Many enterprises are implementing a centralized utility-oriented data center, based on consolidation and virtualization. While this model facilitates a more agile and cost-effective technology delivery model, it will also create cultural and procedural challenges if it involves extending IT's mandate into areas currently controlled by business units.
In order to effectively manage this environment, IT leaders should use Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and chargeback models that reinforce the concept of IT as a service. This research note looks at:
- The cultural, procedural, and financial challenges of consolidating and virtualizing departmental assets into a centralized data center.
- The value of SLAs and chargebacks in a consolidated, virtualized environment.
- Positioning service catalogs, SLAs, and chargebacks within the context of managing IT service delivery.
- The impact of SLAs and chargebacks in managing cultural change and improving IT/business alignment.
- Ideas for improving the transparency of IT chargebacks.
Consolidating and virtualizing servers that were previously distributed means weaning internal customers off the idea of owning server boxes. Chargebacks and SLAs provide a solid framework for communicating and negotiating with business leaders and managing expectations in a centralized data center model.