Attraction of Cloud IT offerings remains mostly based on the perceived potential of reduced infrastructure costs. However, the trade press and IT analysts provide minimal guidance on sizing Cloud resource for a workload. Saugatuck’s ongoing conversations with users have shown that Cloud IT cost estimates are typically based on gross and erroneous approximations rather than on measurements of performance.
Saugatuck recently published a Strategic Perspective which focuses on factors which heavily influence performance of a Cloud IT infrastructure and, thus, the ongoing costs of running a workload on the Cloud infrastructure: Continue reading
For decades one overriding mantra of IT has been that people are expensive and computers are cheap. The obvious conclusion that an objective for any IT organization should be to maximize the number of servers managed by each technical support staff member. A cursory review of articles in IT trade publications, IT analyst pronouncements, and Cloud vendor marketing hype, provides consistent evidence that the ratio of servers to technical support staff is anything but consistent.
In a recently published Strategic Perspective, Saugatuck has identified two categories of factors surrounding the ratio of servers to technical support personnel. We characterize these categories as:
- Primary/Input: These are “upstream” factors which directly influence the amount of manpower required to “manage/support” a server (i.e., the ratio of servers to technical support personnel); and Continue reading
During the week of 29 April through 3 May IBM hosted its annual Impact 2013 (subtitled “Business. In Motion”) conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Befitting the location, Impact is a huge business conference (with 8,500 attendees this year) and has a definite Las Vegas flavor (the keynote opened with a car driven on stage and dubbed a “rolling data center”).
IBM’s market positioning and messaging continues to be a bellwether for large-enterprise IT trends overall. This year’s Impact emphasis on the combination of Cloud, Mobility, Social, and Analytics – plus the importance of native integrative capabilities – underscores the emergence and reality of the loosely-coupled, “elemental” IT and business architectures that are increasingly prevalent, that enable a variety of Boundary-free Enterprise™ configurations, and which are reshaping providers’ go-to-market positioning.
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Adoption of Cloud IT offerings began and remains mostly based on the attraction of reduced infrastructure costs. Not surprisingly, the trade press and IT analysts provide considerable guidance on selection of Cloud offerings. However, ongoing conversations with users have shown that simply selecting a Cloud infrastructure offering does not ensure maximum ongoing savings.
Saugatuck recently published a Strategic Perspective which focuses on four factors which heavily influence the ongoing costs of running a workload on a Cloud infrastructure: Continue reading
Saugatuck has gone on record that the phenomenon of Cloud IT is forcing vast changes in the responsibilities and roles of the traditional enterprise IT organization. In published research for our CRS clients this week, we took a look at how these changes affect enterprise IT from an applications development point of view. Figure 1 summarizes the key characteristics of Cloud IT that impact enterprise AppDev, as follows:
Figure 1: Summary Changes – Cloud IT and Enterprise Application Development
Source: Saugatuck Technology Inc.
How to address and overcome these changes and challenges is a story that requires further reading and examination, beyond our abilities in this simple blog post. To net it down: The role(s) of in-house application development resources will change, no disappear, due to widespread use of Cloud IT (whether IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS). AppDev costs should decline on a per-instance basis while the range and scope of AppDev resources escalates – just in time to help in-house developers find and learn new skills and technologies needed to manage proliferating solutions, interfaces, providers, and data formats.
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Volumes have been written about the ways in which Client-Server architecture caused and/or enabled sweeping changes across the IT landscape. Those changes ranged from how IT solutions were acquired, through how solutions were implemented, to how the solutions and their underlying infrastructures were managed. In 2007 Saugatuck began publishing insights into how Cloud IT would also cause and/or enable major changes in IT organizations. Saugatuck has just published Strategic Perspective projecting that Cloud IT is becoming the third near-universally adopted IT infrastructure and will catalyze a total re-invention of the traditional IT organization.
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The use of Cloud-based solutions is infiltrating all aspects of business IT – expanding both across enterprises and across user departments within enterprises. Similar to other technological advances, the risks and the rewards of Cloud IT vary for individual situations. A clear understanding of the popular perceptions about Cloud IT is the crucial first step toward objective evaluation and planning – and, away from project failure and management disappointment.
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IT organizations are actively embracing the mobile computing devices born in the consumer market. While the challenges of managing the devices are significant, they are not overwhelming and multiple tools are available to automate processes ranging from on-boarding a new user, to erasing sensitive data from a misplaced or stolen device.
However, beyond managing the devices, IT organizations are finding – sometimes, the hard way – that managing the applications on the mobile devices is necessary to avoid security and availability exposures. IT shops are finding that welcoming an authorized user on an approved device with unknown software is similar to the Trojans unwittingly welcoming the Greeks by pulling the fabled horse inside the city walls. Details vary by enterprise, but IT organizations should consider the functions detailed in Figure 1, below, for managing mobile device applications and software.
Figure 1: Mobile Device Application Management Functions
Source: Saugatuck Technology Inc.
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Recently published Saugatuck research (1021CLS,Cloud Costs: Understand Vendor Pricing and Sum the Pieces, 07Feb2012) focusing on the true costs of running various workloads in the Cloud highlights two key facts that are frustrating IT buyers:
- Cloud pricing is not consistent. When investigating potential costs for running a workload in a Public Cloud offering, a factor which rapidly becomes apparent is the “granularity” of the potential server configurations. Some Cloud providers, such as IBM, and Rackspace, currently offer a number of pre-defined server configurations. Others, such as OpSource (Dimension Data) provide more granular flexibility – within limits – in defining a server configuration. Pre-defined server configurations have a tendency to create “stair-step” pricing models. Such models often result in purchasing more of one resource than is needed to attain the required amount of another resource.
- Workloads are not homogeneous. Most IT workloads exhibit common attributes – independent of the size of the enterprise – and, they consume resources ranging from IT infrastructure to personnel. The extent of resources consumed by a workload depends on factors such as the designed attributes of the workload, the volume of transactions or records processed, and the desired performance or throughput.When evaluating migration of a workload to a Cloud offering, it is critically important for IT organizations to have a solid understanding of the resources required – and, their associated costs for each of the Cloud offerings being considered. To enable an informed decision by IT management, all costs must be identified and sized.
Note: Ongoing Saugatuck subscription clients can access this premium research piece (1021CLS) by clicking here, and inputting your ID and password.
What is Happening? While there are a number of important software industry trends that ebb and flow through time, the advent of the Cloud is clearly encouraging many technology providers to go vertical and emphasize solutions – as technology decisions are increasingly made at the functional and business unit level (where the underlying technology infrastructure will often be hidden from the buyer). This trend was clearly in evidence at IBMs annual Software Analyst Connect event at the Hilton in Stamford, CT earlier this week – which was entitled