The beginning of the year is a traditional time for prognostication. In a recently published Strategic Perspective Saugatuck takes a look through the looking glasses at some of the most likely significant challenges of 2016 that will influence enterprise IT directions and shaped the IT market. We labeled these as:
- Transforming IT. Saugatuck projects that 2016 will bring a rapidly increasing percentage of traditional IT environments being transformed to reduce costs, improve service delivery, and accelerate responsiveness to new requirements. IT environment transformations will consist of two separate but interrelated sub-transformations that will both enable and require each other. Within the IT environment the two sub-transformations are IT infrastructure transformation, and IT process transformation.
- Evolving Decisions From Intuitive to Informed or Insightful. Analytics will be integrated into a rapidly increasing number of business and IT processes in 2016. This will enable a transition from decisions based on intuition to decisions based on meaningful metrics. For an increasing number of processes, the adoption will go one step further and utilize cognitive analytics to move to decisions based on insights.
- Transforming Applications for Digital Business. A rapidly growing number of enterprises will embark on transformations to Digital Business during 2016. As Saugatuck has previously explained, the transformation to Digital Business entails changes in key functional areas ranging from product offerings to customer relationship. And, the Digital Business transformation is enabled by and requires changes in the IT environment ranging from IT infrastructure to IT processes to application solutions.
- Governing and Securing. As enterprises adopt Cloud-based offerings, the need for strong management practices and security increases. However, few enterprises are well equipped to deal with the new requirements. Cloud providers will find that the demand for both solutions and services will grow significantly in the coming year in the area of workload management, governance, and security.
Continue reading Welcome to 2016…the Beat Goes On!
What is Happening?
On 15 September, Accenture announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire Cloud Sherpas, a cloud advisory and technology services firm that had specialized services related to Google, Salesforce and ServiceNow. According to the press, the 1,100+ professionals acquired from Cloud Sherpas will join a newly created Accenture Cloud First Applications team. Accenture hopes that the acquisition will strengthen Accenture as an enterprise cloud services provider and enhance its ability to provide cloud strategy, technology consulting, and cloud application implementation, integration and management services.
Saugatuck views Accenture’s acquisition of Cloud Sherpas as being another indicator that the importance of Managed Services is increasing as enterprises transition to various forms of Cloud-based infrastructure. This Research Alert focuses on the increasing importance of Managed Services and offers some factors to consider during evaluation and selection of Managed Services.
Why is it Happening?
In early April Saugatuck published the findings from its 2015 Cloud Infrastructure Survey. The survey results clearly show that:
- IT infrastructures are transitioning rapidly from traditional On-premises resources to alternatives that include various forms of Cloud-based resources;
- The infrastructure transition results from and enables both the migration of conventional application workloads to the Cloud, and the deployment of new application workloads designed for Cloud; and
- Enterprise executives are focusing on increasing the value of their IT organizations.
These are a few of the findings from our global web survey of 327 IT execs spanning major geos and business sizes. (For more information about the survey, go to Saugatuck’s 73-page Strategic Report 2015 Infrastructure Survey: Next-gen IT – Cloud on the March, 1553SSR, 01Apr2015). Continue reading Managed Services: The Cloud Catalyst
What is Happening?
Not a day goes by with no mention of the Internet of Things (IoT), whether in terms of news, analysis, opinion, or vendor/provider announcements. So far this week, we count more than a dozen news/blog/announcement items, with several just today from true IT Master Brands, including IBM and ARM (joint enterprise IoT platform), Facebook (Parse mobile app development platform), and Samsung (SmartThings consumer device/home hub).
The data from our 1Q2015 global IT/Cloud infrastructure survey suggests that most user enterprises are at least trying to prepare for the IoT reality with significant upgrades to their existing infrastructure. Figure 1 shows that more than two-thirds have made or are making IT infrastructure investments in support of IoT management initiatives.
Figure 1: Infrastructure Upgrades for IoT Are Underway
Source: Saugatuck Technology global 2015 IT/Cloud Infrastructure survey, n=327
The opportunities for almost any type of user enterprise to profit and improve using IoT capabilities are tremendous. The challenge for these enterprises is, will they make enough of the right infrastructure investments soon enough?
Saugatuck’s research indicates an array larger-scale IT infrastructure investments across the board. Including all types of IT workloads, an average of 82 percent of firms are making, or planning to make, IT infrastructure investments to upgrade and improve their capabilities through 2017.
Unfortunately, as Figure 2 illustrates, that average drops to 69 percent when it comes to infrastructure upgrades to handle and manage the emergent IoT – the smallest average for any IT workload type. Continue reading Why Do IoT Infrastructure Investments Lag Behind Other IT?
