Welcome to the Self-Service Track of the Building Clouds Blog. This is a new track that we’ll use to cover the different facets of Self-Service.
When people think about Self-Service, they often think about a web portal where users log on and access their delegated resources or environments. That is one of the most common use cases in IT today, especially when you are trying to achieve “IT as a Service” (which could be Private, Public or Hybrid Cloud in the area of Infrastructure as a Service or Platform as a Service). Microsoft has a strong offering out of the box in that area, and you can bet some of our posts will showcase how the Windows Server/System Center stack can be deployed and used to deliver these scenarios, today and with the R2 wave!
Also, whether you are en Enterprise or a Service Provider (or a mix of both!), choosing a Self-Service approach that works for your organization might sometimes depend on multiple factors:
- What should the Self-Service interface look like: Should it be that web portal, or can/should it be integrated in another user interface your audience either knows or already uses all day long? If a portal, what about the look and feel?
- Who are your Self-Service users: Will you be granting access to business users and applications owners, or just using the interface for internal IT usage to automate your own tasks as an IT organization or a service provider?
- Are you implementing Self-Service for cloud computing scenarios only, or should it cover any entries you might find in a “Service Catalog” (as ITIL calls it) with the appropriate levels of approvals: people requesting new laptops, identity management, etc. More generally, what level of integration should Self-Service have with other systems and what are these systems?
There is no right or wrong answers here…There are just requirements to take into account, to map to some use cases and technologies, and possibly to some best practices… We’ll also cover these in upcoming posts, explaining the potential different Self-Service options, and how you could link them to the underlying automation and infrastructure.
We are looking forward to blogging here…stay tuned for new content!
The Building Clouds team