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How CIOs Can Reinvent IT with ITaaS

In recent years business lines have been increasingly going the shadow IT route to achieve their critical objectives, showing there’s a real disconnect with IT as to how to leverage cloud computing.

The problem lies with cloud vendors who ignore the issue of the business vision. They see low IT costs and accelerated application delivery as business growth drivers while businesses are more concerned with market responsiveness achieved through agile and collaborative environments that bring together the business and IT.

The business is right: organizational silos, hierarchical barriers, unclear business priorities and people issues like power struggles, resistance to change, defiance of policies and politics are all impediments that only make it more difficult to achieve flexibility, fast problem solving and decision making.

The solution is to implement IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) in the form of integrated platforms of people, processes, practices, governance structure and tools specifically built to bring the business and IT together.

The Business Facet of the Digital Revolution is What Matters

The digital revolution which get so much buzz is incompletely explained to CIOs. What they must understand is, to succeed, businesses need to implement integrated digital strategies.

As the figure above shows, what matters  most is to increase customer value, not the extensive automation of application deployment suggested by techies. In fact the business belief is customer value (what customers spend to buy services) results from theorganizational dynamics where through a shared governance, IT addresses the opportunities prioritized by marketing, and leverages organizational agility and accelerated application deployment mechanisms to continuously deliver added-value services.

The Crucial Role of ITaaS Delivery Models

The above perspective is accepted in the industry. VMware and EMC even designate ITaaS as the model through which to implement it. Yet, an overall framework clarifying its principles, organizational and operational implications as well as its deployment practices is still missing.

Most consultants and vendors remain stuck in a techie mindset in which business concerns are at the periphery, not the core. The solution rests on the principles of frameworks like the Complete ITaaS Delivery Model which seeks to increase customer value through three fundamental drivers: the Cloud Platform, the Cloud Services and the IT Operating Model, as shown in the figure below.

The logic is, increasing customer value isn’t as simplistic as delivering applications at the speed of light through automated IT processes; rather, it’s part of a virtuous circle that spans effective marketing, accelerated application deployment and, most importantly, organizational efficiency improvement. In his best-seller Reengineering the Corporation, former MIT computer science professor Michael M. Hammer warned, “automating a mess yields an automated mess.”

What’s needed is authentic cloud services from vendors that guarantee, via clear SLAs, available, reliable and scalable IT resources, consumable in a self-service and on-demand manner. They release operational latitudes that create the conditions for organizational agility.

Similarly, the organization’s operating model’s elements – including people, processes, practices, tools and governance structure – must be arranged in a way that creates operational agility. Without it, market responsiveness is a wishful thinking.

Key Steps CIOs Must Take to Align their IT to ITaaS

One of the reasons digital transformation remains an “elusive mystique” as Joe McKendrick calls it in his must-read “The Elusive Mystique of The Digital Enterprise,” is IT players including the major IT vendors are stuck in short-term goals. They lack the big picture vision and don’t understand how cloud solutions, operating models and cloud services combine to generate customer value.

Following are three key steps you can take to align your IT to ITaaS.

1. Reinvent your CIO role, think beyond technology. The disconnect with the business has reached a tipping point, as the use of shadow IT demonstrates. By legitimizing the idea that technology is the only business growth driver, IT vendors have confined CIOs to the limited role of IT tools provider.

To win legitimacy the CIO must trade his tools provider jacket for that of business strategy facilitator. As the figure shows, he must contribute to his organization’s Digital Enterprise Value Chain (a set of added-value activities) by focusing on IT as a Service Management activities.

2. Develop the vision of your future Virtual Computing Capability (VCC) and unlock the cloud’s cost savings. Taking your IT organization to ITaaS involves converting your datacenter into the VCC that’ll cut your IT costs and streamline your IT processes, as the figure demonstrates.

Discuss with your IT teams the following issues:

  • The workload to migrate including applications, software and hardware configurations as well as security, backup, disaster recovery and fault tolerance requirements
  • The overall architecture of your VCC, particularly the IaaS layer that’ll serve as the cost-effective Virtual Infrastructure and the PaaS layer that’ll implement a continuous delivery platform to enable accelerated application delivery
  • Operational management and executive control of the overall VCC


3. Rethink collaboration with the business, institutionalize DevOps to remove the impediments to operational flexibility and make your IT agile. For years essential value drivers like organizational and operational consistency, shared governance, executive consensus and cross-functional collaboration have been ignored. Whether techies admit it or not, poor IT focus on priorities, organizational dysfunctions, poor policy adoption and the like are the primary impediments to value and they aren’t fixed by technology.

When not narrowed to improving communication between application development and IT operations and to automating application deployment processes, DevOps is the agile and collaborative platform to adopt. Extended to business issues, its principles, processes and practices simplify the organization’s collaboration network and accelerate prioritization and decision-making, helping to make the operating model agile.

Set up an ITaaS task force involving the business and IT to discuss the following issues:

  • Establishment of an extended DevOps structure that’s not only focused on application development but spans the overall enterprise digital strategy (EDS) activities
  • Alignment of DevOps principles, practices, processes and tools to your business considerations
  • Establishment of a change advisory board (CAB) serving as shared governance to identify priorities, create consensus on them and provide executive leadership to facilitate their delivery
  • Establishment of a continuous delivery platform providing the logic and the infrastructure needed to accelerate application delivery

Wrapping Up

To help their business grow and prosper in the digital economy, CIOs must reinvent their IT with ITaaS. The widely spread notion that cloud solutions on their own will make IT organizations agile and boost business growth is an intellectual swindle which not only keeps them in the now outdated role of IT tools provider but also widens the gap between the business and IT.

