|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.
In recent years, at least 40% of companies using cloud applications have experienced data loss. One of the best prevention against cloud data loss is backing up your cloud data. In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sam McIntyre, Partner Enablement Specialist at eFolder, presented how organizations can use eFolder Cloudfinder to automate backups of cloud application data. He also demonstrated how easy it is to search and restore cloud application data using Cloudfinder.
Nov. 28, 2015 09:00 AM EST Reads: 167
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and t...
Nov. 28, 2015 08:45 AM EST Reads: 429
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing & protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection & E-Discovery of your data - whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise.
Nov. 28, 2015 07:45 AM EST Reads: 187
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...
Nov. 28, 2015 06:00 AM EST Reads: 239
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Nov. 28, 2015 05:00 AM EST Reads: 358
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
Nov. 28, 2015 04:00 AM EST Reads: 536
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound...
Nov. 28, 2015 03:30 AM EST Reads: 472
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem"...
Nov. 28, 2015 03:00 AM EST Reads: 446
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, San...
Nov. 28, 2015 02:00 AM EST Reads: 579
In today's enterprise, digital transformation represents organizational change even more so than technology change, as customer preferences and behavior drive end-to-end transformation across lines of business as well as IT. To capitalize on the ubiquitous disruption driving this transformation, companies must be able to innovate at an increasingly rapid pace. Traditional approaches for driving innovation are now woefully inadequate for keeping up with the breadth of disruption and change facin...
Nov. 28, 2015 02:00 AM EST Reads: 488
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user e...
Nov. 28, 2015 01:45 AM EST Reads: 410
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving t...
Nov. 28, 2015 12:00 AM EST Reads: 427
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Nov. 28, 2015 12:00 AM EST Reads: 424
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
Nov. 27, 2015 06:00 PM EST Reads: 417
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Nov. 27, 2015 04:00 PM EST Reads: 175
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...
Nov. 27, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 464
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Nov. 27, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 549
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and 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 ...
Nov. 27, 2015 11:45 AM EST Reads: 541
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
Nov. 27, 2015 11:00 AM EST Reads: 319
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Su...
Nov. 27, 2015 10:45 AM EST Reads: 390