An on-premises cloud allows IT organizations to leverage existing investments in hardware, construct hybrid clouds, and enable end-users within the business to self-provision based on their needs.

In my last blog post, I detailed the importance of baselining your current cost and quality of service. Here, I discuss why you must define on-premises cloud services with pricing and SLAs.

Here are three questions to ask when assessing if your applications and IT services are ready to move into the on-premises cloud:

1. Web services 

Are your current web services constrained by scalability, unpredictable workloads, high availability requirements, etc.?

2. Dev/Test or Dev/Ops

Do your development and test teams have trouble managing frequent setup and teardown of resources? Are they unable to standardize configurations for globally distributed teams, or do they have difficulty responding to variable infrastructure demands?

3. Big Data applications 

Does your business now depend on applications that require massive amounts of resources, but only for a short period of time?

If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, an on-premises cloud can help. 

Since end-users will be self-provisioning, it will be critical for you to define your on-premises cloud services in terms the business understands, and what’s more, you’ll have to encourage a mind shift toward the realization that IT is not “free.” 

How? By putting a price on your new on-premises cloud services. 

Putting a price on on-premises clouds

When a product or service is free, the demand for it is potentially infinite. But once that product or service has an associated cost, the end-users begin to shape both supply and demand. Once end-users are paying a price, they’ll better understand how the cost of IT impacts their business functions, and as a result, they’ll help you minimize waste and gain more insight into how you can improve quality and meet demand.

Design standardized processes for orchestrating self-service IT 

Once you have defined your on-premises cloud with pricing and SLAs, you are positioned to to make the move toward offering a self-service solution for the business. There are still hurdles to clear, however. 

Though you’re working with a known group—the business—there is a growing variety of business needs and devices to be accounted for. A robust orchestration layer is necessary for the fast, on-demand provisioning that you are after. 

Some, like your tech-savvy infrastructure, development and operations teams, will be less interested in a shopping cart self-service experience when provisioning these services. However, if your on-premises cloud serves LOB customers, you may want to consider an actionable self-service catalog experience to link the provisioning experience to the orchestration and automation backend processes of your on-premises cloud.

The goal is to improve efficiency and simplicity for the user. The long-term benefits can be well worth the upfront effort. The transparency, automation, and customizability delivered by the orchestration layer makes the promise of a true self-service IT solution built on your on-premises cloud an achievable reality.

Want to learn more as you move toward an on-premises cloud solution? Download our whitepaper, Seven Practical Steps to Help You Run Your On-Premises Cloud Like a Business, for more. I look forward to your comments below, or on Twitter.