Welcome to a part 2 of a multi-part series on The Software Insider Tech Ecosystem Model. Subsequent posts will apply the model to these leading vendors:
The aggregation of these posts will result into a research report available for reprint rights.
Cloud Computing Represents The New Delivery Model For Internet Based IT Services
Technology veterans often observe that new mega trends emerge every decade. The market has evolved from mainframes (1970’s); to mini computers (1980’s); to client server (1990’s); to internet based (2000’s); and now to cloud computing (2010’s). Many of the cloud computing trends do take users back to the mainframe days of time sharing (i.e. multi-tenancy) and service bureaus (i.e cloud based BPO). What’s changed since 1970? Quite plenty — users gain better usability, connectivity improves with the internet, storage continue to plummet, and performance increases in processing capability.
Cloud delivery models share a stack approach similar to traditional delivery. At the core, both deployment options share four types of properties (see Figure 1):
- Consumption – how users consume the apps and business processes
- Creation – what’s required to build apps and business processes
- Orchestration – how parts are integrated or pulled from an app server
- Infrastructure – where the core guts such as servers, storage, and networks reside
As the über category, Cloud Computing manifests in the four distinct layers of:
- Business Services and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) – The traditional apps layer in the cloud includes software as a service apps, business services, and business processes on the server side.
- Development-as-a-Service (DaaS) – Development tools take shape in the cloud as shared community tools, web based dev tools, and mashup based services.
- Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) – Middleware manifests in the cloud with app platforms, database, integration, and process orchestration.
- Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) – The physical world goes virtual with servers, networks, storage, and systems management in the cloud.
Figure 1. Traditional Delivery Compared To Cloud Delivery
Cloud Computing Encourages Users And Vendors To Focus On Value Added Solutions
Applying The Software Insider Tech Ecosystem Model to Cloud Computing highlights where buyers, sellers, and partners can deliver value (see Figure 2). As cloud computing adoption increases, users can expect that:
- Solution providers and partners will invest in value added solutions over commoditized infrastructure. The continued commoditization of technology results in richer and more relevant Cloud stacks. As a result, a handful of larger players will emerge to drive down the costs of computing while encouraging ecosystems to deliver value added solutions. Buyers can expect packaged apps, vertical apps, last mile solutions, and implementation partners, to invest in specialized and higher value intellectual property (IP).
- Customers will care more about service level agreements than the brand name of technology components. The cloud commoditizes the infrastructure components for both tools for creation and tools for distribution. Users shift their priority for brand components in favor of outcomes based delivery. Consequently, users will not care about the brand name of hardware, database, middleware, and even business intelligence systems in use. Client success shifts to the monitoring of pre-agreed upon service level agreements (SLA’s)
- Integration will emerge as the key enabler and choke point. End users need an enterprise apps strategy for cloud computing that addresses the “I” word – Integration. SOA principles must be enforced including support for canonical data models and business process haromonization. Integration must focus on data mapping, business process orchestration, quality of service, and master data management.
Figure 2. The Software Insider Tech Ecosystem Model For The Cloud
The Bottom Line For Buyers – Use The Tech Ecosystem Model To Build Out Your Technology Roadmap And Procurement Strategy.
The Software Insider Tech Ecosystem Model can provide a key tool in mapping out the long term apps strategy. Use the suggested five step approach to determine how cloud computing can support existing and future business requirements: