Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Roger Strukhoff, Jerry Melnick, Liz McMillan, Esmeralda Swartz, Michelle Drolet

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Java, SOA & WOA, Virtualization, Web 2.0, Security

Cloud Expo: Article

Multi-Year IT Contracts for Hybrid Cloud Delivery

CIO Priorities for 2013

Outsourcing the IT operations, support and associated infrastructure maintenance has been the norm for large enterprises over the last decade. Typically the multi-year IT outsourcing contracts cover the following aspects:

  • Application Development Services: These will be the set of resources and other costs, like environment, required to perform the custom development of various applications and sometimes customization and configuration of COTS products.
  • Application Testing Services: Even though testing is covered as part of development, to make this step more independent most enterprises outsource testing activities as a separate entity.
  • Application Sustain Services: This normally constitutes a biggest portion of outsourcing contracts, such that the applications are running without disruption to businesses and any incidents are handled within the defined SLA Levels. Also Sustain Services are governed by the well-established process of ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library).
  • Infrastructure Management Services: These will cover the hosting, operations and support of servers and storage, network infrastructure systems. Sometimes they may be hosted in the data centers of the enterprise or hosted with external service providers.

Multi-Year IT Contracts in the Cloud Era
Over the last two years, most enterprises reinvented themselves with the Hybrid Delivery model, whereby the business processes have been realized with a combination of the traditional data center, private clouds and public clouds. Also SaaS (Software as a Service) has become a major force in supporting enterprise business capability needs.

CIOs need to re-assess the cost and delivery models of most multi-year IT contracts due to the following reasons.

  • Unlike standard sizing techniques like Function Point Analysis that are meant for large-scale development projects, there is no universally accepted estimation and sizing techniques available for these large outsourcing deals. Most of the time vendor organizations adopt a combination of multiple legacy techniques to come together with a final pricing model. Most of the time factors like the number of FTEs incumbent vendors already deployed, ticket volume and similar factors play a major role.
  • The estimation techniques adopted a couple of years of ago, before SaaS and Cloud become mainstream, have become largely irrelevant in now. As most of the business processes that have been served in-house have now been brokered by the enterprises and hence the supporting needs will vary drastically.
  • Enterprises have to shift their custom development budgets towards SaaS evaulation or cloud-based integration (CBI) techniques.
  • Budget allocations have to accommodate for proof of concept and innovation enabled by areas like Big Data and real-time analytics

From the above points it is a priority for CIOs to evaluate the multi-year IT contracts and shift the priorities from certain areas and move them to other areas so that the capability of IT to serve the business is adapted to the new realities.

Areas Affected by the Hybrid Cloud Delivery Model
The following are the typical line items in a multi-year IT contract that needs to be revisited so that their allocations are fully justified.

  • Problem Management: In the past much of the time has been spent on fixing the production ABENDs of various custom development code. However, with SaaS and cloud usage these are expected to be reduced a lot. Also in a SaaS delivery model IT service personnel from the enterprises will not be responsible to fix the issues, rather direct them to the SaaS vendors.
  • Production Job Management: Maintaining production jobs, scheduling them, monitoring them and restarting them have been the core activities of many production support staff in custom application management. However with automation being the key of most cloud IaaS providers or private cloud platforms, much of these tasks have been simplified and can be revisited.
  • Preventive & Adaptive Maintenance: Earlier application support staff needs to work with multiple third-party vendors to ensure that proper versions of the operating systems and patches are maintained, so that the applications don't break in the future. However, with the adoption of PaaS (Platform as a Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service) much of the effort spent on this can be shifted to the cloud providers.
  • Service Continuity Management: Setting up the recovery tests and testing for disaster recovery have been a daunting task in the past. In fact due to the complexities of this operation we have seen some enterprises don't even have proper disaster recovery sites. However cloud has simplified the creation of disaster recovery sites in different geographies and provisioning them has become much easier.
  • License Management: The enterprise licensing model in the COTS and Custom applications era is much different that the pricing models adopted by SaaS applications and hence there requires a revised planning on this front.
  • Application Development Services: In the past enterprises used to give Service Requests for custom development of various applications and a fixed pool of resources are typically allocated for the development, however the adoption of SaaS, PaaS and Cloud Based Integration will certainly alter the allocation of resources towards this. Also much of the budget allocations for new large scale custom development efforts can be revisited if the enterprises decided to utilize SaaS as a service delivery model.

