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Are you able to measure the business value of your cloud services?

HeatherMackey on ‎05-22-2012 03:00 PM - last edited on ‎05-22-2012 03:04 PM

A recurring topic on the Discover Performance blog is performance management – not only why it’s important (for one thing, to drive better business outcomes), but also how to get started. How do you show the value IT provides, what KPIs are relevant for what you’re trying to achieve and how do you get to continuous improvement?


The latest video in the “This Week in the Cloud” series tackles these questions through the lens of cloud services. Starting with the question of how cloud impacts business and IT alignment, hosts Paul Muller, chief software evangelist with HP Software, and Christian Verstraete, chief technologist of cloud strategy for HP, discuss approaches to measuring cloud performance and offer specific KPIs to track. (This is part 6 of 6, and the other videos are all well worth checking out.)


One key point Christian makes is that when you go to the cloud (and for many organizations this is some form of hybrid cloud), ITIL and traditional service management frameworks are still very relevant. But to really demonstrate that alignment between IT and business it helps to think of cloud as a supply chain. After all, what is the cloud but a way to deliver services to the business?


There are many different techniques and KPIs from supply chain management that can apply directly to cloud. For instance, consider perfect order fulfillment, which looks at whether an order can be delivered on time and in full. To translate that to a cloud environment, measure whether you can provision a service as one order and deliver it in full.


If you’re starting to measure and manage cloud performance, Christian and Paul suggest starting with a small number of KPIs – perhaps 8 to 10 max. Some suggestions are perfect order fulfillment, service predictability, service quality, and so on. Other metrics to look at include velocity of work and how much work is tied up in work in progress. How many KPIs you tackle is less important than demonstrating continuous improvement on the KPIs you do track. As your organization’s maturity progresses you can add more to get a holistic view of performance and how that translates to business value.


To learn more, check out the video.



There’s more information about supply chain management in the Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model, developed by the Supply Chain Council.


Related links:


About the Author


I'm the community manager for Discover Performance and have been a writer/editor in the technology field for several years.

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