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Cloud Enablement & Operations

4-R Service Approach- Part 1: Realize

In my last blog, Chainsaws and Dogs, I introduced the concept of the 4-R service model.  The idea is to provide visibility and accountability throughout the delivery and consumption of services in an end-to-end delivery model.  This speaks directly to the cloud computing paradigm and the ever-blurring lines between what we provide and what we consume.

4-R Approach

If you remember, while working from home, a tree fell near my house and pulled the wires down.  I did not lose service, which means I did not realize there was a problem.  And my “watchdog” did not respond to the activity going on in the front yard during the response by the
electric company.  The issue was not that I lost productivity but that I was blind to the situation and potential subsequent problems.  The service provider followed the 4-R approach, of which realizing a problem exists step one.  Let me step back a minute and overview the  4-R approach.  4-R attempts to cover the key sequences and concepts associated with delivering end-to-end service support.  This approach provides a simple, but comprehensive, set of guidelines on how to improve customer satisfaction with your IT services and, thus, increase the value of IT to the organization.

The only way to respond is to first realize.  This first crucial concept consists of the following three tasks:

Define – the creation and continuous evolution of “normal state”

Measure – the ability to compare a “normal state” to reality in a
live or near-live process, in context

Alert – binary output of the measurement process into either an
event or non-event

Visually, this looks like this:

As the first stage in providing support, Realize becomes the essential launching pad for all other IT service functions.  With the increasing adoption of consumable IT services, including IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS, not to mention mobile cloud architectures, IT still needs to retain ultimate responsibility for the successful delivery to, and consumption by, their end users.  While reliance on the partner to meet their Service Level Agreements is part of this new brave world, this does not mean you should turn a blind eye and assume everything will be addressed appropriately.  At its core, this is not much different from how IT has traditionally handled telecom service monitoring.

Also, consider that this is not a one-time process but a live and dynamic methodology that needs to have built into it the ability to change as IT changes.  What is the normal state today may not cut the mustard in 6 months when a new critical business application or service is put into production or when the organization adopts new working paradigms.

What moral of this part of the story?  Ensure that you will REALIZE when problems arise by defining what constitutes a problem, measuring the delivery and consumption of all IT services, and alerting your staff or partners of the event.  More to come…

A backlit keyboard.

Geoff Smith

Sr. Practice Director | Modern Workspace & Managed Services

Geoff has more than 30 years of experience working in all verticals and markets, from the SMB to the enterprise, focusing on the application of IT solutions that enable businesses to achieve their goals. As Practice Director of Managed Services and Modern Workspace, Geoff is focused on the development of co-sourced and federated Infrastructure Operations, Help Desk, Cloud, and Security Service Frameworks designed to optimize IT operations and drive economic value to the business.

Geoff helps develop new services and marketing strategies for the company, as well as provides strategy and support to GreenPages’ key clients. Prior to GreenPages, Geoff was the Director of Client Services for Managed Technology Partners, where he was part of an overlay team that architected a new services methodology, marketing strategy, and client acquisition model. Geoff’s professional certifications include CCSP, MCNE, and VTSP. Geoff earned a BS in Computer Science from Westfield State College.