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Adopt A Service Provider Mentality And Empower A Self-Service Organization

To win in the cloud, it’s necessary to adopt a service provider mentality and become a self-service organization. How do I know? We’re doing it right now at Rackspace.

It’s no surprise that all enterprises endure shadow IT (sometimes known as rogue IT) and there are potentially detrimental outcomes to business units that source their own external compute resources. Business units go out on their own and secure the solutions they need because their internal IT departments struggle to keep up with the speed and frequency of requests.

In our most recent edition of the Enterprise Cloud Forum, we welcomed Rackspace CIO Steve Mills to tackle this issue. Mills explained how his IT organization uses shadow IT to its benefit. By establishing guidelines through service catalog development, Mills created a self-service model that promotes innovation and frees IT resources to work on driving true business value initiatives. And now Mills has an army of 4,900 empowered Rackers (Rackspace employees) who create their own solutions, and they’re doing so out in the open, with nothing to hide.

In this transformation Mills found a major opportunity for IT. IT talent can now become strategic advisors to the organization by partnering with the business and creating self-service options. Embracing cloud and partnering with a service provider is the only way for IT to maintain relevancy in a cloud world.

That’s why it’s imperative to treat cloud computing like a new business model, not just a technology.

Mills, myself and Rackspace Senor IT Strategist Anand Bhadouria discussed all of this in the latest Enterprise Cloud Forum virtual roundtable discussion, “Adopting a Service Provider Mentality and Empowering a Self-Service Organization.” Here is a recording of the audio and a copy of the presentation.

We hit on several topics during this discussion, including:

  • The importance of IT meeting the demands of the business
  • How to protect from the dangers of shadow IT and leverage its benefits
  • How to create an army of empowered employees
  • How to approach service catalog development
  • How IT can drive business value back into the organization through the apps

And be sure to register for the next installment of the Enterprise Cloud  Forum (Wednesday, February 13 at 11 a.m. CST): “Tearing Down Silos to Build Your Enterprise DevOps Engine.” In this roundtable discussion, Rackspace Senior IT Strategist Brian Jawalka and Rackspace Vice President of Software Application Development Krishna Prasad will help steer your organization toward DevOps success with topics including:

  • Why DevOps integration is essential for successful cloud adoption
  • How to promote healthy cross-functional collaboration between your development and operations organizations
  • How to implement a mandate for DevOps
  • How Rackspace IT is employing DevOps in its Journey to the Open Cloud

Sign up now for the next Enterprise Cloud Forum and get ready to tear down the silos and create an organization where development and operations are driven by business strategy.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Lisa Larson.

Lisa Larson is the Vice President of Enterprise Cloud Solutions.

She spent 20-plus years in IT, Professional Services and technical sales with an emphasis in Consulting, Infrastructure Services, Project Management, IT Operations, Technical Support, Application Development and IT Management.

Lisa joined Rackspace in September of 2010 and is responsible for end to end Enterprise Cloud Solutions. In 2011, she launched Rackspace Advisory Services; an elite, dedicated team of Senior IT Strategists and consultants who help enterprises build cloud strategies, transform the business of IT and leverage cloud computing.

Lisa was recently invited to speak at Cloud Expo, Interop NYC and CDM Media’s Cloud & CIO Summit. Lisa is a published author and a graduate of the University of Houston with a BS in Computer Science.


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