So how can the IT services industry leverage this model? The IT services industry needs to evolve and standardize the interfaces between suppliers and marketplace. While these interfaces are presently done by system integrators, in an ideal world, suppliers should be able to use standard templates to register and publish their services in the marketplace with their key differentiations, pricing, SLAs, etc. Users on the other hand should be able to browse, compare and buy IT services similar to the way they buy retail products in an e-commerce site.
API-enabled services make it all simple to automate the entire IT supply chain - publish, fulfill, meter and consume services. System integrators are the best players in the ecosystem to morph into “services brokers” providing reusable blueprints, comparison and benchmarking of service providers, automation or orchestration toolset for fulfillment and framework for ongoing operations to simplify the entire IT lifecycle. Let’s delve into the dynamics:
Architecture Design is simplified using parameterized and templatized application blueprints to be able to raise and destroy application environments at ease.
Procurement is simplified by providing a way to browse the broker’s marketplace for blueprints from various service providers, compare service providers against costs, features, SLAs, etc. order online and keep the order live with the ability to modify changing demands or changing suppliers.
Fulfillment is simplified by orchestration engines of the service providers or the brokers.
Operation is simplified by broker’s managed services framework. Managed services were traditionally provided by system integrators and hence, it makes it simpler for them to transform into brokers and own end-to-end IT services
‘As-a-service’ economy redefines the way services will be consumed and enterprises need to gear up to this major shift. While it is not as easy as it seems, enterprises need to take the baby-steps towards this goal to leverage the cost benefits, enhanced agility, try new business models and avoid vendor lock-in.