In his article, “Cloud Computing’s Second Act is All Business,” Joe McKendrick warns, “IT is one small piece of the cloud story. A much bigger story is coming from the business itself. This is also the hard part.” IT vendors that purposely tell a different story aren’t helping.

About the Author

Philippe Abdoulaye is VP Cloud and ITaaS Transformation Strategy at ITaaS Now. He is the author of two books on Cloud Computing and ITaaS, and the originator of “The Complete ITaaS Delivery Model Framework™.”

He advises IT leaders on their cloud and ITaaS transformation strategies and has counseled executives from Credit Suisse, American Express, Orange Business Services, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Educational Testing Services (ETS) on their IT transformation. Former Accenture IT strategist, he is a recognized thought leader and his work has been featured in major publications like ZDNet.

Philippe’s latest book is The Complete ITaaS Delivery Model: The Art of Integrating AWS, DevOps and ITIL into ITaaS Delivery Models. It provides a business-oriented perspective of ITaaS, introduces a unique ITaaS transformation framework and shows through a real-world case study the step-by-step transformation of an IT organization to ITaaS.

Align Your PMO to the Digital Challenges and Successfully Drive Your ITaaS Transformation

Certain CIOs for incomprehensible reasons keep off their cloud transformation initiatives several enterprise disciplines including Enterprise Architecture (EA), IT Service Management (ITSM) and Project Management (PMO). Do they see them as obsolete? useless? irrelevant? No one understands it. I give in this article 7 key practices that will boost your PMO and make it relevant for your organization’s transition to ITaaS (or cloud).

PMO can be reassured: CIOs need them and will be needing them in the very near future. However, if they want to play a pivotal role in their IT organization’s transformation, they have to come up with with new value propositions; they must urgently align their PMO to the challenges of the ongoing IT industry transformation. That’s the price to pay.

The question is, “What key actions PMO leaders must take to get a seat at their IT organization’s ITaaS Transformation Task Force?

PMOs Can No Longer Just Update CIOs about Projects, It Must Go Upmarket and Play the Strategic Role Which is Expected from Them

Concretely speaking, ITaaS Transformation is a highly complex effort whose objective is to equip the IT organization with a new IT service delivery paradigm: the IT as a Service (ITaaS) Delivery Model.
The bottom line is to take your IT organization from today’s Siloed Traditional Enterprise IT Delivery Model where the IT infrastructure is considered the only driver of the business growth to a Lean and Agile IT Organization where business growth is tackled from three fundamental dimensions: the IT Operating Model, the Cloud Service Catalog, and the Cloud Infrastructure.

As a matter of fact, contrary to what cloud vendors have been claiming, migrating to cloud does not make a growth strategy. The Techies’ belief that cloud infrastructure is the only determinant of business growth is an intellectual swindle; business growth is part of a wider growth virtuous circle which takes:

  1. Definition of the Business Mission and Goal
  2. Identification of Market Opportunities
  3. Definition of Service-Market Strategy
  4. Services Implementation and Rollout
  5. Recovery Strategy Definition

Cloud infrastructure impacts only the IT part of it: the  Services Implementation and Rollout step. Cloud solutions are focused on IT and contribute only up to 20% of the business growth activities . What about the remaining 80%?

In order to survive, the PMO  can no longer just update CIOs about projects’ progress, enforce project management and project portfolio management (PPM) policies or assess PPM tools, it must go upmarket and get back to its fundamentals as defined by pioneers like J. Kent Crawford, who warned 15 years ago in his best seller, The Strategic Project Office: A Guide to Improving Organizational Performance, “The PMO is a must for organizations to move from doing a less-than-adequate job of managing projects on an individual basis, to creating the organizational synergy around projects that add value.
The excellent Jennifer Buchanan, PMP, substantiates Crawford’s point in a her remarkable manifesto, Improving Project Management Capability separates the Wheat from the Chaff!, she reminds project management virtues in turbulent economic environments and alerts, “You may think that times of trouble would be the worse time for any company to buttress their project management competence, but the opposite is true.”

That’s being said, what concrete actions PMO leaders must take to play that pivotal role in their IT organization’s transition to ITaaS?

7 Keys to Aligning PMOs to The Digital Challenges and Successfully Drive ITaaS Transformations

Here are 7 practices, that’ll make your PMO relevant to supporting your IT organization’s transition to ITaaS; they not only helped me gain the trust of reluctant CIOs but also boosted the implementation of ITaaS capabilities that business folks unconditionally adopted.

1. Provide the CIO with an Accurate Vision of the ITaaS Business Challenges. The vast majority of CIOs have adopted the erroneous idea that migrating infrastructure and applications to cloud will make businesses more competitive. The problem is, business lines disagree with that perspective for the simple reason that cloud is focused on IT processes and improving IT processes has never made a business growth strategy.  Responsiveness to market opportunities is what they seek, and a well-thought operational agility involving the business and IT is the way they want to go.

Cloud-related projects including ITaaS transformation are initiated by CIOs on their own. Their belief is, by anticipating IT migration to cloud,  they’ll reduce IT costs, accelerate application delivery and as a result increase their business competitiveness. This is definitely erroneous, as seen earlier, migrating IT to cloud does not make a growth strategy.

Cloud computing and digital technologies by reducing IT costs and accelerating the proliferation of digital services are changing the competitive environment. Businesses must deal with new competitors e.g., startups created by unemployed highly qualified seniors and young entrepreneurs who substitute traditional services with digital services e.g., Uber in the Taxi Industry, PayPal in the Financial Services, and Hosting in the IT Managed Services.

The PMO as the facilitator of business strategy executions must provide the CIO with insights into the business challenges of the ongoing IT industry transformation and help him leave behind his IT solutions provider role to become the strategic business partner businesses are desperately expecting.

