Unified Computing Whitepaper

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Unified Computing Whitepaper

  1. 1. The Unified Computing Revolution:How IT Departments can Achieve More for Less
  2. 2. IntroductionCIOs are under mounting pressure to do more be able to do more with less. Continuing economicwith less, increase competitive advantage and uncertainty across Europe means that IT budgetsalign IT with business strategy. To meet these are stretched and under pressure. According toneeds, CIOs must rethink the role of the IT Gartner, IT spending in EMEA is down by 3.6% indepartment and move it away from providing 2012 while spending in Western Europe is down byfunctional support to being a strategic enabler of 5.9%. It’s worth noting that spending on mobilethe business. Unified Computing, already utilised devices is set to rise to 15.1% in four years fromby companies such as UEFA, is now being 12% in 2012, which indicates the generaladopted by many CIOs to help them make this expectation that people should be connected totransition and stay ahead of the curve. This what they need using the device and channel theywhitepaper outlines the issues faced by CIOs prefer. IT departments need to provide a bettertoday and how Unified Computing can and more responsive service to their lines ofrevolutionise the way IT departments operate. business without incurring any additional cost. Unified Computing, utilised by companies such asGartner Inc states that 90% of total technology UEFA, is an approach now gathering pace amongspending will be outside of the IT department by many CIOs looking to make the necessary 1the end of the decade . Due in part to the transition for their IT department to become adigitising of companies’ revenue and services and strategic enabler.in part to a technology-savvy generation ofemployees who no longer require IT’s support to The premise is simple; a combination ofprocure technology at work. outsourcing of managed services and cloud computing, the precise mix being unique to eachThe Gartner prediction comes at a time when CIOs company and determined by its individual needs atare being told to ‘do more with less’, increase any given point. However, the benefits can becompetitive advantage and align IT with business revolutionary for IT departments: combining thestrategy. CIOs must now rethink the role of the IT traditional benefits of outsourcing (reduceddepartment within the enterprise and move it overhead, cost predictability and improvedaway from the traditional functional support role services) and cloud computing (agility and lowertowards becoming a strategic enabler of the TCO) with the application skills and assets of abusiness. large system integrator.A good start is to understand what the IT But, this is not the whole story, because the wholedepartment must provide to facilitate the business is greater than the sum of its parts. The unifiedto be agile, flexible and innovate quickly. IT has an nature of this approach bridges the gap betweenessential role to play in providing businesses with managed hosting and outsourcing to deliverthe right services to deliver gains in quality, application managed services through a cloud-productivity and business satisfaction as well as enabled model. It is a truly comprehensive servicedelivering financial benefits and enabling business that comprises computing, connectivity andgrowth, so the corporate IT department needs to application management which covers the entiresee itself as a service provider and be seen as a delivery stack, from network through toservice by the lines of business it serves, and applications. In other words, it provides all the costperhaps most importantly, by the Board. advantages and agility of the cloud infrastructure with best practice and skills solution delivery.In addition to providing the right services andbeing nimble and flexible, IT departments need to The Unified Computing Revolution Page 2 of 9
  3. 3. OUTSOURCINGOutsourcing - in all its flavours - is well established as a method of allowing a business to focus on its coreactivities. It is used as a means to cut overheads, the burden and complexity of systems management as wellas introducing cost predictability and specialist knowledge. Gartner states that global spending on IT services 2reached more than $251 billion in 2012, up 2% from 2011 , and, according to KPMG, IT outsourcing is growingin the UK because enterprises are looking for ways to cut costs and are shifting their preference for how their 3core IT services are delivered . KPMG also states that UK enterprises are developing balanced portfolios of in-house activities such as shared services combined with outsourced contracts. However the large outsourcingcontracts which have become such a constant feature of the enterprise IT mix are expensive and can berestrictive as systems integrators with enterprise application expertise tend to tie their customers in for as longas possible. Contracts can run for seven years or more so the enterprise needs to be able to manage therelationship successfully as well as control the cost and the quality of the work done by the outsourcerthroughout this time.Cloud services – that is off-premise, scalable, on-demand and frequently pay-as-you-go technology services – isthe fastest-growing segment of outsourcing. According to Gartner, spending on cloud services was up 50% to 2$5 billion globally in 2012 , and a recent IDG/VMWare survey found that European enterprises plan to spend 4almost one-third of their annual IT budget on cloud computing over the next 18 months . For today’s cost-conscious enterprise seeking flexibility, agility