Summary
An exhaustive list of services that are part of the multi-year IT contracts may vary from enterprise to enterprise; however, one of the important priorities for CIOs is to revisit them and allocate their resources appropriately towards business capabilities and innovation which is one of the major enablers of the hybrid delivery model.

More Stories By Srinivasan Sundara Rajan

Srinivasan Sundara Rajan (Also Known As Sundar) Is A Enterprise Technology Enabler for realizing business capabilities. His primary focus is enabling Agile Enterprises by facilitating the adoption of Every Thing As A Service Model with particular concentration on BpaaS (Business Process As A Service). He also helps enterprises in getting meaningful insights from their structured and unstructured and real time data sources. All the views expressed are Srinivasan's independent analysis of industry and solutions and need not necessarily be of his current or past organizations. Srinivasan would like to thank every one who augmented his Architectural skills with Analytical ideas.

Cloud Expo Breaking News
Web conferencing in a public cloud has the same risks as any other cloud service. If you have ever had concerns over the types of data being shared in your employees’ web conferences, such as IP, financials or customer data, then it’s time to look at web conferencing in a private cloud. In her session at 14th Cloud Expo, Courtney Behrens, Senior Marketing Manager at Brother International, will discuss how issues that had previously been out of your control, like performance, advanced administration and compliance, can now be put back behind your firewall.
Cloud scalability and performance should be at the heart of every successful Internet venture. The infrastructure needs to be resilient, flexible, and fast – it’s best not to get caught thinking about architecture until the middle of an emergency, when it's too late. In his interactive, no-holds-barred session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, will dive into how to design and build-out the right cloud infrastructure.
Cloud backup and recovery services are critical to safeguarding an organization’s data and ensuring business continuity when technical failures and outages occur. With so many choices, how do you find the right provider for your specific needs? In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Daniel Jacobson, Technology Manager at BUMI, will outline the key factors including backup configurations, proactive monitoring, data restoration, disaster recovery drills, security, compliance and data center resources. Aside from the technical considerations, the secret sauce in identifying the best vendor is the level of focus, expertise and specialization of their engineering team and support group, and how they monitor your day-to-day backups, provide recommendations, and guide you through restores when necessary.
More and more enterprises today are doing business by opening up their data and applications through APIs. Though forward-thinking and strategic, exposing APIs also increases the surface area for potential attack by hackers. To benefit from APIs while staying secure, enterprises and security architects need to continue to develop a deep understanding about API security and how it differs from traditional web application security or mobile application security. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Sachin Agarwal, VP of Product Marketing and Strategy at SOA Software, will walk you through the various aspects of how an API could be potentially exploited. He will discuss the necessary best practices to secure your data and enterprise applications while continue continuing to support your business’s digital initiatives.
The revolution that happened in the server universe over the past 15 years has resulted in an eco-system that is more open, more democratically innovative and produced better results in technically challenging dimensions like scale. The underpinnings of the revolution were common hardware, standards based APIs (ex. POSIX) and a strict adherence to layering and isolation between applications, daemons and kernel drivers/modules which allowed multiple types of development happen in parallel without hindering others. Put simply, today's server model is built on a consistent x86 platform with few surprises in its core components. A kernel abstracts away the platform, so that applications and daemons are decoupled from the hardware. In contrast, networking equipment is still stuck in the mainframe era. Today, networking equipment is a single appliance, including hardware, OS, applications and user interface come as a monolithic entity from a single vendor. Switching between different vendor'...
You use an agile process; your goal is to make your organization more agile. What about your data infrastructure? The truth is, today’s databases are anything but agile – they are effectively static repositories that are cumbersome to work with, difficult to change, and cannot keep pace with application demands. Performance suffers as a result, and it takes far longer than it should to deliver on new features and capabilities needed to make your organization competitive. As your application and business needs change, data repositories and structures get outmoded rapidly, resulting in increased work for application developers and slow performance for end users. Further, as data sizes grow into the Big Data realm, this problem is exacerbated and becomes even more difficult to address. A seemingly simple schema change can take hours (or more) to perform, and as requirements evolve the disconnect between existing data structures and actual needs diverge.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SherWeb, a long-time leading provider of cloud services and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. A worldwide hosted services leader ranking in the prestigious North American Deloitte Technology Fast 500TM, and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, SherWeb provides competitive cloud solutions to businesses and partners around the world. Founded in 1998, SherWeb is a privately owned company headquartered in Quebec, Canada. Its service portfolio includes Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Dynamics CRM and more.