2. Develop and Offer a Clear Picture of the Target IT Organization in Line With the Business Expectations. One of the CIO’s biggest problem is the fact that, consulting firms and cloud vendors have been unable to define credible ITaaS models that meet business expectations.

The fact of the matter is, a plethora of experts, including those of the major brands of the IT industry, have been speculating about the new style of IT. What come out of these endless discussions is interesting, yet incomplete models like Netflix-like IT and Cloud Service Brokerage (CSB), which remain unfortunately elusive. What are the whys and wherefores of these models? How do they work? How disruptive are they? How to implement and deploy them? are some of the numerous unanswered questions.
The problem is, the answers to these questions address areas that are out of IT leaders’ comfort zone; they include IT Organization Design, IT Operating Model Reengineering, Establishment Business and IT Partnerships, alike.

In order to be credible, the CIO must come up with concrete solutions to business expectations and offer actionable ITaaS models. Once again, the PMO can help; it’s been the communication channel between the business and IT for years and must capitalize on the  knowledge acquired on the business and IT relationships to assist the CIO in implementing appropriate ITaaS operating models.

3. Equip Your PMO with a Comprehensive ITaaS Transformation Framework. Transforming IT organization to ITaaS is a very complex effort that’s not limited to migrating infrastructure and applications to cloud; in reality it also addresses the transformation of two additional dimensions of the IT organization: the IT operating model and the IT service catalog.  Traditional project management isn’t comfortable with the turbulences of today’s transforming IT industry, they must go upmarket.

Traditional project management is insufficient in many respects; it lacks the agility and responsiveness needed to quickly migrate an entire IT organization to ITaaS, it doesn’t provide the agile collaboration structures and methodologies needed to put together experts and address  issues as complex as Cloud Architecture Implementation, Operating Model Reengineering, and Organizational Change Deployment. A blame that frequently crops up is, ” The PMO is a too passive player when it comes to IT transformation.”

The PMO leader must bring on the CIO’s table a radically different approach to IT transformation projects, more focused on business goals, addressing in an integrated manner the operating model, cloud services and cloud infrastructure issues and most importantly taking into account implementation concerns by providing methodologies and tools that facilitate engineering works.

4. Set Up an ITaaS Transformation Task Force to Create Executive Consensus On the Business Objectives. 99% of  cloud projects are highly successful from the technical and technology standpoints, unfortunately they are disasters from the perspective of the benefits expected by the business. The reason is a lack of shared objectives. Consensus between the business and IT about the expected business benefits is a key determinant to successful ITaaS transformation.

Setting up a task force involving representatives of the concerned stakeholders is the surest way to get the business and IT agree on Shared ITaaS Objectives. Setting up a formal structure where the concerned executives can clarify their digital strategy, define the means to implement and control its implementation is likely to avoid frustrations, conflicts and increasing shadow IT.

5. Leverage Incremental Transformations for Effective Risks Control the and Accelerated Adoption of Changes. Cloud computing and its associated operational models are disruptive, they radically change the IT relationship with the business, the way IT services are delivered and how business priorities are addressed within IT. It’s an upheaval in practices, approaches, and tools which doesn’t come without risks.

An incremental approach I often use includes the implementation of a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) of the targeted ITaaS capability and its validation through an ITaaS Pilot Project. Throughout the ITaaS pilot, the new IT operating model, cloud services and cloud infrastructure are used and tested in a real-world business setting  by a panel of users under the facilitation of the PMO. The feedback are later on used to build the Industrialized ITaaS Capability that will be deployed. This practice ensures an accelerated adoption of ITaaS across the organization.

6. Take Advantage of Agile Mechanisms to Facilitate and Accelerate Consensus Building, Problem Solving and Decision Making. In addition to the time constraints related to the urgency to align the IT organization to ITaaS, the overlapping of several issues i.e., business strategy, IT organizational design, process optimization, datacenter transformation and application migrations is a major factor of failure that challenge that challenges traditional project management.

Dropping the dogma that the blind application of the PMI’s principles guarantees success to whatever projects is a major step toward making successful your ITaaS project. Using the PMI’s best in agile mindset by implementing agile mechanisms is the most effective way to tackle ITaaS transformation complexity; planning and executing ITaaS transformation collaboratively not only enables consensus throughout the transformation journey but also accelerate problem solving and decision making.

The Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™: The ITaaS Transformation Handbook That’ll Make PMOs Relevant to CIOs

In fact, the above ITaaS project key success factors are part of a wider ITaaS Transformation framework, The Complete ITaaS Delivery Modelit’s described in my recent book, The Complete ITaaS Delivery Model: The Art of Integrating AWS, DevOps, and ITIL into Complete ITaaS Delivery Models.
The book will help you understand the whys and wherefores of  ITaaS from both the business and IT standpoints and guide you through a detailed step-by-step real-world ITaaS implementation project.
You’ll have access to a unique approach and tools to get your CIO and his business peers agree on Business Objectives, ITaaS Business CaseVision of the Target ITaaS Organization as well as on a clear IT Transformation Roadmap.