and productivity, the cloud model is fast becoming an integralpart of how they deliver IT services.CLOUD COMPUTINGCloud computing has hit the mainstream as a means of consuming technology services opening up thepossibility of IT outsourcing to a wider customer base with small and mid-sized organisations now able to rentapplications and enterprise-grade infrastructure as easily as their larger competitors. The apparent cost-effectiveness and ease of use for customers means the cloud model has a long term, broad appeal and themarket has quickly become crowded, with IT service vendors of all shapes and sizes clamouring for attentionwith a variety of offerings.Despite its obvious appeal and high awareness among enterprises, the cloud model is still relatively young, somany enterprises are still in the process of testing the model in different areas of the business rather thanopting for wholesale adoption. In the mainstream enterprise market we’re seeing more and more cases ofcompanies evaluating IaaS for a range of tactical purposes, such as large scale, “short burst” analytics or usingit for proof of concept testing to demonstrate the value of a new solution or to meet current problems oraddress spikes in demand. While cloud computing (esp. SaaS) is now mainstream, it is still on its way tobecoming the strategic direction that many organisations want to use for the entire IT function. The Unified Computing Revolution Page 3 of 9
  4. 4. Caveat EmptorAs with all new trends, a multitude of suppliers appear, all keen to profit from the latest trend, offeringservices which best match their own business models rather than looking at what technologies can harnessedto offer the best model to be employed by the enterprise. The already crowded cloud market is no exception;from the proprietary platforms provided by big names such as Microsoft and Amazon to the plethora of‘specialised’ clouds such as web and application hosting clouds and vertical industry clouds, there is a widearray of services on offer with variable skill sets and sometimes incomplete asset bases. Conversely, UnifiedComputing takes the best technology and services in the marketplace and combines them to offer enterprisesa tailored model to leverage the full range of efficiencies, flexibility and agility cloud computing can provide. Limitations of Common Cloud Services  IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) is the most common cloud service on offer, delivering compute power. This service is highly automated and typically managed through a self-service portal. Compute resources are at the most cost competitive when providers offer a “no frills” service suited for those customers who simply want to outsource infrastructure rather than skilled application or database support.  PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service), offers the platform, including operating system, programming language database and web server as a service. A service which is usually employed for new application development, it is immature compared to the others with supplier offerings which are development focused and typically proprietary.  SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) offers infrastructure, platform and applications. Increasingly demanded by end users, this service is often controlled by the application vendors and therefore offers limited horizontal scalability across different application vendors. The Unified Computing Revolution Page 4 of 9
  5. 5. THE UNIFIED COMPUTING MODELA simple premise; a revolutionary resultThe premise is simple; a combination of outsourcing of managed services and cloud computing, the precisemix being unique to each company and determined by its individual needs at any given point. However, thebenefits can be revolutionary for IT departments: combining the traditional benefits of outsourcing (reducedoverhead, cost predictability and improved services) and cloud computing (agility and lower TCO) with theapplication skills and assets of a large system integrator.The solution orientated approach of Unified Computing allows for organisations to outsource complex ITenvironments. Solutions such as web presence, enterprise applications and messaging have been pre-engineered to meet the strictest of requirements, yet organisations are de-risked from outsourcing throughrobust SLA’s and best of breed design. The vehicle for delivery, namely a common cloud platform provides theagility and commercial catalyst to provide a higher level of service for a lower cost.Unified Computing builds on a mature model of service delivery which addresses enterprise needs such ascompliance, service management and business understanding, but injects agility and innovation to freshen upthe outsourcing model. This approach allows organisations to outsource IT in a modular fashion focussing onthe key areas of return which amplifies the benefits. An alignment with and a trusted understanding ofcustomers’ business outcomes brings a personal, service orientated approach to cloud computing, using thetechnology innovation as an enabler to deliver a new breed of managed IT service. The Unified Computing Revolution Page 5 of 9
