).

Attendance fees range from €50 to €100, which is more than a bargain, and to top that, Van Haren Publishing will be giving a free e-book to every delegate.

Leading up to this event, Mark O’Loughlin, as recognised industry leader in the field of service management and cloud computing, shares his view on Cloud Computing. He explains how Cloud Computing is changing IT Service Management, with a Q&A of his presentation at the itSMF UK Conference this November.


Q. Can you give a quick recap of the intro to your session at the itSMF UK Conference?

A. Cloud computing is changing how IT is provided, moving many elements of ownership and control away from in-house and individual IT providers. Therefore this shift in the industry brings about changes which organisations need to be aware of in order to address them.

I provided an overview of the effect of cloud computing on existing IT management practices, including IT service management (ITSM) and ITIL best practices


Q. Why is cloud computing important?

A. Cloud computing is a disruptive innovation in business and IT models. It is disruptive because it is changing how IT products and services are being provided for both the consumer and the service provider. Cloud computing is moving organizations away from the traditional software licensing models and premises-based data centre hosting to ‘pay-as-you-go’ or utility based pricing.

Over time, as the adoption of cloud computing increases, organizations will see a reduction in the IT infrastructure which they would have previously bought, operated and maintained.

Cloud computing does not fit every scenario, but where it does, the promise is one of scalability, lower cost, flexibility and reliability. Please note, it is incumbent on any organisation moving services to the cloud to check how these promises will be delivered.


Q. What does this mean to IT service management and service providers?

A. Cloud service providers are no different to traditional IT service providers in relation to their need to provide quality, cost-effective, secure and available IT services. When you move your services ‘to the cloud’, certain elements of how an organisation traditionally managed IT services will have to change. The difficulty is the lack of knowledge beforehand of what organisations need to change and how to make those changes.

In my presentation I provided a number of considerations and scenarios where organisations will have to adapt and change their processes and working method after outsourcing to a cloud provider, be it a full or partial outsource engagement.


Q. Does this mean organisations have to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, regarding how they run and manage their IT services?

A. Absolutely not. IT organizations using ITIL and other frameworks and standards, will be required to adapt certain elements of their operations to cater for the disruptive nature and benefits of cloud computing.

For those organizations using ITIL best practice and other frameworks and standards the message is clear: there is no need to undo the current IT organization and how it operates. The important thing is to identify the areas that need to be updated, changed or modified. This way organisations can profit from the added value that cloud computing can bring to the organization as well as to the customers and consumers.

These concepts and ideas are further explored in the recently released white paper by AXELOS.

Download a free copy here.


About Mark O’Loughlin:

Mark O’Loughlin is the founder, Managing Director and Principal Consultant of Red Circle Strategies. At Auxilion, Mark is Service Architect and principal consultant.

He is the former director of itSMF Ireland and one of the first people to be globally awarded with the ITIL® Master accreditation.

At the Cloud Credential Council, Mark is as director actively involved in creating and promoting best-practice for cloud computing and service management. He is also the Lead Author and Architect of the Professional Cloud Service Management course and certificate for the Cloud Credential Council. For further details click here.



Mark O'Loughlin

Mark is a global authority in helping organisations achieve the very best from their investments in people, technology and digital services. He has served on the Board of Directors of itSMF Ireland and Cloud Credential Council. Mark is a Fellow of the Irish Computer Society, awarded for his achievements and contribution to the IT profession and industry. His prolific publishing includes two books published in four languages, 100’s of articles, and whitepapers. He developed the world’s first certification for the business management of cloud services accredited by Cloud Credential Council. As a member of the international standards group ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 38, Mark contributed to the development of global standards for IT, cloud and digital services.