The Complete ITaaS Delivery Model framework provides the PMO with Agile Mechanisms and ITaaS Reengineering Tools that help the PMO facilitate issues as complex as IT Operating Model Migration to DevOps, Cloud Services i.e., IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS Design and Implementation, and Cloud Platform Architecture Design and Implementation. Examples of such tools include:

  • The ITaaS Transformation Task Force and ITaaS Transformation Workshops that put together the concerned stakeholders to facilitate and accelerate consensus building, problem solving and decision-making
  • The Extended Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) and Extended Elastic Computing Capability (EC2) Architecture Patterns, they are pre-defined, yet flexible team structures, questionnaires and  collaboration tools which facilitate complex engineering works like cloud platform architecture design and application migration
  • The DevOps-based IT Operating Model which makes easy the transformation of Traditional Enterprise IT Delivery Model to Lean and Agile IT Operating Model built upon DevOps philosophy
  • The ITaaS Organizational Charter that makes easy the deployment of organizational challenges from developing ITaaS Proof-of-Concept (PoC) to setting up state-of-the-art ITaaS Pilot Project

The Complete ITaaS Delivery Modeland its associated Agile project management are new and in many respects revolutionary. This book represents an attempt to accelerate their adoption; in 12 chapters it outlines the impact of digital technologies on the competitive environment, makes easy the understanding of essential concepts such as Cloud Computing, IT as a Service (ITaaS), Digital Transformation, DevOps. The intent is to help illustrate these points in a concrete manner.
It offers PMO leaders and project managers an unprecedented opportunity to embrace the next step of their career  in the digital age. Fellow project managers the IT industry is transforming, embrace the change!

I very honestly encourage you to buy the book (Amazon, iBookstore, alike), experiment the framework, share your thoughts and provide your questions and comments at: PMPragmatic Consulting – The Complete ITaaS Delivery Official Website.


Copyright © Philippe Abdoulaye 2015. All rights reserved.

Are IT Organizations Headed For Irrelevance? No, But Changing Today’s IT Paradigm Is Urgent

Author: Philippe A. Abdoulaye

Yesterday, I had the chance to attend a great conversation on Twitter and Youtube. Brillantly facilitated by Tim Crawford, the discussion revolved around the relevance of IT today and involved Mark Thiele EVP Datacenter at Switch, Stuart Appley CIO at Shorenstein, and Bob Egan CEO of the Sepharim Group.

A Consensus On The Fact That A Greater Collaboration of The Business and IT Is The Way To Go

Throughout the conversation – that’s not the words that were used – but it seemed that there was a consensus on the fact that the way we delivered IT services had reached an inflection point and that new paradigm more centered  on”Piecing Together the Business and IT” and on “Not Seperating IT From the Business” would make IT more relevant particularly in today’s digital age.

Mark brilliantly reminded a fundamental rule of future IT organizations, “Spend more time delivering new apps and value and less time customizing legacy.
Bob, advocating the business perspective, reminded this critical fact that IT tends to forget, “The Consumerization of IT is more about people, process and user experience than it is about tech. Important for IT to digest” and warned, “Words of a wise man. Does your IT org have a future?” before concluding, “IT orgs that will survive and thrive will strike a balance between the deployment of tech and the deployment of the business.

Now that The Foundations and Principles For A Better IT Are Laid, What Is The Next Step?

The discussion thrilled me because it substantiated the point I developed in my recent book “The Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™: The Art of Integrating AWS, DevOps and ITIL Into Complete ITaaS Delivery Models” that, new IT service delivery capabilities involving the business and IT into an integrated platform of people, processes, best practices, collaboration and governance mechanisms and cloud services and infrastructure was definitely the way to go.
The conversation in a sense validated The Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™ that I widely developed and detailed in the book to provide CIOs and business lines with a concrete and accurate answer to the need for a new IT service delivery model.

AWS-based ITaaS Delivery Model
The AWS-based Complete ITaaS Delivery Model

My point is, just like years ago the UK’s Office of Government Commerce (OGC) delivered through ITIL, a set best practices used to develop and execute IT service management the IT industry needs now, not tomorrow, a reference model that crystallizes the foundations and principles mentioned above by Tim, Bob, Stuart, Mark, Jason Bloomberg and many others to support the implementation of what is increasingly called Digital Organizations.

The Five Indispensable Principles To Know About The Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™

Click and Read Now!
Click and Read Now!

I have been using the model in its current version for almost three years to implement ITaaS capabilities in private and public cloud contexts.

The Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™ is an integrated business capability composed of the three fundamental build blocks including the Cloud Platform, the Cloud Services and the IT Operating Model.
The five driving principles of the Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™ are the following:

Responsiveness to Market Opportunities Is The Business Bottom Line

The Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™ is based on the fact  that the competitive environments got globalized, tougher, yet profitable and that what business lines are primarily seeking is responsiveness to the added-value market opportunities that pop up all over the world.

Cloud Solutions and Infrastructure By Alone In Their Corner Do Not Deliver The Expected Market Responsiveness

The model is based on the belief that cloud solutions and infrastructure by themselves will never deliver the expected responsiveness to market opportunities, but combining the benefits of cloud with those of agile and cross-functional collaboration will definitely help to make businesses responsive.

Cloud Solutions and Infrastructure Free Up Resources That Cannot Be Regarded As Agility

The resources and time freed up by cloud solution and infratructure through virtualization, automation, resource pooling and elasticity cannot be regarded as agility, they are agility factors. These agility factors must be proactively used through organizational design and operational excellence best practices to break down organizational silos and transcend organizational hierarchies to create authentic organizational agility.

State-Of-The-Art Cloud Services Are The Foundations of The So-Called Organizational Agility

Cloud services like any basic authentic service involves a consumer of the service, a provider of the service and a SLA that clarifies the mutual expectations. By focusing both  parties on their respective core competency, the notion of service and associated SLA facilitates the interactions results in the expected responsiveness to market opportunities.

DevOps Augmented With Agile Scrum and ITIL Provides The Mechanisms To Establish Lean and Agile IT Operating Model

DevOps augmented with ITIL Change Management is the foundation of the IT operating model; it provides the mechanisms to break down the organizational barriers, clarifies the roles and responsibilities across the organization value chain, highlights the key processes and practices to rely on and delivers the delivery pipeline that guarantees continuous deployment of added-value value changes in application.

