Information Technology as-a-Service (ITaaS) is an architectural strategy companies have started to adopt as a way to align IT resources to better meet business needs. A full ITaaS architecture provides a customer centric on-demand approach to supplying IT services. The attributes of an effective ITaaS architecture include simplicity, pay-for-use, agility, user-centric, efficient, elastic, responsive and control. ITaaS design is to solve the challenges with current-state architectural approach to providing IT resources in a business friendly way.
Current-state architecture challenges include; infrastructure is added on an ad-hoc basis, IT assets are tied to project expenses, applications are tightly coupled with their hardware and over 70% of the budget goes to maintaining the status quo. A company with the current-state architecture will not be able to meet the ITaaS objectives and not realize the benefits of simplicity, pay-for-use, agility, user-centric, efficient, elastic, responsive and control. Current-state IT architecture is not agile enough to provide IT resources as a service.
Companies that define ITaaS as the target-state objective are looking for a roadmap to realize the benefits of ITaaS architecture. One of the enterprise architecture designs that deliver the foundation for ITaaS is Private Cloud. The infrastructure provided by cloud provided the framework for building ITaaS target-state architectures. Benefits of a private cloud include; web based user centric interfaces, designed for the Non-IT users, support for multiple organizations, application isolation and ability to migrate workloads. Private Cloud allows for control of user resource usage through roles/rights, quotas, leases and allows for data collection for billing on resource allocation. Private Cloud provides the ability to scale to meet the business requirements without impacting system users. End users have a certain amount of autonomy over their resources and are not dependent on an administrator.
Getting from current-state architecture to target-state ITaaS requires transformational initiatives. Customers have asked for a prescriptive road map to get to the end goal of ITaaS. VMware, a leader in private cloud and virtualization, created the domain model approach to help customers with their prescriptive roadmap with a near term objective of cloud and future goal of ITaaS.
The VMware domain model identifies the components and relationships between them required for a successful private cloud implementation. The domain model targets 5 Strategic areas of an IT ecosystem; Business IT/Alignment, Architecture, Infrastructure, Process and Organizational & Governance. Using the domain model as a benchmark a company is measured based on their maturity in the domain areas. From the model a prescriptive plan can be created to help get the IT organization to their target-state goal of ITaaS.
Realizing ITaaS Architecture can become a reality when built upon Private Cloud architecture. To have a successful Private Cloud architecture it is important to address not only the technical concerns but to address the stakeholders and their relationship in the enterprise though the VMware domain model.