McKesson is a global health care leader that has 26 operating companies. The centrial IT group had the vision to automate "the last mile" of IT planning, the budget approval process. We think of it as the budget approval dance, and when containing costs, it's a ritual that can leave scars. This company has evolved to the point of improving the cost of budgeting, and making it faster and smarter by understanding the assets, services, and service delivery of IT.

Budgeting can be painful because it can be in slow-motion. Contrast this with the real-time controls of such as VMware V-Motion and Amazon's web service console and we see a great linkup for driving process change through budgeting. And driving budgeting by cloud and virtualization. We took a look at McKesson's journey and the service catalog functions of NewScale, an IT services catalog company.

McKesson: Let's Start with Less Meetings and Less 5mb Spreadsheets

NewScale has customers like McKesson and Charles Schwab and competitors like HP, IBM, Tivoli. The company has been growing its customer base and helping stable-state enterprises to leverage Service Management. And that leads directly into cloud procurement.

We tracked the use case at McKesson, where the company landed at the service desk in the cloud as a means to the end in their journey to build a low-impact budget process.

We see a lot of benefit in this approach, where if successful, it would mean that the advantages to go with commodity pre-approved services dramatically improves the timing and effort of procurement. This is a lever that gives Finance a significant hand in the IT spend. Since cloud and virtualization offerings can be spun-up with service call, the cloud is well positioned to be there as budgeting and approval processes are automated.

In phase one, the company reported significant progress in moving processes towards the service catalog.

One click vs. Fill Out the Form

In the end, the move towards enterprise standards may be won over simplicity. Is it less clicks to provision. This means connecting the dots between processes, systems, software, teams, and policy.


To EC2, or to EC2 through Official Channels: That is the Question

IT services management comes into the picture and could make a difference in how the business and technical contributors of organizations are rewarded for moving to a standard platform.

Information Technology Infrastructure Library is tool set that has been given to IT managers to try to wrap standard language around IT service management. It gives the enterprise a common way to manage processes for IT and track the changes involved in building and operating systems.

Services platforms like Amazon and Salesforce can be considered IT disinter-mediation. We all know a IT leader out there somewhere who is funding their project by credit card out in the cloud. IT, of course, knows this also (especially since they are likely watching your network traffic). One part of the service management offering is making it even easier than Amazon. Carrot, vs. stick.

Service catalog management has the promise when it wraps things like Amazon's EC2, or VMwares offerings, gives the enterprise a way to get the same service from the web. And, with budget approval and IT approval baked in, the carrot is there.

All of IT moves towards transparency and IT processes as being measured as processes. In the ITIL community, there is discussion of the next layer of the library moving towards service delivery in the move towards ITIL Version 3. It's easy to see that "provision server" becomes fully automated. Soon, all the IT functions below it become invisible. We see this as a future cloud inflection point, where instead of there "cloud services", we are all in one.

Zen Mashup

What has been your experience in mashing ITIL, ITIL Service Delivery in your environment? Do your IT services flow like water?