RU Digital Ready?

Today, technology training is still very important, as digital technologies continue to change and evolve.

What is less recognised is; upskilling IT professionals to deliver value form digital technologies is a necessity yet remains a significant gap and often overlooked.

Focusing on the technology alone will not deliver digital success, digital innovation or digital value.

It will only deliver new technology.

So, ask yourself one simple question.

RU Digital Ready? … in the context of delivering digital value.

Please Remember to Read the Contract.

The cohort of professionals who have attended my personal Professional Cloud Service Manager (PCSM) training sessions will have been taught a very simple lesson in this new digital / cloud world. And it is this simple lesson - READ THE CONTRACT...

... or else you might be surprised at a later date what terms and conditions you signed up to. And the below example is related to just public Wi-Fi.



GRAVITY - A cinematic experience in conquering the cloud (and lunch)

Just to let you  know of our next event from Auxilion which is focused on how Irish firms have used cloud services and digital transformation successfully.

I am holding a number of seats for my personal guests, if you missed the invite, just let me know. If you are tight on time, we welcome you and a few of your team to even just join us for lunch (on us!) anytime between 1.00 -2.00pm next Wednesday. I will be there on the day too, so if you can make it would be good to catch up.

You can register using the link below, or just let me know and I can have my colleagues get you all registered and setup.



Learn how your fellow industry professionals have digitally changed their organisations


Wednesday October 5th, from 1:00pm


Light House Cinema, Smithfield, Dublin City Centre


1:00 – 2:00pm

Lunch and Registration

2:00pm – 3:30pm

Customer Stories

3:30pm – 4:00pm

Networking & Breakout Technology Showcase Area

An Ode to Cloud

It is Poetry Day Ireland today, so I thought I would get into the spirit of things.

An Ode to Cloud

There was a time; when clouds were near
rain would follow, soon to clear.
With resource-pooling; clouds grew bigger;
Self-serving themselves with a snigger.

The clouds you see race through the sky
meeting planes as they fly by.

Clouds of old just want to rain
on our heads and down the drain.
The dark grey clouds cast out the light,
while wispy ones they just take flight.

The clouds you see race through the sky
meeting planes as they fly by.

But when it’s dry and thirst arrives,
that is when things get contrived.
“Please just rain”; we command.
But alas; not on-demand.

The clouds you see race through the sky
meeting planes as they fly by.

Clouds today are internet bred.
A mix of public, private, hybrid.
Do clouds today seem less complex?
And more elastic when run on OPEX?

The clouds you see race through the sky
meeting planes as they fly by.

Click here for more details on all things cloud related and for exciting news from EXIN and the Cloud Credential Council.

EXIN Appointed Official Exam Institute for the Cloud Credential Council.

This is really great news. EXIN have been appointed the official Exam Institute (EI) for the Cloud Credential Council. I expect this will help further drive the adoption of the Professional Cloud Service Manager course globally. The PCSM course is the only vendor neutral service management course for cloud computing.

For more details about the PCSM click here.

Details from the recent press release are below

EXIN Appointed Official Exam Institute for the Cloud Credential Council

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwired - April 26, 2016) - The Cloud Credential Council (CCC) and EXIN, the global exam institute for ICT-professionals, have entered a partnership appointing EXIN to be the official exam institute for the CCC certification program. The mutual vision of EXIN and the CCC in cloud competence development provided a perfect opportunity to join forces.

The CCC is an established cloud competence development body and the creator of the leading vendor-neutral, role-based, CCC cloud certification program. The CCC certifications, mapped to key roles in IT and business, were developed after extensive research and contributions from user organizations and leading cloud technology vendors to provide a well-rounded approach to cloud competence standards. EXIN, as an authority in the IT training industry, brings a wealth of experience and support to the CCC in managing the growing demand for cloud certification. EXIN will be handling all accreditation and exam services on behalf of the CCC as of May 1, 2016.

Joining forces to further advance cloud competence standards in industry is a logical next step for EXIN and the CCC. The CCC will benefit greatly from EXIN's extensive experience as a leading IT certification and accreditation body. Industry forecasts anticipate continued growth for cloud computing in 2016 and beyond. With this growth, the training and certification needs of IT professionals is of increasing concern for many organizations, making this a good time to combine and boost the efforts of EXIN and the CCC to fill the cloud skills gap.

About the Cloud Credential Council

The Cloud Credential Council (CCC) is an international member-based organization mandated to drive cloud readiness through effective competence development. The CCC has established critical cloud certifications for key IT roles in order to cultivate cloud-ready IT professionals. As an independent and vendor-neutral certification body, the CCC has an expanding list of members consisting of public sector and academic institutions, cloud service providers, cloud users, cloud training providers, professional associations and international certification bodies across the world. Visit for more information.

