Coordination between IT and Cloud Provider Service Desks - dummies

Coordination between IT and Cloud Provider Service Desks

By Judith Hurwitz, Marcia Kaufman, Fern Halper, Daniel Kirsch

In a cloud computing environment, you must effectively manage the coordination needed between your enterprise IT and cloud provider service desks. Your internal customers need to trust that IT services will be delivered as expected and issues will be fixed promptly. Your organization needs to monitor the entire environment based on service requirements of your business users.

You should establish policies and best practice guidelines for all internal users so they can easily funnel all service requests through your service desk (or your service broker’s service desk). It will only add confusion (and possibly go against service provider contract terms) if each user of a cloud service makes independent service calls or e-mails to the cloud provider. You can also set up a triage based on the severity of the problem.

In many cases, you may be able to resolve simple problems internally without involving the cloud provider service desk. When you want your cloud providers to support a major set of services in your environment, there are several important capabilities you want them to provide.

Incident and problem management

Incident and problem management services include recording, routing, and resolving an issue; notifying interested parties on the status of the issue; and reporting on the issue. The following issues may cause serious outages and are among the most important that need attention.

  • Configuration management: Someone made an error while changing a configuration.

  • Network: The network gets overloaded.

  • Database: A database table needs to be optimized.

  • System management: A server’s processors failed, and the failover didn’t work.

  • IT security: A denial-of-service attack is in progress.

  • Application: A program has a bug.

Change management

The service desk should support the management of change requests, including information about how system parts interact. Often, the provider will include some support for customization in the contract. This might consist of one-on-one interactions with someone on the cloud staff.

Knowledge base

If service desk personnel don’t have the right information to do their jobs, they won’t be able to respond and perform appropriately. Knowledge management ensures that people get the information they need to do their jobs correctly. Service management systems often link to a database for past incidents and how they were resolved; this database speeds the resolution of incidents.