Recommended and Indispensable Resources

I honestly recommend the book, “The Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™: The Art of Integrating AWS, DevOps and ITIL Into Complete ITaaS Delivery Models.
The book takes Cloud, ITaaS and Digital Transformation from today’s fiction, elusive definitions and abstract art to reality and the tangible business capabilities that will give CIOs the right to seat at the business table.

Through a real-world ITaaS transformation project I led last year, it takes you to a step-by-step digital transformation journey illustrating issues as key as:

  • Development of digital transformation strategy and the associated business cases and transformation roadmaps
  • Design of authentic cloud services e.g., SaaS, PaaS and IaaS
  • Definition of AWS platform architecture
  • Transformation of IT operating models to DevOps
  • Deployment of organizational changes

Exploring the Market To Help CIOs Succeed In Their Cloud, ITaaS and Digital Transformations

I’m currently exploring the market seeking to make CIOs happy with their Cloud, ITaaS and Digital transformation opportunities. If you have an opportunity here is what I can do for you : How I Deliver AWS-based ITaaS or Value-Oriented Digital Capability.

How I Deliver AWS-based ITaaS Capabilities: The Magic of The Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™

lulu_buy_now_buttonThe Complete ITaaS Delivery Model: The Art of Integrating AWS, DevOps, and ITIL Into ITaaS Delivery Models

Who said technology change was the primary determinant of successful cloud migrations? It is wrong. What’s the meaning of a technology marvel, a technical prodigy that returns nothing business-wise?
I learned from my long experience leading IT transformation projects using the Complete ITaaS Delivery Model that the business benefits of any Amazon Web Services (AWS) Platform are consolidated in these 4 Key words: PlanDesign, Facilitate and Communicate.

What I Will Deliver? Certainly Not A Technology Marvel that Triggers Chuckles on The Business Side But The Innovative Business Platform That Boots Lines of Business Revenue 

What you’ll get is a comprehensive AWS-based ITaaS Delivery Capability that will cut your IT cost by at least 50%, reduce your overall application delivery lead time by at least 50%, and increase the rate of deployed applications or changes in application by at least 50 %:

AWS-based ITaaS Delivery Model
AWS-based ITaaS Delivery Model

The AWS-based ITaaS Delivery Capability is an integrated platform of people, processes, best practices and IT services structured around 3 components:

  • The AWS-based Cloud Platform
  • The Cloud Services
  • The IT Operating Model

The AWS-based Cloud Platform it relies on a variety of AWS services e.g., VPC, EC2, and ELB to provide a secure reliable, secure and scalable environments to host the migrated applications and operate the AWS platform. It guarantees costs savings and simplification and acceleration of the resource provisioning processes.

The Cloud Services build on IT Service Management (ITSM) best pracitces to provide stakeholders with authentic IT services including SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. It simplifies and makes effective the interactions between the business and IT and within IT.

The IT Operating Model takes advantage of DevOps to establish a governance structure, clarifies the roles and responsibilities, the key processes to focus on as well as the Continuous Delivery Pipeline infrastructure. It accelerates applications delivery and establish a lean and agile IT organization.

How Will I Go About It? Simple, Courtney ITaaS™ An Agile ITaaS Transformation Framework That Takes Into Account The IT Operating Model, The Cloud Services and The AWS Platform

Given the complexity and the risks of such project, no room for improvisation,  I will take advantage of the Courtney ITaaS framework to build your transformation project team, plan the overall effort, and facilitate and orchestrate the end-to-end delivery of your ITaaS Delivery Capability.

Courtney ITaaS™ Transformation Framework
Courtney ITaaS™ Framework

Acting as the ITaaS Tranformation Leader across the transformation journey, I will lead through series of workshops, a team of Cloud Solution Architects, Application Developers, Security Experts, System and Database Administrators to:

  • Capture and understand your existing infrastructure, leverage the securiy and reliability standards to translate it into the corresponding AWS-based infrastructure and then migrate your applications
  • Identify the use cases of your future ITaaS Delivery Capability, convert them and implement them into the appropriate SaaS, PaaS and IaaS services
  • Capture and understand the principles, people, processes, best practices, and tools of your existing IT operating model and appropriately convert them into a lean and agile DevOps environment

How I Work With Client Organizations? How I Work With Consulting Firms and IT Providers?

If you’re a client organization e.g., JP Morgan Chase and Staple Inc,  we will work together on a 1099 basis.  The consulting regular policies apply.

If you’re a consulting company and an IT provider engaged with a client, we will work together either on a W-2 or 1099 basis. The consulting regular policies apply.

To Discuss Your Cloud Project Call Now 646 688 2228

The Problem With VMware ITaaS Delivery Model and How The Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™ Can Help

1. The Undebated Troubles with IT | 2. The Changing Business Expectations | 3. Why VMware SDDC missses the point | 4. How The Complete ITaaS Model Helps

Author: Philippe A. Abdoulaye

Now Available! Read It Now!
Click N’ Read!

Cloud Computing and the various operational models it generates including IT as a Service (ITaaS) is fantastic, the business world is increasingly aware of that. The problem is, it is getting shackled in the false and simplistic logic that “the more sophisticated technology, the higher business revenue” where lines of business within mid to large-size corporations are in fact the fall guys.

I came to that conclusion after reading the findings of a report by Phil Fersht and Barbra Sheridan McGann cited in a recent Joe Mckendrick’s article “Cloud Computing is Popular, But Not Ready For Prime Time” and most importantly after reading an extraordinary, unprecedented and insightful  survey by IDC Research Services sponsored by EMC and VMware; it involved more than 350 IT and business directors at enterprises of 1,000 employees or more. I strongly recommend it, you can find at “Your Journey To IT as a Service: Prioritize Your ITaaS Next Steps With An EMC Workshop.” 

