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Gartner Sees the End of the Traditional Sourcing Model, Rise of the Cloud

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Gartner has been looking toward the future, and what it sees is a future in the cloud.

Gartner believes that service-led solutions - software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) - will usurp more traditional sourcing methods by 2015.

IT companies will need to "bridge legacy offerings and new services" to pave a way to the cloud for service providers, according to an article on CloudComputingNews.net.

Cloud services appear to be growing at a much quicker rate than other segments of the IT services market. Hardware and software support will grow slowly compared to IaaS and BPaaS (business process as a service), which will grow 13.1% and 47.3% in 2013, according to Gartner.

"Growth opportunities certainly exist for service providers with life cycle solutions in relation to the Nexus of Forces," noted Eric Rocco, Gartner managing vice president. "However, this requires IT services providers to adapt to significant changes, including the growing influence of business leaders in technology investment decisions."

The Nexus of Forces, which encompasses cloud, social, mobile and information, was introduced as a theory by Gartner as the new paradigm for the future of IT.

Overcoming IT Resistance to the Cloud
Much has been said and written about adopting cloud computing solutions in an enterprise, but one factor is often overlooked: The steepest implementation challenges are often more about people and process than technology integration.

Agents of change must battle various forms of resistance, according to an article on ReadWriteWeb.com. This includes organizational fiefdoms and the IT silos that evolved with them. ReadWriteWeb offers up some organizational change strategies that can help IT departments fight fear and misunderstanding as they move to a cloud computing environment.

Use Tiger Teams to Break Down IT Fiefdoms
While no one is shocked that IT silos can hinder cloud adoption, you may be surprised how quickly you'll encounter resistance. For example, setting up IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) offerings for your first private cloud will likely involve separate groups responsible for storage, computing, networking, platforms and security. Coordination among these groups is already trying. Teams will have to escalate issues through multiple vendors, causing long delays and strains between IT fiefdoms not accustomed to relying on each other.

The key is for siloed groups to share activities across traditional boundaries. To encourage this, leading companies have created Tiger Teams: small cross-functional groups of skilled, respected and entrepreneurial-minded workers.

SWAT Away ‘Analysis Paralysis'
One large financial institution implemented a cloud strategy with an incumbent vendor that claimed to offer the right strategy and products. The firm waited too long for proof points and had vastly disappointing results. When it tried to bring in other cloud vendors, they merely added confusion to the existing failed effort - leading to analysis paralysis and the inability to decide on the proper next steps.

Unfortunately, this scenario is being played out in many large enterprises. If you can't afford a year of paralysis, create a SWAT team.

Smaller and more discreet than a Tiger Team, a SWAT team is quietly let loose to "get something done." It emerges only when it has a concrete working model to integrate with the IT ecosystem for evaluation.

Challenge Legacy Obstinacy
Many organizations cling stubbornly to legacy applications and platforms, often including proprietary applications running on no-longer-supported platforms. While some groups may propose porting those applications to a modern, standardized, platform and as-a-service offering, legacy zealots may claim that's too risky.

But there are many different techniques for cloud migration, including some that require little to no re-architecture efforts. One size does not fit all when it comes to migrating applications to the cloud.

The Future of the Database Administrator in a Cloud Computing World
Fear not, DBA. The cloud has a place for you, as well.

One of the many areas where services are beginning to move towards the cloud is in the database, as cloud providers can remove many of the time-consuming tasks around installing, configuring and provisioning the database.

These roles are typically assigned to the database administrator (DBA), and one of the questions this raises is around the future of DBAs and their role in a cloud environment.

While cloud providers may take on a large proportion of the mundane tasks associated with the database, this by no means negates the position of the DBA, according to an article on ITWeb.

Instead, it allows the DBA to move from a tactical position to more of a strategic role, focusing on tasks that will add value to the business rather than being exclusively assigned to the day-to-day maintenance and running of infrastructure. For many reasons, the role of the DBA will continue to be an important one in the cloud environment, but DBAs need to be prepared for a shift from a highly technical role, to one that adds greater business value down the line.

More Stories By Patrick Burke

Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.

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