Cloud washing is back in the news

The cloud market continues to grow at a phenomenal pace. There is now denying this. However it appears that the world of cloud washing may be making somewhat of a re-appearance, if ever it disappeared in the first place.

On day one of the Professional Cloud Service Manager course we learn about what cloud computing is and how to identify cloud and non-cloud services. We learn how to apply a quick acid-test to cloud based services which, when understood, is quite simple to do.

On day two of the course, we discuss the concept of cloud washing again when we look at strategising for cloud computing and cloud based services. In particular we look at how one government body defined cloud washing.

For a brief but interesting read on cloud washing have a look at this article.


Microsoft Corporation v. United States of America and a small island in Western Europe.

So, the result is in. At least until the next time perhaps. The legal challenges to Microsoft to allow a US judge gain access to a single email which is stored in a European data centre (Dublin) has come to a close (for now!!).

And the verdict. A US court has ruled that the US government cannot force Microsoft to give authorities access to the firm's servers located in other countries.

So on one hand privacy (to a point, and as much as can be) seems protected, while others cite the fact that criminals can avail of such privacy to provide a 'safe haven' for certain activities.

-Judge Susan Carney ruled against the DoJ on the basis that the Stored Communications Act of 1986 limited the reach of warrants applicable outside the US. She noted that such restrictions were vital to maintaining good relations with other nations.

However...

-Another judge involved in the ruling, Gerard Lynch, said the 1986 law was in urgent need of an update.

"I concur in the result," he wrote. "But without any illusion that the result should even be regarded as a rational policy outcome, let alone celebrated as a milestone in protecting privacy."

While there is a firm judgement in place for now, the question remains what next, and when will countries look to update either their laws or collaborate on an international level?

In the meantime it looks like major and significant public cloud providers will continue to spring up datacentres in-country for key locations / customer bases to encourage adoption of their services without data and privacy issues such as this one.

Some references below.

Microsoft

https://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2016/07/14/search-warrant-case-important-decision-people-everywhere/#sm.0000ohl1ni2fbdetvbb1ogcd3bro0

BBC

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-36800334

This has been a very interesting case and one I personally discuss when teaching the Professional Cloud Service Manager course. We look at this from the perspectives of creating a cloud strategy and design considerations regarding privacy when using clouds. It is a very powerful case study for a number of reasons.


Cloud workload portability. Concerned or care?

In a recent article, InfoWorld looks at cloud workload portability and if it is a reality or not.

 Portability is one of a number of specific design considerations one should examine closely before entering a public cloud and still relevant for private clouds. Portability, or the perceived lack of portability within clouds, is considered a barrier to adoption for some firms. Other firms may experience dissatisfaction with their cloud experience after a period of time when they may choose to move to another cloud provider. For others there may be no issue, for example test and development environments.

 The article goes on to state that ‘Sure, Docker and container management and orchestration solutions have made portability vastly easier, but as soon as you start availing yourself of the special services of whatever platform you’re on, you’re hooked’.

 The general premise of the article is sound. However, I think it misses a point, in that data portability in clouds, using technologies such as Docker, container management and orchestration solutions should provide less of a barrier for those firms concerned with portability, and more opportunity to those where portability is less of an issue.

Once you integrate any IT solution with other proprietary and, in many instances, non-propriety solutions and integrations, the ability of portability diminishes. This holds true for cloud and non-cloud (traditional IT) scenarios.

As we discovered on the Professional Cloud Service Manager course delivered last week, when the concept of cloud service arbitrage becomes a reality, hopefully full portability will be addressed, with the added bonus of true utility pricing capabilities for cloud users.

Until then, portability is one of the elements which should be considered when at the define stage of your cloud adoption strategy – even on a per-application, platform or instance basis, i.e. before a firm moves workloads into the cloud. It should also feature heavily in the design stage of a firms planned adoption of cloud based services.

Want to know more about how the Professional Cloud Service Manager course can help in your firm in their adoption of cloud computing and cloud based services? Get in touch or use link below.

http://www.auxilion.com/professional-cloud-service-manager

The InfoWorld’s article can be found here.


