Pioneers of ITIL and Cloud Computing

It’s hard to write history when you’re still in the thick of recording it. However, in cloud computing we’ve amassed just enough background to name some of the early pioneers who’ve helped establish the relatively new computing paradigm.

The list is neither exhaustive nor all inclusive. And, undoubtedly, there will be other lists, highlighting other quiet innovators whose names we’re just beginning to hear, and whose accomplishments will be well-known in the coming years.

But for IT managers in the midst of considering or adopting cloud computing, this list offers a commentary on where we have so recently come from, and where we may be going in the near future.

This list necessarily ignores how even these pioneers are standing on the shoulders of giants themselves. Consider, for example, the key work accomplished on distributed systems at Sun Microsystems and the early cluster builders, who preceded Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Rackspace on the cloud front.

Still, cloud development has moved at an accelerated pace compared to how long it took personal computing or client-server computing to emerge. Amazon Web Services Simple Storage Service (S3) service launched just six years ago, followed by Enterprise Compute Cloud (EC2). Google AppEngine launched in 2008. Microsoft’s beta version of Azure cloud services came in 2009.

The cloud paradigm is less than a decade old, but from the start, there seemed to be an understanding among its diverse pioneers that a new era was dawning and it would share a set of common characteristics. Any list of cloud computing pioneers would have Amazon’s Werner Vogels near the top. But the architects and hands-on implementers who made his evangelism real, like Chris Pinkham, also deserve a nod. Then there is Randy Bias, cofounder and CTO of CloudScaling. Then we have Jonathan Bryce who liked working with computers as a youth and had an older brother who was one of Rackspace’s first 12 employees.

Even the individuals named are in the habit of saying progress in the cloud is seldom an individual effort. Usually cloud advances are established by a large group of collaborators, and more often than not they are working in full public view with an open source code project like OpenStack or Eucalyptus or CloudStack or the Open Compute hardware project.

But some individuals were standing there before the pattern of cloud computing emerged. They acted at a time when the notion was still under attack. In believing, they risked being branded as charlatans and producers of mere vaporware, when in fact they were forging ahead to help define a new era.

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ITIL Change Management Process

An ITIL Service Strategy is a guide to applying strategic thinking to IT service management. The ultimate goal is to design, develop, and implement service management as both an organizational capability and a strategic asset. This highlights how you can transform your IT organization into a valuable service provider to business as clients or for your in-0house job.

Many businesses believe organizational change is an inherently messy, chaotic process. Without a doubt, change can derail business. But that’s because leaders have been managing it using faulty assumptions and outdated mental models.

Today’s wealth of data and powerful analytics capabilities have uncovered predictable patterns of how organizational change unfolds. These insights enable managers to navigate around dangerous pitfalls. Leaders and managers can now base their decisions on hard data, namely, the experiences of hundreds of thousands of people who have undergone change programs, telling us exactly what’s worked in the past versus what hasn’t.

Change Management Support

Process Objective: To provide templates and guidance for the authorization of Changes, and to supply the other IT Service Management processes with information on planned and ongoing Changes. 

Assessment of Change Proposals

Process Objective: To asses Change Proposals which are typically submitted for significant Changes by Service Strategy. The purpose of assessing Change Proposals is to identify possible issues prior to the start of design activities.

RFC Logging and Review

Process Objective: To filter out Requests for Change which do not contain all information required for assessment or which are deemed impractical. 

Change Assessment by the Change Manager

Process Objective: To determine the required level of authorization for the assessment of a proposed Change. Significant Changes are passed on to the CAB for assessment, while minor Changes are immediately assessed and authorized by the Change Manager. 

Change Assessment by the CAB

Process Objective: To assess a proposed Change and authorize the Change planning phase. If required, higher levels of authority (e.g. IT Management) are involved in the authorization process.

Change Scheduling and Build Authorization

Process Objective: To authorize detailed Change and Release planning, and to assess the resulting Project Plan prior to authorizing the Change Build phase. 

Change Deployment Authorization

Process Objective: To assess if all required Change components have been built and properly tested, and to authorize the Change Deployment phase. 

Post Implementation Review and Change Closure

Process Objective: To assess the course of the Change implementation and the achieved results, in order to verify that a complete history if activities is present for future reference, and to make sure that any mistakes are analyzed and lessons learned.

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ITIL – What Is The IT Infrastructure Library

ITIL, formerly an acronym for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is a set of practices for IT Service Management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of business. In its current form (known as ITIL 2011 edition), ITIL is published as a series of five core volumes, each of which covers a different ITSM lifecycle stage. Although ITIL underpins ISO/IEC 20000 (previously BS15000), the International Service Management Standard for IT service management, there are some differences between the ISO 20000 standard and the ITIL framework.

ITIL describes processes, procedures, tasks, and checklists which are not organization-specific, but can be applied by an organization for establishing integration with the organization’s strategy, delivering value, and maintaining a minimum level of competency. It allows the organization to establish a baseline from which it can plan, implement, and measure. It is used to demonstrate compliance and to measure improvement.

Since July 2013, ITIL has been owned by AXELOS Ltd, a joint venture between HM Cabinet Office and Capita Plc. AXELOS licenses organizations to use the ITIL intellectual property, accredits licensed Examination Institutes, and manages updates to the framework.

Responding to growing dependence on IT, the UK Government’s Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) in the 1980s developed a set of recommendations. It recognized that, without standard practices, government agencies and private sector contracts had started independently creating their own IT management practices.

The IT Infrastructure Library originated as a collection of books, each covering a specific practice within IT service management. ITIL was built around a process model-based view of controlling and managing operations often credited to W. Edwards Deming and his plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle.

After the initial publication in 1989–96, the number of books quickly grew within ITIL v1 to more than 30 volumes.

In 2000/2001, to make ITIL more accessible (and affordable), ITIL v2 consolidated the publications into nine logical “sets” that grouped related process-guidelines to match different aspects of IT management, applications and services. The Service Management sets (Service Support and Service Delivery) were by far the most widely used, circulated, and understood of the ITIL v2 publications.[citation needed]

In April 2001, the CCTA was merged into the OGC, an office of the UK Treasury.

In 2006, the ITIL v2 glossary was published.

In May 2007, this organization issued version 3 of ITIL (also known as the ITIL Refresh Project) consisting of 26 processes and functions, now grouped into only 5 volumes, arranged around the concept of Service lifecycle structure. Version 3 is now known as ITIL 2007 Edition.

In 2009, the OGC officially announced that ITIL v2 certification would be withdrawn and launched a major consultation as per how to proceed.

In July 2011, the 2011 edition of ITIL was published, providing an update to the version published in 2007. The OGC is no longer listed as the owner of ITIL, following the consolidation of OGC into the Cabinet Office. The 2011 edition is owned by HM Government.

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