About EXIN

EXIN is the global independent certification institute for ICT-professionals. With 30 years of experience in certifying the competences of over 2 million ICT-professionals, EXIN is the leading and trusted authority in the ICT-market. With over 1000 accredited partners EXIN facilitates exams and e-competence assessments in more than 165 countries and 20 languages. EXIN is co-initiator of the e-Competence Framework, which was set up to provide unambiguous ICT certification measurement principles within Europe and beyond. For further information, please visit


Cloud Showcase Event

See what an ISO20000 certified & ITIL aligned IT operation looks like in the cloud.

Auxilion provides 24x7 IT Support Services to some of the largest Irish and international organisations around the globe – entirely from the cloud.

Join us on Friday June 26th at our Service Operations Centre in Park West where Cloud Service Management experts Karl Howley and Mark O’Loughlin will host a special workshop on getting best practice IT operations and support into the cloud

For more details

Great News. Professional Cloud Service Manager

Great to see @PinkElephantUK delivered another Professional Cloud Service Manager #PCSM  course.

Excellent feedback was received from the delegates and Pink retain their 100% exam success rate with this course.

This is great news for me personally as both the author and creator of the course and as the trainer who delivered this course for Pink Elephant UK.

More news on this great achievement to follow.

If you would like details about the Professional Cloud Service Manager course, please let me know.

Additional details can be found here.

Cloud Computing. A Brief History in Time

At a recent speech I gave at an event in Dublin, I discussed the history of cloud computing and its origins.

I was speaking on behalf of Auxilion, an Irish IT managed services company moving and supporting organisation in the cloud.

As I was talking to a room on non-technical people I purposefully kept the details light, high-level and of a non-technical nature.

Basically the origins of cloud computing are very simple, but require the latest technologies to enable people to receive the benefits of using the cloud.

I have saved the details up to Slide Share where you can download a or view a copy of the presentation.

Download a copy from here now!

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.


Congratulations - Winners

Congratulations to the following people who recently won free e-Book vouchers after attending my session on Service Management for Cloud Computing.

A big thank you to to Ivo van Haren for providing the e-Book vouchers.

Vouchers can be used to obtain a free e-Book from here:

The winners are:

Gediz Curgul
Savita Robert
Barry O'Sullivan
Daytinn Kros
Stig Bjørling Ellingsen

Well done all, and thank you for attending.


Q&A with Mark O’Loughlin discussing Cloud Computing for ITSM

 The following is Q&A with Mark O’Loughlin discussing Cloud Computing for ITSM. This interview was held in advance of the itSMF Estonia conference.

On December 2nd, itSMF Estoniais hosting their 9th annual full-English conference, presenting a wide range of topics around ITSM, including DevOps and Cloud. Delegates will be able to enjoy a truly international selection of speakers, including Kevin Behr (co-author of The Phoenix Project) and Adrian Cockcroft (previously Cloud Architect at Netflix).

Attendance fees range from €50 to €100, which is more than a bargain, and to top that, Van Haren Publishing will be giving a free e-book to every delegate.

Leading up to this event, Mark O’Loughlin, as recognised industry leader in the field of service management and cloud computing, shares his view on Cloud Computing. He explains how Cloud Computing is changing IT Service Management, with a Q&A of his presentation at the itSMF UK Conference this November.


Q. Can you give a quick recap of the intro to your session at the itSMF UK Conference?

A. Cloud computing is changing how IT is provided, moving many elements of ownership and control away from in-house and individual IT providers. Therefore this shift in the industry brings about changes which organisations need to be aware of in order to address them.

I provided an overview of the effect of cloud computing on existing IT management practices, including IT service management (ITSM) and ITIL best practices


Q. Why is cloud computing important?

A. Cloud computing is a disruptive innovation in business and IT models. It is disruptive because it is changing how IT products and services are being provided for both the consumer and the service provider. Cloud computing is moving organizations away from the traditional software licensing models and premises-based data centre hosting to ‘pay-as-you-go’ or utility based pricing.

Over time, as the adoption of cloud computing increases, organizations will see a reduction in the IT infrastructure which they would have previously bought, operated and maintained.

Cloud computing does not fit every scenario, but where it does, the promise is one of scalability, lower cost, flexibility and reliability. Please note, it is incumbent on any organisation moving services to the cloud to check how these promises will be delivered.


Q. What does this mean to IT service management and service providers?

A. Cloud service providers are no different to traditional IT service providers in relation to their need to provide quality, cost-effective, secure and available IT services. When you move your services ‘to the cloud’, certain elements of how an organisation traditionally managed IT services will have to change. The difficulty is the lack of knowledge beforehand of what organisations need to change and how to make those changes.

In my presentation I provided a number of considerations and scenarios where organisations will have to adapt and change their processes and working method after outsourcing to a cloud provider, be it a full or partial outsource engagement.


Q. Does this mean organisations have to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, regarding how they run and manage their IT services?

A. Absolutely not. IT organizations using ITIL and other frameworks and standards, will be required to adapt certain elements of their operations to cater for the disruptive nature and benefits of cloud computing.

For those organizations using ITIL best practice and other frameworks and standards the message is clear: there is no need to undo the current IT organization and how it operates. The important thing is to identify the areas that need to be updated, changed or modified. This way organisations can profit from the added value that cloud computing can bring to the organization as well as to the customers and consumers.