Passed ITIL Practitioner. Some Musings On The Experience

Just finished sitting the new ITIL Practitioner exam online with PeopleCert. And the scores are just in. A pass and a good pass at that. So just taking the time to post a few brief comments on my experience with this new certification from AXELOS.

My first exposure to the ITIL Practitioner course was an official reviewer of the publication and its associated toolkits. Initially I was impressed with the approach, the content and the way the authors (yes numerous authors here) joined up the material. Although at the early stages of development, these was feedback given on how to improve things (in my view).  Fast forward to 2016 and the polished up text was approved for publication, shortly followed by the official exam and certification.

Next up I took part in one of the Train the Trainer (TTT) sessions for ITIL Practitioner provided by ITpreneurs. Incidentally, ITpreneurs are one of the few official courseware providers, for the immediate time anyway – which ensures that quality content is provided to delegates attending the course. I can say first hand that the trainer material provided by ITpreneurs is of excellent quality, concise and very helpful to both trainers and delegates.

After that, I must admit, my focus was 100% put towards passing some recent exams for an MBA which I am in the middle of.  So self-study (trainer) time for ITIL Practitioner was limited.  

The ITIL Practitioner exam is open book. This is a welcome advancement as I am an advocate for open book exams under the right learning conditions. The sample exam is good. The syllabus is clear. The ITIL Practitioner Guidance book is easy to read, follow and use. All this helped towards my exam preparations.

In the interest of integrity I will not discuss the exam proper or its content. Only to say that a small number of the questions could have done with having some more specifics included to help identity the BEST answer. Or maybe it’s me? The other point I think I can make is that anyone with a reasonable background in organisational change or continual service improvement initiatives and ITIL would have a reasonably good chance in passing this exam.  There is ample time to complete the exam even though there is a lot of context to be read in the scenarios. The ITIL Practitioner Guidance was liberally used and references during the exam.

By the way I stuck to my first answer on ALL the questions, even though I had ear-marked five for a final review. Goes to show – go with your gut instinct. It can serve you well.

In closing I am excited to have passed the latest offering from AXELOS. I am very pleased with the ITIL Practitioner Guidance and having been part of its development as a reviewer. I wish it every success and hope people and organisations will benefit from having a standardised approach to making improvements continually. For me it is back to the MBA and six months of more study, assessment and exams (really) – but the optimist in me says that at the half way mark the glass seems half full!


Learn how to do excellent customer service from Vincenzo.

I have travelled from Cork to Limerick for the weekend. I change roles from that of teacher to that of student for the next two days. After a gruelling nine hours of working through complex economic models, scenarios and case studies I was in need of some food and a break.

Back at the hotel I make my way down to the hotel restaurant for some quick food, then back to prep for tomorrow.

Well what a surprise!! All I can say is that if you really want to see, no experience, true customer experience in its fullest you have to head to Limerick and call into Da Vincenzo's restaurant in The George Boutique hotel.

Host and Director Vincenzo Del Santo has baked the customer experience and serious moments of truth into the dining experience here. It is rare to see such attention to the customer and to ensuring a great customer experience ahead of everything else. When I say the customer experience is baked in, it really is (and actually the pun is intended).

I was so intrigued by this I spoke to Vincenzo, who informed me that the restaurant, its offerings, the service and staff, the menu, the ingredients, the taste, the wine experience and everything else on offer here has been designed with 100% customer experience and satisfaction in mind. An outside-in approach from the start.

I'm not going to attempt to put what Vincenzo has achieved here into any further words. That would be pointless.

If you are an organisation struggling with how to improve your customer experience, head to Da Vincenzo. And take my advice - don't ask Vincenzo how it's done. Look and observe all around you and you will see first-hand how to achieve total customer experience. If you can’t see it, you don’t understand what customer experience is all about.

Vincenzo's vision worked - I'm writing about it, I'm hooked on it.

If you really want to see an excellent customer experience, and gat a fantastic meal, head to Da Vincenzo’s in Limerick and actually see, feel, taste and experience it.

Click here to see more.