A clever analysis of these reports unveals the unprecedented fact that there are severe disconnects between IT vendors, IT departments and business lines about how cloud computing and ITaaS could help businesses achieve their goals.
All these disconnects are actually the tree that hides the forest; the reality is IT has reached an inflection point, the notion that sophisticated IT solutions and infrastructure by themselves would drive business growth is now outdated.
Cloud computing and the concept of ITaaS will NEVER deliver 100% of the promised business benefits as long as CIOs and IT vendors will refuse to shift to a more appropriate IT paradigm.
Phil Fersht and Barbra Sheridan McGann confirm in their report the IT world’s resistance to any new paradigm when they state, “Another 47% blame their vendors, agreeing with the statement that “lack of willingness from our service provider(s) to cannibalize their existing revenue models” is holding back progress” and “Lack of support from service provider(s) to share risks/gains is cited by 44% as an obstacle to As-a-Service adoption.
You have here the reason why the vast majority of cloud migration and ITaaS transformation projects are highly successful from the technical and technology perspectives but are disasters from the pure business benefits perspective.

What is actually that new IT paradigm? How does it relate to so-called new style of IT? Why are today’s CIOs and cloud vendors resisting it? What does it take to implement it? How helpful is the Complete ITaaS Delivery Model  to implement it? are some of the key questions answered in this article. They are detailed in my recent books, “The Complete ITaaS Delivery Model: The Art of Integrating AWS, DevOps, and ITIL Into ITaaS Delivery Models

In this article, I chose to illustrate my point by bringing out the weaknesses of VMware ITaaS offering and by showing how implementing VMware Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) from the perspective of the Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™ would help businesses extract subtantantial and tangible business benefits from these extraordinary technology.

In order to make easy the understanding of such a complex topic, I have arranged the article in the following order:

  • The never debated troubles with IT departments and with IT in general, they slow down the adoption of the concept of ITaaS
  • The changing competitive environment and business line new expectations and requirements
  • Why VMware ITaaS offering aren’t likely to meet business line expectations and requirements
  • How the Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™ supplements VMware Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) platform
  • Lessons learned about the Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™ and where to go from here

The Never Debated Troubles With IT Departments And With IT In General. They Slow Down The Adoption of ITaaS

One thing unprecedented with this report is, it puts on the table several deficient practices and attitudes of IT departments and vendors that look minor but have devastating effects; they favor the use of shadow IT, increase investments in sophisticated and expensive software and infrastructure businesses do not necessarily need, and most importantly they are  perverting the concepts of cloud and ITaaS and depriving businesses of the benefits they can get from them.

The overall findings of this IDC survey are substantiated by a growing number of observers of the IT industry including Patrick Phillips, CIO at Disaster Kleenup International; in a remarkable article, IT Must Adapt or Die – A Story Brought to You by the Third Party Providers Trying to Make You Irrelevant he argues, “Five years ago, less than 25% of business leaders rated their organization’s IT function effective at delivering the capabilities they needed. Today the number hasn’t changed. IT functions have strived tirelessly to understand demand, set priorities, deliver effectively, and capture value, yet the results still disappoint. Business and IT leaders alike feel they should be getting more—more efficiency, more innovation, more value—from technology. Unasked Questions Among all the talk of engagement, alignment, and “being part of the business,” one assumption is never challenged—that for information technology to grow in strategic importance, so must the IT function. But what if this is not the case? What if a dedicated, standalone IT function is no longer the best option and the function’s resources and responsibilities were better located elsewhere?

Let’s talk about some of them as they highlight the gaps between what IT delivers and what the business needs.

IT Thinks It Understands The Business, The Business Sees More Room For Improvement For IT

According to the IDC survey, “IT executives are more likely than those in business to indicate that IT does a good job of understanding what the business wants, improving time to market, communicating a clear vision, gaining the trust of business stakeholders, informing the business of new services, articulating business value, enabling innovation and collaboration, and supporting mobility. Business executives are more likely to see significant room for improvement.” The areas for improvement include:

  • Making IT services easier to package and deliver — What do you have that can help me? (76% say needs some to significant improvement)
  • Demonstrating an accurate understanding of the services the business needs/wants — Give me the tools/services to help me do my job better — in a timely manner. (74% say needs some to significant improvement)
  • Communicating a clear vision for future services — How can IT help me achieve my business goals? (73% say needs some to significant improvement)

For IT, ITaaS is Primarily a Matter of Lower Costs While For the Business It’s About Aligning Priorities

According to the IDC survey, “Business and IT executives are not in full agreement regarding the business benefits of ITaaS. Business executives view ITaaS as enabling alignment, promoting efficiency, and improving customer satisfaction. IT executives cite cost savings as the No. 1 IT benefit of ITaaS.

As to the Obstacles to ITaaS Adoption, the Disconnect Tells a Great Deal About the Troubles With IT Today

According to the IDC survey, “IT and business leaders are definitely not in sync regarding the potential roadblocks to deploying ITaaS. The primary concerns of IT leaders are developing a pricing model, security and compliance issues, and resistance to change. Business executives focus on poor communication, challenges in streamlining business processes, and a lack of confidence in the expertise of their own IT organizations. However, they do agree on one area — IT’s skill set. 33% of business managers point to a lack of trust or confidence in IT’s technical expertise; and 29% of IT folks agree, saying Insufficient skills and experience are a roadblock.

The Changing Competitive Environment Has Taken IT to an Inflection Point, Responsiveness to Market Opportunities Achieved Through Cross-Functional Collaboration and Organizational Agility is What the Business Wants. IT Must Change!

