|By Srinivasan Sundara Rajan||
|December 6, 2012 10:45 AM EST||
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.
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.
Achim Weiss is Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of ProfitBricks. In 1995, he broke off his studies to co-found the web hosting company "Schlund+Partner." The company "Schlund+Partner" later became the 1&1 web hosting product line. From 1995 to 2008, he was the technical director for several important projects: the largest web hosting platform in the world, the second largest DSL platform, a video on-demand delivery network, the largest eMail backend in Europe, and a universal billing syste...
Oct. 14, 2015 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 365
Containers are changing the security landscape for software development and deployment. As with any security solutions, security approaches that work for developers, operations personnel and security professionals is a requirement. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, Kevin Gilpin, CTO and Co-Founder of Conjur, will discuss various security considerations for container-based infrastructure and related DevOps workflows.
Oct. 14, 2015 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 330
As operational failure becomes more acceptable to discuss within the software industry, the necessity for holding constructive, actionable postmortems increases. But most of what we know about postmortems from "pop culture" isn't actually relevant for the software systems we work on and within. In his session at DevOps Summit, J. Paul Reed will look at postmortem pitfalls, techniques, and tools you'll be able to take back to your own environment so they will be able to lay the foundations for h...
Oct. 13, 2015 11:15 PM EDT Reads: 253
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in high-performance, high-efficiency server, storage technology and green computing, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data ...
Oct. 13, 2015 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 273
Containers are revolutionizing the way we deploy and maintain our infrastructures, but monitoring and troubleshooting in a containerized environment can still be painful and impractical. Understanding even basic resource usage is difficult - let alone tracking network connections or malicious activity. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gianluca Borello, Sr. Software Engineer at Sysdig, will cover the current state of the art for container monitoring and visibility, including pros / cons and li...
Oct. 13, 2015 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 350
Containers are all the rage among developers and web companies, but they also represent two very substantial benefits to larger organizations. First, they have the potential to dramatically accelerate the application lifecycle from software builds and testing to deployment and upgrades. Second they represent the first truly hybrid-approach to consuming infrastructure, allowing organizations to run the same workloads on any cloud, virtual machine or physical server. Together, they represent a ver...
Oct. 13, 2015 10:45 PM EDT Reads: 279
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on...
Oct. 13, 2015 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 230
WebRTC converts the entire network into a ubiquitous communications cloud thereby connecting anytime, anywhere through any point. In his session at WebRTC Summit,, Mark Castleman, EIR at Bell Labs and Head of Future X Labs, will discuss how the transformational nature of communications is achieved through the democratizing force of WebRTC. WebRTC is doing for voice what HTML did for web content.
Oct. 13, 2015 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,505
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes ab...
Oct. 13, 2015 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,234
For almost two decades, businesses have discovered great opportunities to engage with customers and even expand revenue through digital systems, including web and mobile applications. Yet, even now, the conversation between the business and the technologists that deliver these systems is strained, in large part due to misaligned objectives. In his session at DevOps Summit, James Urquhart, Senior Vice President of Performance Analytics at SOASTA, Inc., will discuss how measuring user outcomes –...
Oct. 13, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 556
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet condit...
Oct. 13, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 730
SYS-CON Events announced today that Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, will keynote at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Oct. 13, 2015 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 260
Saviynt Inc. has announced the availability of the next release of Saviynt for AWS. The comprehensive security and compliance solution provides a Command-and-Control center to gain visibility into risks in AWS, enforce real-time protection of critical workloads as well as data and automate access life-cycle governance. The solution enables AWS customers to meet their compliance mandates such as ITAR, SOX, PCI, etc. by including an extensive risk and controls library to detect known threats and b...
Oct. 13, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 332
DevOps Summit, taking place at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and Javits Center in New York City, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait...
Oct. 13, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 207
Overgrown applications have given way to modular applications, driven by the need to break larger problems into smaller problems. Similarly large monolithic development processes have been forced to be broken into smaller agile development cycles. Looking at trends in software development, microservices architectures meet the same demands. Additional benefits of microservices architectures are compartmentalization and a limited impact of service failure versus a complete software malfunction....
Oct. 13, 2015 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 360
DevOps and Continuous Delivery software provider XebiaLabs has announced it has been selected to join the Amazon Web Services (AWS) DevOps Competency partner program. The program is designed to highlight software vendors like XebiaLabs who have demonstrated technical expertise and proven customer success in DevOps and specialized solution areas like Continuous Delivery. DevOps Competency Partners provide solutions to, or have deep experience working with AWS users and other businesses to help t...
Oct. 13, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 298
The last decade was about virtual machines, but the next one is about containers. Containers enable a service to run on any host at any time. Traditional tools are starting to show cracks because they were not designed for this level of application portability. Now is the time to look at new ways to deploy and manage applications at scale. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, Brian “Redbeard” Harrington, a principal architect at CoreOS, will examine how CoreOS helps teams run in production. Attende...
Oct. 13, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,345
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading in...
Oct. 13, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 231
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
Oct. 13, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 348
The IoT is upon us, but today’s databases, built on 30-year-old math, require multiple platforms to create a single solution. Data demands of the IoT require Big Data systems that can handle ingest, transactions and analytics concurrently adapting to varied situations as they occur, with speed at scale. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chad Jones, chief strategy officer at Deep Information Sciences, will look differently at IoT data so enterprises can fully leverage their IoT potential. He’ll sha...
Oct. 13, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 749