These concepts and ideas are further explored in the recently released white paper by AXELOS.

Download a free copy here.


About Mark O’Loughlin:

Mark O’Loughlin is the founder, Managing Director and Principal Consultant of Red Circle Strategies. At Auxilion, Mark is Service Architect and principal consultant.

He is the former director of itSMF Ireland and one of the first people to be globally awarded with the ITIL® Master accreditation.

At the Cloud Credential Council, Mark is as director actively involved in creating and promoting best-practice for cloud computing and service management. He is also the Lead Author and Architect of the Professional Cloud Service Management course and certificate for the Cloud Credential Council. For further details click here.



Speaking at itSMF UK conference and exhibition 2014

ITSM14, the annual conference and exhibition of itSMF UK, returns to the Novotel London West in Hammersmith on 10th and 11th November 2014.

This year I will be speaking on the topic of "Cloud Service Management - A New Beginning. What You Need to Know".

This session continues on from my presentation at last year’s event. Details of my 2013 presentation can be downloaded from here

What you will learn:

Whether we like it or not, cloud computing is both disruptive and here to stay for a long time. The disruptive nature of cloud introduces the idea of Hybrid IT where the design, development and management of cloud services and traditional ITSM services converge. The question so how do you adapt today, what you need tomorrow to manage IT and cloud based services?

The overarching tenant of this presentation is to inform attendees how to utilise their existing investment in ITIL processes, functions, structures and training while taking advantage of cloud computing and cloud based services.

The presentation will provide relevant examples to the attendees on issues, pitfalls, and easy wins when adapting to deliver and support cloud based services. The message is clear. Do not throw out your ITIL / ITSM setup. I plan to explain how to do this with practical examples.

I will be speaking on Monday 10th November between 15:20-16:20. The agenda can be found here.




All attendees to my session will have the opportunity to win a number of free vouchers for an e-book courtesy of Van Haren publishing.

The voucher entitles the lucky winner(s) to download a free e-book from the extensive Van Haren Library.


itSMF UK Conference 2013 – ITSM13

It’s Getting Cloudy in IT Service Management

"I had the pleasure of chairing a session Mark ran at the itSMF UK conference.  Over the years I have seen many presentations purporting to demystify cloud operations, but Mark's was the first to really deliver.  His explanations were clear, his examples were credible and his suggestions both practical and pragmatic.  He easily engaged the audience and although representing a company selling cloud solutions, he never came across as selling anything other than his obvious passion for the subject"

Martin Neville

Head of Service Management Integration

Jaguar Land Rover


itSMF Canada - Conference 2013

There were no clouds to be seen in Toronto on May 6th when Mark presented.

In the sphere of ITSM – Cloud best practices are still emerging.   Mark provided just the right amount of balanced insight and relevance into how Cloud is changing the role of IT in the delivery of services, and how it affects our relationship with our suppliers and the business. 

Judging by the terrific audience engagement during the Q & A period, Mark clearly hit a few key Cloudy points of interest – the importance of understanding up front the value of Cloud for the business; the costs associated with increased business demand over time; the new challenges of end to end SLAs and Change Management in a Cloud model; and the changing roles within IT – less control and more focus on being a strategic ‘broker’ between the business and external service providers. 

Mark’s presentation re-enforced to me that while Cloud introduces new challenges in the delivery of IT Services, the ITSM V3 framework becomes even more relevant in executing great service delivery.  A great presentation Mark!

Consultant, Intact Financial Corporation

Axelos release best practice white paper for cloud computing

Axelos has released their first best-practice white paper for cloud computing.

It's full title is "Best practice in the cloud: an introduction. Using ITIL to seize the opportunities of the cloud – and rise to its challenges."

I reviewed the white paper on behalf of the Cloud Credential Council:

The white paper is now available from their website HERE


How to demonstrate value of IT for $0

Ok. Here it is. A very simple, easy, cheap and yet effective way to demonstrate value that IT provides to the business. Are you listening... Are you ready for it ...?

Create a very basic Continual Service Improvement log. That is is. No IT wizardry, tools, licenses or development. No big project, consultants, contractors or rollout. No, nuffin!

Here are some helpful hints (also for nuffin)

  • Use a spreadsheet for ease of reporting and compiling.
  • Update at regular intervals (monthly is reasonable).
  • Capture the improvement activities, projects, mini projects and things your IT department does to make IT work better
  • Record the additional cost (or lack of) in making improvements – many times there is no (or very little) extra cost – Now isn’t that showing real value!! .
  • Keep it Simple and Smart. Have the minimum number of data columns.
  • Make sure it is easy and quick to fill in.
  • Promote continual improvements often and regularly to management, the business, end-users and customers.

I guarantee that if you follow these simple steps that within six months you will be armed with many, many examples of how IT provides value continually. Use this to demonstrate and shout about how IT is about more than just fixing things that break or keeping the lights on.