The world of cloud and application development is not just for the hardened developer these days. In their session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, and Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, will pull back the curtain of the architecture of a fun demo application purpose-built for the cloud. They will focus on demonstrating how they leveraged compute, storage, messaging, and other cloud elements hosted at SoftLayer to lower the effort and difficulty of putting together a useful application. This will be an active demonstration and review of simple command-line tools and resources, so don’t be afraid if you are not a seasoned developer.
SYS-CON Events announced today that BUMI, a premium managed service provider specializing in data backup and recovery, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Manhattan-based BUMI (Backup My Info!) is a premium managed service provider specializing in data backup and recovery. Founded in 2002, the company’s Here, There and Everywhere data backup and recovery solutions are utilized by more than 500 businesses. BUMI clients include professional service organizations such as banking, financial, insurance, accounting, hedge funds and law firms. The company is known for its relentless passion for customer service and support, and has won numerous awards, including Customer Service Provider of the Year and 10 Best Companies to Work For.
Chief Security Officers (CSO), CIOs and IT Directors are all concerned with providing a secure environment from which their business can innovate and customers can safely consume without the fear of Distributed Denial of Service attacks. To be successful in today's hyper-connected world, the enterprise needs to leverage the capabilities of the web and be ready to innovate without fear of DDoS attacks, concerns about application security and other threats. Organizations face great risk from increasingly frequent and sophisticated attempts to render web properties unavailable, and steal intellectual property or personally identifiable information. Layered security best practices extend security beyond the data center, delivering DDoS protection and maintaining site performance in the face of fast-changing threats.
From data center to cloud to the network. In his session at 3rd SDDC Expo, Raul Martynek, CEO of Net Access, will identify the challenges facing both data center providers and enterprise IT as they relate to cross-platform automation. He will then provide insight into designing, building, securing and managing the technology as an integrated service offering. Topics covered include: High-density data center design Network (and SDN) integration and automation Cloud (and hosting) infrastructure considerations Monitoring and security Management approaches Self-service and automation
In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, David Holmes, Vice President at OutSystems, will demonstrate the immense power that lives at the intersection of mobile apps and cloud application platforms. Attendees will participate in a live demonstration – an enterprise mobile app will be built and changed before their eyes – on their own devices. David Holmes brings over 20 years of high-tech marketing leadership to OutSystems. Prior to joining OutSystems, he was VP of Global Marketing for Damballa, a leading provider of network security solutions. Previously, he was SVP of Global Marketing for Jacada where his branding and positioning expertise helped drive the company from start-up days to a $55 million initial public offering on Nasdaq.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 14th Cloud Expo, Marc Jones, Vice President of Product Innovation for SoftLayer, will explain how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
Hybrid cloud refers to the federation of a public and private cloud environment for the purpose of extending the elastic and flexibility of compute, storage and network capabilities, in an on-demand, pay-as-you go basis. The hybrid approach allows a business to take advantage of the scalability and cost-effectiveness that a public cloud computing environment offers without exposing mission-critical applications and data to third-party vulnerabilities. Hybrid cloud environments involve complex management challenges. First, organizations struggle to maintain control over the resources that lie outside of their managed IT scope. They also need greater infrastructure visibility to help reduce maintenance costs and ensure that their company data and resources are properly handled and secured.
Are you interested in accelerating innovation, simplifying deployments, reducing complexity, and lowering development costs? The cloud is changing the face of application development and deployment, with enterprise-grade infrastructure and platform services making it possible for you to build and rapidly scale enterprise applications. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Gene Eun, Sr. Director, Oracle Cloud at Oracle, will discuss the latest solutions and strategies for application developers and enterprise IT organizations to leverage Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) to build and deploy modern business applications in the cloud.