In Saugatuck’s recent IT Infrastructure survey, companies indicated a strong preference to shift their IT infrastructures to the Cloud over the next 4 years. Figure 1 shows that while few companies are currently using Cloud as their primary Infrastructure, within 4 years, the balance shifts almost entirely toward the Cloud, with significant focus on Hybrid Cloud (combination of Public and Private Cloud).
Figure 1: Future IT Infrastructure Portfolio
Source: Saugatuck Technology, Cloud Infrastructure Survey, April 2015, n=327 (global)
As a result of this shift to the Cloud, many companies are likely to change their purchasing mix of on-premises hardware to Cloud infrastructure. Currently, many companies indicate that they prefer to purchase both Cloud and On-premises infrastructure and services from Name-brand vendors like IBM, Lenovo, HP, Oracle, and Cisco. Over time, however, the shift toward more Public Cloud is likely to prove more of a boon to the current IaaS providers like Amazon, Microsoft, and Rackspace. Continue reading Cloud Infrastructure is On the Way
In 1Q2015 Saugatuck executed a global Web-based Cloud Infrastructure Survey and compiled the responses from 327 IT executives spanning major geographies and business sizes. The survey results appear in a summary 73-page report published in April. Ongoing, in-depth analyses of the survey responses reveal insights into how IT executives are planning to evolve their IT infrastructures. Infrastructure transition requires consideration of where to deploy specific workloads, both existing and new. This Strategic Perspective focuses on our assessment that not only new but also existing workloads are moving to the Cloud in most organizations and the migration will accelerate into 2017. Continue reading Survey Says: Workloads Are Moving to Cloud Infrastructures
In 1Q2015 Saugatuck executed a global Web-based Cloud Infrastructure Survey and compiled the responses from 327 IT executives spanning major geographies and business sizes. The survey results are summarized in the 73 page Strategic Report (1599SSR, 2015 Infrastructure Survey: Next-gen IT – Cloud on the March, 01Apr2015 – or click here for Lens360 blog post summary). Subsequent in-depth analyses of the survey responses are yielding additional insights.
In addition, we recently identified five challenges faced by most IT organizations (1599MKT, Containers: The Infrastructure Para-Upgrade, 26June2015) as:
- Increasing demand from users for both new functionality (e.g., mobility, analytics, etc.) and new application solutions;
- User dissatisfaction over the protracted time and high costs required for the development and implementation of new functionality and new application solutions;
- Escalating costs for maintaining a steadily growing inventory of production workloads and infrastructure;
- Budgets constraints; and,
- Diminishing or exhausted “payback” from major infrastructure initiatives in centralization/consolidation, and virtualization as older devices, sometimes lacking enhancements to minimize overheads, are pushed to their limits.
Saugatuck fully agrees that appropriate use of Cloud infrastructure can yield significant benefits applicable to all five of the challenges listed above. However, Saugatuck has identified that challenge three is sometimes being incorrectly interpreted as a reason to implement “wholesale” migrations of production application workloads to Cloud infrastructures. Responses to our recent Cloud Infrastructure Survey provide the following data as indicators of this flaw in IT infrastructure planning: Continue reading Think Beyond Cloud to a Malleable Infrastructure
Earlier this year Saugatuck executed a global Web-based Cloud Infrastructure Survey of 327 IT executives spanning major geographies and business sizes. The survey results are summarized in a recently published report (see Saugatuck’s 73-page Strategic Report 2015 Infrastructure Survey: Next-gen IT – Cloud on the March, 1553SSR, 01Apr2015). Subsequent, in-depth analysis of the survey responses is yielding additional insights in areas such as executive-level perceptions of the impact of new technologies. A just published Strategic Perspective focuses on our assessment that respondents are underestimating the likely impact of a key new technology: containers.
Almost all IT organizations are facing five simultaneous challenges:
- Increasing user demand both for new functionality and for new application solutions;
- User dissatisfaction over the protracted time and high costs required for new application development;
- Increasing costs for maintaining a continually growing inventory of production workloads and infrastructure;
- Budgets constraints; and
- Diminishing or exhausted “payback” from major infrastructure initiatives in centralization/consolidation, and virtualization.
Continue reading Containers for App Dev
Saugatuck recently released findings from our 2015 Cloud Infrastructure Survey. This global Web survey of 327 IT executives spanning major geographies and business sizes clearly shows that IT infrastructures are transitioning from traditional On-premises resources to Cloud-based alternatives. In a just published Strategic Perspective we look at one facet revealed by the survey: planned infrastructure upgrades for key workloads.
For most IT organizations, budgets are always tight. In the past few years IT budgets have been stretched even thinner than during “normal” years as a result of budget cuts due to lingering sluggish economic conditions and an explosion of demand for IT resources to accommodate new requirements including mobility, analytics, and social.
Saugatuck projects that the demand for computing resources will continue to grow rapidly – and, in increasingly dynamic and erratic increments. Continue reading Tight Budgets and Impending Upgrades Drive Cloud Evaluation
What is Happening?