Let me say this, the various blames of the business are just the the tree that hides the forest; they reveal the unprecedented fact that IT practices have reached an inflection point where IT by itself cannot anymore support businesses’ growth; as illustrated by the IDC survey, IT must take into account additional value drivers such as cross-functional collaboration, organizational agility, fast problem solving and decision-making, alike. That’s what business lines have been calling for.

In fact as showed by the survey, business folks are right; a conjunction of factors including the globalization of the economy, the endless IT innovations, the repeated financial crises, the massive unemployment and the startup boom that goes with it as well as the acceleration of the adoption of cloud are stepping up competition and expanding market opportunities at a global scale.
To meet these challenges, radical changes are needed in how the business and IT work together, lean and agile environments putting together the business and IT supported by flexible and integrated processes and practices is what is highly desired and expected on the business side.
This integrated vision involving the business and IT in a shared platform of people, processes, practices, cloud services and infrastructure is actually what is meant by the new IT style.

The thing to keep in mind at this point is, lines of business consider responsiveness to market opportunities achieved through cross-functional collaboration involving the business and IT, organizational agility, and fast problem solving and decision-making as the additional competitive advantage they need to compete in today’s business environment.

Now, let’s see how well VMware is doing as to the business expectations and requirements, why it is missing the point…

Why VMware ITaaS Offerings Isn’t Likely to Meet Business Line Expectations and Requirements

As surprising as it might sound, given the reputation and the value its brand, VMware brands,  ITaaS offerings isn’t likely to meet business line requirements and expectations as defined earlier because they build on erroneous and outdated assumptions.

The fact of the matter is, VMware ITaaS value propositions is based on its extremely innovative and sophisticated Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) platform, a rare technological marvel!
The idea behind the SDDC is, by virtualizing and automating resource provisioning processes across the application development lifecycle, more time is devoted to IT to provision business users with new capabilities and less time spent on infrastructure.

The problem is, the notion that virtualization, automation, and elasticity generate organizational agility is a myth; in reality they free up latitudes which are wrongly called agility in the IT world.
The question is not whether there are latitudes but how well these latitutdes are handled to meet business line objectives.

Thinking that cross-functional collaboration, organizational agility, and fast problem solving and decision-making will miraculously result from the deployment of sophisticated cloud solutions and infrastructure does not make sense at all. Technology whatever its degree of sophistication and innovation will never enable them but the leadership, proven management practices, smart organizational design decision, effective coordination, good governance, alike will.
Creating cross-functional collaboration, organizational agility and fast problem solving and decision-making demands proactive organizational transformations that transcend the traditional zealous deployment of technology.

Here is where an innovative model like the Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™ comes into play …

How the Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™ Supplements VMware Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) Platform

Click and Read Now!
Click and Read Now!

The ITaaS Delivery Model™ is an organizational framework I popularized in my book The Complete ITaaS Delivery Model: The Art of Integrating AWS, DevOps, and ITIL Into Complete ITaaS Delivery Models; it is based on the verified notion that cloud solutions cannot deliver the benefits expected by the lines of business unless they’re supplemented with concrete organizational transformation and authentic service approaches to IT delivery.
The Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™ sees ITaaS from three dimensions including the IT Operating Model, the Cloud Services, and the Cloud Platform referred to as the Virtual Computing Capability (VCC). The exhibit below illustrates how the Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™ is leveraged to deliver business benefits in an SDDC context:

Complete ITaaS Delivery Model and VMware SDDC
VMware vSuite Platform Supplemented with The Complete ITaaS Delivery Model

The Virtual Computing Capability, As The Enabler of The Expected Business Benefits

The VCC represents the cloud infrastructure which is implemented with cloud solutions like VMware vSuite, Amazon AWS, or Microsoft Azure. It sees the SDDC platform as the enabler of the expected business benefits; Virtualization by creating in record times virtual versions of physical servers, network switches, Storage Access Network  (SAN) and Network Attached Storage  (NAS) hardware not only allows substantial Capex savings to meet the cost aspect expectations but also  frees up time which is further purposely exploited to meet the accelerated speed-to-market requirements. Automation and Elasticity  by  taking over human tasks such as hardware provisioning,  server configuration and application deployment not only enables significant Opex savings but also like virtualization frees up time that is further purposely exploited to meet the accelerated speed-to-market requirements.

The IT Operating Model, Where The Expected Benefits are Exploited and Implemented

The IT Operating Model is a system of people, processes, best practices, and tools supporting IT activities from application development, testing, deployment and operations.
In the context of the Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™, it takes advantage of DevOps to identify the stakeholders, clarify their roles and responsibilities across the application development lifecycle, bring out the key processes and practices to focus on as well as the governance structure and the application delivery pipeline to rely on.

Totally ignored in the vast majority  of cloud migration and ITaaS transformation projects, the IT Operating Model is where the organizational transformations are concretely addressed,   where collaboration and coordination mechanisms are used to address the cross-functional expectations,  and where change management capabilities are leveraged to establish the governance structure that enables greater focus of IT on business priorities and meets the fast problem solving and decision-making expectations.

Make no mistake, without it the only benefits you get are the cost savings and the latitudes generated by the SDDC platform.

The Cloud Services As The Foundation of Organizational Agility

The Cloud Services are the set of Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) made available to users from business lines, application development, quality assurance  (QA, and IT operations to support their activities.
In the context of the Complete ITaaS Delivery Model implementing authentic IT services  is vital as the notion of service is the cornerstone of what is meant by organizational agility.
IT services like any basic service assumes a Consumer of the service and a Provider of the service and that creating IT agility is primarily about implementing Consumer-Provider Relationships across the organization such that both parties focused on their core competency

Keep in mind that the Complete ITaaS Delivery Model addresses vital areas of ITaaS which are totally ignored by VMware ITaaS Model and ITaaS transformation practices, it clearly demonstrates the incompleteness of the tool-focused cloud and ITaaS implementation approaches of the vast majority of the cloud vendors. 

