The on-demand Cloud model is beginning to displace traditional outsourcing. But outsourcing has developed over many years alongside industry, and it has had an important impact in shaping service customer expectations and supplier contractual obligations. Cloud services do not readily fit the mold. While simple or limited Cloud is seldom an issue, the widescale replacement of traditional in-house infrastructure is beginning to bring new concerns into focus. This is particularly important for the evolution of IaaS and PaaS.
Although Cloud is simpler in its agreements than its predecessors and envisions a utility-based model, it must still fit in with the auditing, technical integration, and governance needs of the firm. Traditional outsourcing models have tended to focus upon the Service Level Agreement (SLA) for contractually defining what is to be provided and how. However, the SLA has proven to be a thorny issue in the Cloud environment, particularly in public Cloud services. The issue has focused upon the definition of downtime, such as might be experienced when a Cloud provider goes offline for several hours—as has happened several times recently. What constitutes downtime, and what penalties (if any) should be paid to the client when this affects business? But this masks a range of related contractual concerns.
Cloud services need to be fitted into an organization to be used effectively. This means that they need to be integrated with other suppliers in the evolving multi-vendor environment. Management of vendors has centered upon the Vendor Management Office (VMO), which is increasingly being called upon to deal with services originating in the Cloud. But these services have different characteristics from their predecessors, different lifecycles, and different procedures for onboarding and releasing. Continue reading
Confronted with the requirement to cost effectively increase infrastructure capacity and/or flexibility, IT organizations strive to choose between traditional infrastructure providers, CoLo and hosting providers, and Cloud providers. In a recently published Strategic Perspective, Saugatuck offers guidance to any IT organization striving to plan an IT infrastructure.
Saugatuck urges that prior to initiating evaluations of technological infrastructure alternatives, an IT organization should first perform a thorough inventory and assessment of the existing physical infrastructure. This effort can be logically divided into two categories: Continue reading
The rapidly developing API Economy is made up of many parts that are infrequently examined. APIs provide access to software services on a network, and they have existed since the early days of computing. Now they are garnering new attention as Mobility and Cloud make them more important and more accessible. Releasing APIs has become an important marketing strategy for many companies, and their usage is encouraging integration of innumerable services through mashups on the Web. Yet we seldom look at specifics of what is being released. As APIs become more important, they signal directions that development is likely to take, and herald new opportunities from bringing together previously unavailable services. They also demonstrate the increasing importance of Mobility in driving software development. Continue reading
Mobility is having a large and diverse impact upon the growth of Digital Business. In a previous Perspective we looked at the Mobile/Cloud impact on Innovation (Enabling Innovation with Cloud Mobility, 1455STR, 10Oct2014). But the impact goes farther than that. Mobility is changing the way we think about IT and immediately enabling a wide variety of new possibilities – including entirely new concepts based on mobile sensors and their deployment. In the fast-moving environment of app development, evolution occurs swiftly in a continuous battle for survival of the fittest. Device desktop space is limited, and there are hundreds of apps performing similar functions; apps are quickly developed and deployed, and they can include powerful integration with Cloud-based services. And they are easily repurposed and moved to a new arena. Continue reading
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
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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Heads up to our research subscription clients: Saugatuck has just published a Strategic Perspective that complements and extends the research and guidance presented in our recent (1187SSR, Understanding Cloud Infrastructure Costs: Navigating for Savings, 07Mar2013).
The fundamental motivation for this latest Strategic Perspective stems from an elementary business precept which holds that the best surprise is no surprise. Our objective is to provide sufficient insights and guidance regarding TCO models for Cloud versus traditional IT, so as to avoid surprises such as unplanned costs or inappropriate tradeoff between optional functionality and additional cost. 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.
Note: Ongoing Saugatuck subscription clients can access this premium research piece (1149STR) by clicking here, and inputting your ID and password.