Professional Cloud Service Manager Day 3- May 19th

Professional Cloud Service Manager Day 3- May 19th

Day three of the Professional Cloud Service Manager drew to a close some hours ago. The scenic backdrop of Glanmire in Cork was a perfect location to take three days out to deliver the course. We had an international affair with delegates from Ireland, Finland and Saudi Arabia.

Day three examined a number of ITIL process and the impact of cloud on these. We examined the role of governance and the gaps that exist today. Exam prep completed after lunch. It was a shame to say goodbye to all, but as the phrase goes ‘all good things must come to an end’.

Best of luck to all the delegates with the exam and results.


Professional Cloud Service Manager Day 1- May 17th

So day one of the Professional Cloud Service Manager course is drawing to a close. The silence is deafening as the delegates are taking a sample exam. Five minutes left and then freedom for then for the day.

The day started out questioning what cloud is and how best to describe it let alone define it. The day ended with a clear knowledge and understanding of what cloud is and how the world has been using cloud based technologies from the 1950s.

We also examined in-depth a number of critical roles related to cloud computing and took the cloud broker role to a whole new level. Coupled with a one hour workbook test, I would say the class will welcome the end of the day.

It's onto strategy for cloud computing in the morning. Though instead of slideware it's a hands on review of a real cloud strategy document which is very interesting and cements the importance of the learnings from day one.


Professional Cloud Service Manager - May16th

I am in the idyllic surroundings of Glanmire in Cork Ireland getting ready for tomorrows delivery of the Professional Cloud Service Manager course. Throughout day one I strip away all the marketing and technological layers to ensure delegates get the real and simple understanding of what cloud computing is all about. We work through key aspects of cloud and take a time warp back to the 1950s.

After lunch there is one hour of hands on workbook assignments for the delegates, then we get to grips with ten critical roles in cloud computing and spend some time on exam prep and review a number of real world case studies.

The final assignment of the day is a sample exam paper which the delegates get to do for homework. Yes you work hard and fast on this course!!

By the end of the day the delegates will be able to describe what cloud computing is in three, yes three, simple words – and more, but this is an achievement in itself.

What to know more about cloud computing and PCSM? Click the link more details regarding the Professional Cloud Service Manager course.

 

Glanmire


An Ode to Cloud

It is Poetry Day Ireland today, so I thought I would get into the spirit of things.

An Ode to Cloud

There was a time; when clouds were near
rain would follow, soon to clear.
With resource-pooling; clouds grew bigger;
Self-serving themselves with a snigger.

The clouds you see race through the sky
meeting planes as they fly by.

Clouds of old just want to rain
on our heads and down the drain.
The dark grey clouds cast out the light,
while wispy ones they just take flight.

The clouds you see race through the sky
meeting planes as they fly by.

But when it’s dry and thirst arrives,
that is when things get contrived.
“Please just rain”; we command.
But alas; not on-demand.

The clouds you see race through the sky
meeting planes as they fly by.

Clouds today are internet bred.
A mix of public, private, hybrid.
Do clouds today seem less complex?
And more elastic when run on OPEX?

The clouds you see race through the sky
meeting planes as they fly by.

Click here for more details on all things cloud related and for exciting news from EXIN and the Cloud Credential Council.


EXIN Appointed Official Exam Institute for the Cloud Credential Council.

This is really great news. EXIN have been appointed the official Exam Institute (EI) for the Cloud Credential Council. I expect this will help further drive the adoption of the Professional Cloud Service Manager course globally. The PCSM course is the only vendor neutral service management course for cloud computing.

For more details about the PCSM click here.

Details from the recent press release are below

EXIN Appointed Official Exam Institute for the Cloud Credential Council

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwired - April 26, 2016) - The Cloud Credential Council (CCC) and EXIN, the global exam institute for ICT-professionals, have entered a partnership appointing EXIN to be the official exam institute for the CCC certification program. The mutual vision of EXIN and the CCC in cloud competence development provided a perfect opportunity to join forces.