Lessons Learned About The Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™ and Where To Go From Here

Cloud and ITaaS are fantastic, they are changing the competitive environment and the way IT services are delivered.  However, a degree of moderation is required when the benefits of cloud solutions are discussed because by themselves they aren’t likely to deliver all the benefits expected by business lines, they must completed by concrete organizational transformations. Where should you go from here?  I suggest one or two of the following options:

Click and Read Now!
Click and Read Now!

Option #1, Read Now My Recent Best Selling, The Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™; it brushes aside the numerous misconceptions and myths surrounding the concept of ITaaS. Praised by various experts from Cisco and Amazon Web Services as “One of the best and greatest book about Cloud Computing” and “Excellent material on ITaaS“, it underscores the gaps of today’s cloud approaches and highlights the reasons increasingly businesses doubt the pure business benefits of cloud. “Except cost reduction and accelerated processes what else does the cloud offer?” Structured around a real-world case study, using the Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™, the book takes you to a step-by-step ITaaS transformation journey to define ITaaS business case and transformation roadmap, design authentic SaaS, PaaS and IaaS services, transform IT operating model, migrating infrastructure to public cloud capability. It is the practical Cloud and ITaaS guide businesses and Cloud transformation architect have been expecting to help them truly transform businesses to cloud and ITaaS.
onlinemeetingOption #2, Attend The Next ITaaS Transformation Workshop.This innovative online ITaaS Transformation workshop, designed and led by Philippe A. Abdoulaye originator of the Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™, takes participants into a step-by-step authentic ITaaS transformation journey.
Transcending the usual solution and infrastructure technical implementations and aggregating business and IT people, processes, practices, solutions and infrastructure into a common and shared business environment, the  Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™ represents the lean and agile platform business lines within mid to large-size corportations have been insistently calling for to address their competitive challenges.

Picture1Option #3, Hire My Consulting Services. I will lead your end-to-end infrastructure migration to Amazon Web Services (AWS), Transform your IT operating model to DevOps and your IT to IT as a Service (ITaaS)


Thanks for trusting my work.

Copyright © Philippe Abdoulaye 2015. All rights reserved.



Workshops On The Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™ Throughout September and October, Sign Up Now!

Sign Up Now:  Call 646 688 2228 or Email at

onlinemeetingThis innovative online ITaaS Transformation workshop, designed and led by Philippe A. Abdoulaye originator of the Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™, takes participants into a step-by-step authentic ITaaS transformation journey.
Transcending the usual solution and infrastructure technical implementations and aggregating business and IT people, processes, practices, solutions and infrastructure into a common and shared business environment, the  Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™ represents the lean and agile platform business lines within mid to large-size corportations have been insistently calling for to address their competitive challenges.


Click and Read Now!
Click and Read Now!

CIOs and IT executives will get the key insights and practical information that will make them pivotal to their organization’s transition to ITaaS and give them the right to sit at the business table.
They will discover how to use ITaaS strategically to get their IT organization focused on business priorities and ensure their delivery in a cost-effective and timely manner. In this workshop, they’ll explore the Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™ and learn how to take advantage of it to develop accurate visions of ITaaS Delivery capabilities that guarantee tangible cost savings, cross-functional collaboration, organizational agility, and accelerated speed-to-market.

Enterprise architects, Cloud solution architects and experts will learn how to use the Courtney ITaaS™ (short of Cloud Transformation Methodology) framework to drive the end-to-end implementation of Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™.
They’ll explore ignored facets of DevOps, cloud services, and IT transformation that’ll make them pivotal to their organization’s transformation to ITaaS.


In three days, this workshop focuses on how business lines and IT departments within mid to large-size corporations can collaborate to implement Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™ in ways that guarantee the cross-functional collaboration, organizational agility and accelerated speed-to-market needed to responsively tackle unpredicted and unpredictable market opportunities.

  • Day #1 – Discussion around the notion of ITaaS as a business growth driver,  presentation of the Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™, and case studies
  • Day #2 – Discussion around today’s Cloud and ITaaS transformation approaches, presentation of the Courtney ITaaS™ framework, and case studies
  • Day #3 – Discussion around the Weight Loss & Diet (WL&D) Inc. case and step-by-step WL&D migration to the Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™


This three-day workshop is designed for business and IT executives engaged in Cloud  and ITaaS transformations or willing to know more about how to leverage ITaaS capabilities as the drivers of their business growth.

It also specifically designed and strongly recommended to enterprise architects, cloud solution architects, and consultants who are interested in developing business-oriented DevOps, Cloud Services and Cloud architecture qualifications.

Philippe Abdoulaye, Managing DirectorThis workshop was thought and developed by and will be taught by Philippe A. Abdoulaye, the originator of the Complete ITaaS Delivery Model™ and the Courtney ITaaS™ framework.

One of the most-cited bloggers and authors in Cloud Computing, Philippe Abdoulaye has authored 2 books and has written several articles around cloud computing and ITaaS.

He has a Master in Computer Science from ESI SUPINFO Paris, France, has served global consulting firms such as Cognizant and Accenture, has advised businesses as prestigious as Ralph Lauren Polo, Credit Suisse, American Express and hedge fund Coatue Management on Cloud Migration strategy and the global consulting firm McKinsey & Company to ITaaS implementation approach.


Please submit your application with your preferred dates for september at least one week before the workshop in at Workshop Subscription and we will get back to you or call 646-688-2228. Since places are limited, early applications are encouraged.

The promotional fee is $300 per session per participant:

  • $300 for one session and per participant
  • $600 for two of the three sessions and per participant
  • $900 for the three sessions and per per participant