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Cloudonomics Authors: Lori MacVittie, Skytap Blog, David H Deans, Shelly Palmer, Tim Crawford

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Best Practices in Shared Service Cloud Design

A Community Cloud is the design framework for a shared services environment

In addition to IT cost efficiencies, organizations should look for further benefits from their Cloud investments.

Most notably they should align with and support major change programs like ‘Shared Services Canada‘.

This imperative to drive hundreds of millions of dollars in cost savings will set out to transform the organization in line with this diagram – Shifting them right from decentralized in to the Shared Services sweet spot.

The Rise of Enterprise Cloud Providers – System Copy On Demand

Cloud Computing is the ideal technology to underpin this shift, not just because it offers the core tool of virtualization to enable sharing of infrastructure, but also because ‘Enterprise Cloud Providers‘ will emerge to fill the role of the shared service provider and through making the right investments will help facilitate and accelerate this outsourcing trend.

As highlighted in the GC Community Cloud presentation from the Canadian Federal Govt, the organization has the typical enterprise applications estate of SAP, Oracle, Microsoft et al, as well as having a goal of a common Messaging platform too.

In short a Community Cloud is the design framework for a shared services environment, and thus the platform to underpin the overall SSC initiative, and as service providers begin to match the requirements with locally available services so they’ll be able to offer target environments for consolidation efforts.

This type of rationalization is how they intend to uncover these huge cost savings, and so smart providers will start to bring services to market that can solve today’s real pain points as well as enable this consolidation.

For example a big pain point that is common for many SAP users is the ‘System Copy’ function. This needs to be made regularly for their Java software stacks as well as used in processes like this scenario of software development and testing, however the SAP tools for this aren’t great and so it’s also served by third-party plug-in specialists.

Offering these value-add capabilities via an ‘As-a-Service’ model enables Cloud providers to start establishing common shared service components that are valued equally by multiple client departments, providing one first step on to a shared services journey. 

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