The CCC is an established cloud competence development body and the creator of the leading vendor-neutral, role-based, CCC cloud certification program. The CCC certifications, mapped to key roles in IT and business, were developed after extensive research and contributions from user organizations and leading cloud technology vendors to provide a well-rounded approach to cloud competence standards. EXIN, as an authority in the IT training industry, brings a wealth of experience and support to the CCC in managing the growing demand for cloud certification. EXIN will be handling all accreditation and exam services on behalf of the CCC as of May 1, 2016.

Joining forces to further advance cloud competence standards in industry is a logical next step for EXIN and the CCC. The CCC will benefit greatly from EXIN's extensive experience as a leading IT certification and accreditation body. Industry forecasts anticipate continued growth for cloud computing in 2016 and beyond. With this growth, the training and certification needs of IT professionals is of increasing concern for many organizations, making this a good time to combine and boost the efforts of EXIN and the CCC to fill the cloud skills gap.

About the Cloud Credential Council

The Cloud Credential Council (CCC) is an international member-based organization mandated to drive cloud readiness through effective competence development. The CCC has established critical cloud certifications for key IT roles in order to cultivate cloud-ready IT professionals. As an independent and vendor-neutral certification body, the CCC has an expanding list of members consisting of public sector and academic institutions, cloud service providers, cloud users, cloud training providers, professional associations and international certification bodies across the world. Visit www.cloudcredential.org for more information.

About EXIN

EXIN is the global independent certification institute for ICT-professionals. With 30 years of experience in certifying the competences of over 2 million ICT-professionals, EXIN is the leading and trusted authority in the ICT-market. With over 1000 accredited partners EXIN facilitates exams and e-competence assessments in more than 165 countries and 20 languages. EXIN is co-initiator of the e-Competence Framework, which was set up to provide unambiguous ICT certification measurement principles within Europe and beyond. For further information, please visit www.exin.com.

 


Calling all Irish based IT Service Managers, IT managers and anyone else in the industry...

Calling all Irish based IT Service Managers, IT managers and anyone else in the industry...

Can you help with the following research project by answering a small survey?

Aislinn Collins is currently completing her 3rd year of a BSc. in IT Management in the Institute of Technology Tallaght.  

In order to complete her 3rd Year project she is undertaking research on the impact of the adoption of Cloud Computing on Information Technology Service Management within Irish organizations.  

The focus will be on large organizations but she is happy to receive completed questionnaires from micro, small and medium-sized organizations in order to compare experiences across different sectors.  

Research questions to be answered include whether there is a need for formal ITSM practices such as ITIL or COBIT to be adapted or augmented in light of the new service and deployment models associated with cloud computing.

Please take the short questionnaire https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NZ7H7FF

Thank you for your help with this research project.


Passed The New RESILIA Foundation Course

I am delighted to have just passed the new RESILIA Foundation exam.

As this is a brand new course and certification released by AXELOS, I thought it would be a good idea to provide some details of my experience and the materials I used to prepare for and take the exam.

As part of the current international Train The Trainer (TTT) programme for RESILIA I was provided with comprehensive courseware provided by ITpreneurs. ITpreneurs is one of the four official global RESILIA courseware providers licensed by AXELOS.

I was provided with a copy of the trainer slides which are externally interactive and a digitally protected softcopy version of the student handbook, which includes comprehensive notes and guidance on both cyber resilience and areas which are likely to be examined.

The course book contains one full sample exam and a second sample exam is available for download from the RESILIA website (login may be required). This provides delegates with a total of one-hundred sample questions to use to prepare for the exam proper. The exam consists of fifty questions with a pass score of 65%.

First off I scanned the course book and slides. As the RESILIA foundation course is based at Blooms Level 2, key definitions are certainly examined. Also examined are key and pivotal points and areas regarding cyber resilience. As a trainer it was easy enough for me to spot the key tenants of the course and using the syllabus I got a clear view of what areas are examined. Then I took a day out oy my schedule to read, take notes, prepare, do the sample papers, review and repeat the process again.

Beware though, this approach is not for everyone, and as I learnt later on during the exam proper, once you rule out the question distractors you are generally left with at least two plausible answers.

