As IT services become increasingly commoditized and the supplier side of the market gets overly crowded, some of retail industry’s principles can be replicated in IT sourcing as well. Traditional business models where IT teams architect solutions as against business users’ requirements, procurement team compares quotations and offers of multiple vendors and supplier side being constant for at least a considerable amount of time have all changed in today’s business context.
In today’s ‘as-a-service’ delivery models, services are introduced at a much faster pace, prices change almost every quarter and new entrants bring up competing services at compelling prices. This has complicated procurement and sourcing processes even further.
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.
Govindaraj Rangan - Head, Datacenter Innovation Office, Datacenter Practice, Wipro, Ltd.
Govindaraj Rangan (Govind) is the Head of Datacenter Innovation Office, part of Datacenter Practice at Wipro. He has 19 years of industry experience across the breadth of the technology spectrum - Application Development to IT Operations, UX Design to IT Security Controls, Presales to Implementation, Converged Systems to Internet of Things, and Strategy to Hands-on.
Prior to Wipro, he spent over 10 years at Microsoft as Technology Strategist, working with some of the large Enterprise customers in India. He has also worked in the CIO/CTO organizations of Texas Instruments, Automatic Data Processing, D. E. Shaw & Co. and PCL Mindware.
He has an M.B.A. from ICFAI University specializing in Finance, M.S. in Software Systems from BITS Pilani and B.E. (EEE) from Madras University. Professionally, he is MCSE, CISSP, PMP, ITIL Foundation certified.