40% of Your IT Services are Delivered by Someone Else (in the Cloud)!

Amount of IT Spending OUTSIDE of IT

Amount of IT Spending OUTSIDE of IT

Today, nearly 40% of all spending on IT services is done outside of your plan and view. By people who don’t work for your company and in infrastructures that you have no control over, using policies and security mechanisms that someone else designed. And at a cost that may be 30-60% higher than you could deliver the same services (if you wanted to). Welcome to the era of the Cloud!

Yes, of the $2.7 TRILLION dollars that Gartner estimates was spent on delivering IT services worldwide in 2016, nearly 40% at that figure is consumed by service providers outside of the IT organization.

Whew! This is mind-boggling. At a time where IT organizations have every opportunity to take control of their own destiny and shine, with all of the new toys that the technologists can bring, their constituents are migrating in droves to delivery sources which simply have less drama. And the trend is UP, year over year with no end in sight.

So what happened? Lack of accountability and vision. Depressed innovation and competitiveness.  Sure the current IT leaders have some kind of plans and always “get the proper signatures”, but IT organizations still behave as if they are the only game in town. They still deliver projects in months rather than minutes, and still have technical foundations that are so fragile that they have few other choices.

So in 2017, there is a huge opportunity to break the chain. Nearly all private cloud (a.k.a. Software-Defined Data Center, SDDC) technologies can be had for a fraction of what their rigid equivalent cost just 3-4 years ago. Storage, Computing and Networking can all be virtualized and deployed as general resources which can be carved out with the touch of a button, or with any of the orchestration frameworks already heavily deployed.

You just GOTTA-WANNA! The IT business leaders need to re-think how they are measured and consider the rising usage of the cloud as an indictment of their own prowess in delivering the services they are chartered to deliver. And keep in mind that 80% of all non-IT corporate leaders admin that they purchase their IT services without even telling the IT folks that they have done so.

So what do you do? Your job. Rather than focusing on all of the technical and organizational reasons that you can’t deliver new services in minutes like the outside cloud providers, focus on how you could do so in 2o17… and then start planning to get there. Act with commitment and a sense of urgency. If your house was on fire, you would figure out a way to put it out fast, right? Well, consider your IT Services delivery capabilities are on fire…. and they will burn to the ground unless you find a way to stop them.

Does this matter in the long run? You bet it does. While the cloud become popular nearly overnight, it comes at a price.  You lose almost complete control on what capabilities will be available over time. You become a ticket and escalation process in a much larger pool of users. The security of your data and the availability of services are defined by people you have no control over. And don’t forget the premium in spending required to enjoy IT services delivered by the cloud.

Time to Get Back in the Driver's Seat

Time to Get Back in the IT Driver’s Seat

Now is the time to ring in the new year with a new IT plan and get in back in the driver’s seat, rather than sitting in the passenger’s seat watching the scenery roll by…  IT is perhaps the most strategic asset your digital-centric business relies on and now is not the time to take your foot off the gas or hands off the wheel. Now is the time to get a plan. Plan for a hybrid arrangement with capacity in-house for your essential needs, and bursting capacity or specialized applications in the cloud. Remember, this is not a one-size-fits-all situation, so that is where IT leadership comes in.

Your opportunity is here, NOW!

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Mark Harris Fremont, CA
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