Saugatuck recently released the findings from its 2015 Cloud Infrastructure Survey. The data clearly shows that IT infrastructures are transitioning rapidly from traditional On-premises resources to a range of alternatives – including Internal Private Cloud, Hosted Private Cloud, Public Cloud and Hybrid (On-premises + Public Cloud). The infrastructure transition is both the result of and the enabler of increasing migration of conventional On-premises production workloads to the Cloud, and the deployment of new workloads designed for Cloud functionality.
The research also shows that as usage of Cloud-based offerings broadens and deepens, the evaluation and selection criteria used by IT organizations will evolve – including recognition that Managed Services will play an important role. The new criteria will be dictated by a combination of factors: org. capabilities, workload characteristics, and workload criticality. These are a few of the findings from our global web survey of 327 IT execs spanning major geos and business sizes. This Research Alert focuses on the evolving criteria for selection of Cloud offerings.
Why is it Happening?
Many IT executives are increasingly recognizing that the inefficiencies and the inertia inherent in their traditional infrastructure are inhibitors to the businesses. Thus, even as they are striving to modernize applications with new capabilities such as mobility and analytics, they are adopting more agile infrastructure alternatives. In addition, the majority of IT execs recognize the value of transitioning existing support-oriented IT organizations toward Collaborative and Innovative orgs that are more focused on “serving the business” than on managing and operating IT assets.
In an earlier Research Alert (Evolving Infrastructure Profiles – The Shift to the Cloud Accelerates, 1543RA, 13March2015 – Click Here for Lens360 blog version), we highlighted the transition from mostly Virtualized Infrastructures toward Cloud alternatives. The survey also revealed that respondents expect the profiles of their IT organizations to evolve from mostly Supportive to mostly Innovative over the next four years. Specifically:
- While the traditional IT organization profile (i.e., Supportive) is the most common today, by 2019 it shrinks from 41 percent to only 12 percent. The majority of this transition is due to interim shifts to Proactive and Collaborative, followed by shift to Innovative.
Figure 1: Current and Projected IT Organization Profiles
Source: Saugatuck Technology Inc. Cloud Infrastructure Survey, April 2015, n=327 (global) Continue reading Infrastructure Selection Criteria: Increasing Importance of Managed Services
What is Happening?
Yesterday, Saugatuck attended the AWS Summit 2015 in San Francisco, where Amazon gave an update on their business, and released several new products to the nearly 10,000 attendees at the Moscone Center and the 7,000 who watched the livestream. Andy Jassy, SVP of Web Services at Amazon kicked off the keynote by highlighting some key statistics about the business: from 4Q13 to 4Q14 they experienced 103 percent year-over-year growth in the amount of Data transferred into and out of S3 (Simple Storage Service) and 93 percent growth in the use of their compute service EC2. They now have over 1 million active users who have used the service in the last month.
Jassy brought several companies out to discuss the value of the AWS Cloud infrastructure. Jason Kilar, the founding CEO of Hulu, and now CEO of Vessel, a startup focused on video sharing and consumption, highlighted the ability to keep his team small, and focus on the business without having to build infrastructure. Wilf Russel, VP of Digital Technology Development at Nike described how the Cloud has fundamentally changed their application architecture and described their shift toward DevOps and Microservices. Valentini Volonghi, CTO at AdRoll discussed how the Cloud gave their business the reach to reduce latency by distributing their app around the globe. And Colin Bodell, CTO & EVP at Time Inc. who is migrating all of Time’s datacenters to AWS, citing that in the UK, they took their datacenter monthly run rate from $70,000 to $17,000.
Finally, Jassy used the opportunity to make several product announcements:
- Amazon Elastic File System (EFS) – a fully managed filesystem that can span multiple EC2 instances to enable multiple concurrent and scalable connections to a single file directory.
- Amazon Machine Learning Service – A one-size-fits all service that enables non-experts to implement Machine Learning algorithms on their data sets, or within their applications. This offers a simple API for training and modeling calculations which can then be called to perform specific machine learning tasks.
- Amazon Workspaces and AWS Marketplace for Desktop Apps – an Amazon VDI product to enable companies to create virtual desktops, as well as purchase, manage and provision the software for those desktop applications.
- The GA release of the Amazon EC2 Container Service – The Amazon tool for deploying, managing, updating, and running Docker clusters.
- The GA release of AWS Lambda – a Service designed to perform trigger / event driven compute in small doses. Provides a way to perform small, scripted tasks in real-time when triggers are initiated. Amazon highlighted its use in sending notifications, indexing, IoT, and as a serverless mobile backend. At present, Lambda only supports Node.js, but is adding support for Java in the coming weeks.
Continue reading AWS Summit 2015: Public Cloud and Microservices