As part of the TTT, I was provided with an exam voucher to take the exam online. As I am registered through PeopleCert, I took the online exam with them. The process was seamless and best of all, with online proctoring, I did the exam in the comfort my own home office.

Overall the courseware is good, the book is concise and the two sample exams help prepare for the exam proper. Beware though, the exam is not to be taken lightly.

For those trainers out there who want to upskill and deliver RESILIA courses, I understand there is still an opportunity to register for the RESILIA Train The Trainer for free up until the end of August 2015, at least through ITpreneurs.

The next step is to tackle the forthcoming RESILIA Practitioner exam in order to quality as an official trainer for the RESILIA Portfolio.


Report highlights service and support issues when adopting cloud computing

My latest article on cloud computing is available at the below links and is also reproduced here

http://bizplus.ie/auxilion-report-urges-more-cloud-awareness/

http://www.businessandleadership.com/leadership/item/51521-report-highlights-service/

 

Businesses adopting cloud computing services need ask a range of questions about support, backup and security to ensure that they receive adequate levels of service from their provider, according to a new report.

“Cloud computing and cloud based services are growing exponentially, yet many are unaware of the questions they need to ask to ensure quality of service,” said Mark O’Loughlin, head of cloud advisory and consulting at Auxilion and author of the report.

The IT service management and cloud computing report highlights key issues that need to be discussed with the provider before implementing cloud services, including the legal jurisdiction the data stored in and the level of service and back up provided.

 “For example, customers may assume that their applications and services are fully resilient and backed-up, only to find out during a service outage that they have inadequate arrangements in place,” O’Loughlin said.

“The legal jurisdiction of where the data is stored also poses serious legal and compliance issues such as who has access to the data from a legal perspective and what data protection laws apply.”

The report advisers that cloud computing and cloud based services customers should expect, and demand, at least the same levels of service as those provided by traditional IT service providers and internal IT organisations.

And it recommends implementing ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) principles to support the adoption and use of cloud computing and cloud based services. 

“Applied properly, cloud computing has huge cost and productivity benefits,” said O’Loughlin. “For example, businesses no longer need to procure, operate and maintain full and complete back-end IT infrastructure and applications. In addition, smart phone and tablet devices have enabled new mobile business models which did not exist ten years ago, via cloud enabled applications and improvements in data communications and broadband access and speeds. 

“However, when adopting cloud computing and cloud based services, businesses should not forget the basic principles of IT service management.”

Mark O'Loughlin, head of cloud advisory and consulting, Auxilion. 1


ITIL and the Cloud

There is no doubt that a current shortfall of a defined global best-practice for cloud computing is creating challenges. However previous investments in IT management structures and best practices such as ITIL® can be capitalized on and provide a solid foundation for managing cloud based services and hybrid IT environments.

Click here to read my latest blog for Auxilion, and watch the interview on how ITIL best practices can be utilised in cloud computing.


Cloud Showcase Event

See what an ISO20000 certified & ITIL aligned IT operation looks like in the cloud.

Auxilion provides 24x7 IT Support Services to some of the largest Irish and international organisations around the globe – entirely from the cloud.

Join us on Friday June 26th at our Service Operations Centre in Park West where Cloud Service Management experts Karl Howley and Mark O’Loughlin will host a special workshop on getting best practice IT operations and support into the cloud

For more details http://www.auxilion.com/abovethecloud


Webinar. Understanding IT Service Management for Cloud Computing.

I recently delivered the following webinar for AXELOS where I provide an overview of the IT Service Management and Cloud Computing White Paper which I wrote for AXELOS.

The webinar provides a brief history of cloud computing and identifies areas that should be adapted to yield the benefits of cloud computing. Recommendations are provided throughout the webinar.


Great News. Professional Cloud Service Manager

Great to see @PinkElephantUK delivered another Professional Cloud Service Manager #PCSM  course.

Excellent feedback was received from the delegates and Pink retain their 100% exam success rate with this course.

This is great news for me personally as both the author and creator of the course and as the trainer who delivered this course for Pink Elephant UK.

More news on this great achievement to follow.

If you would like details about the Professional Cloud Service Manager course, please let me know.

Additional details can be found here.