  6. 6. Unified Computing Case Study – UEFAThe Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is the governing body offootball in Europe. Serving almost every European country, it has adopted aUnified Computing approach to support its business, football competitions andevents.UEFA only has 400 employees, so despite its international renown it considersitself an SME. UEFA runs the applications one might expect to find in any organisation, such as financialsystems, HR systems and email, as well as the more specialist systems found within its FAME environment,including systems to deal with ticketing, broadcast and media rights, photographer accreditation and anti-doping monitoring systems. Its website activities include online video and mobile apps. UEFA needs a platformwhich caters for huge numbers of visitors viewing videos and images on UEFA.com. Competitions can alsoplace substantial demands on UEFA’s online platform as visitor numbers to the UEFA website can reach 400million during its international competition season so seamless scalability is vital.Since 2011, UEFA has hosted all its applications and systems with Interoute, the owner and operator ofEurope’s largest cloud services platform, including its Football Administration and Management Environment(FAME) and the UEFA.com website. The infrastructure is hosted on dedicated hardware, yet UEFA does notown any of the hardware, nor control which server or storage platforms are used. By adopting a UnifiedComputing approach, UEFA is able to turn up areas of infrastructure as needed, and borrow resource fromelsewhere. For example in the lead up to Euro 2012, Interoute was able to supply more capacity for bookingand payment pages on the website, taking capacity from areas which were less busy. This on demandprovisioning provides the dynamic scalability required by an event driven organisation for minimal incrementalcost. The Unified Computing Revolution Page 6 of 9
  7. 7. How to Approach Unified ComputingIn order to take advantage of the range of skills and cost efficiencies that Unified Computing is able to offer,enterprises need to identify those areas and business processes which would most benefit from beingdelivered as a service, and marry them to those business processes that they feel comfortable in outsourcingto a third party. It may be a complex CRM system which is proving very expensive to run in-house, or amanaged environment for a new HR application which has a database that requires skills which are lacking in-house, or even an email system that all users rely on. Once this is done the organisation can review thecommercial business case and technical requirements of the process and then look for a supplier that meets itsneeds.A Unified Computing specialist can add the services and application management that is missing from therepertoire of most cloud services providers because it has both the in-depth skills and assets to operate acrossthe IT and communications landscape. Such a specialist is application centric rather than infrastructure orplatform centric and will understand the IT department’s requirement to rethink its role within the enterprise.It can therefore align its services with its customers’ business so that enterprises can manage the move to thecloud at the pace which suits them. And because the supplier can provide a complete range of services, theenterprise can test the cloud services model in different areas of the business and business processes in a cost-effective way as it evaluates widespread adoption. Ideal Attributes of a Unified Computing Supplier A Unified Computing supplier should:  own the complete delivery stack. This means that the supplier has total control over the services it offers to customers and is not dependent on third parties in order to meet any part of its service level agreement. A Unified Computing supplier should own its network (ideally including core fibre) data centres, cloud platform and an in-house support staff with application skills.  have the skills and understanding in the ‘outcome’ of the area you want delivered back as a service e.g. application level skills, web enablement, disaster recovery.  offer solution-based SLAs that can underwrite the business need for the service.  possess the ability to integrate at a network, compute (cloud and physical) and application level. The Unified Computing Revolution Page 7 of 9
  8. 8. SUMMARY  Pressures are mounting on CIOs to do more with less, digitise the companies’ revenues and services and find ways to deal with 90% of total technology spend being out of the control of the IT department by the end of the decade  CIOs need to rethink the role of their IT department, align it with business strategy and move it away from a functional support role to become a strategic enabler within the business  Many CIOs are turning to the Unified Computing approach to assist them make these transitions and deliver more with less  Unified Computing comprises computing, connectivity and managed services which covers the entire delivery stack, from network through to applications  This approach provides all the cost advantages and agility of the cloud infrastructure with best practice and skills solution deliveryREFERENCES1 Analysts Discuss Key Issues Facing the IT Industry during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2012, October 21-25, inOrlando http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=22080152 Gartner Says Worldwide IT Outsourcing Services Spending on Pace to Surpass $251 Billion in 2012, August 72012 http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=21087153 KPMG UK Service Provider Performance and Satisfaction (SPPS) 2012http://www.kpmginstitutes.com/shared-services-outsourcing-institute/insights/2012/pdf/uk-2012-service-provider-satisfaction-study.pdf4 VMWare/IDG Cloud Adoption Survey http://www.vmwareemeablog.com/pdf/Cloud_Adoption_Study_2012-Executive_Summary.pdfAUTHORS Andrew Slater is the Director of Unified Computing at Interoute Communications. Previously Director of Cloud Services at Quantix, an IT services provider which was acquired by Interoute in 2011, Andrew has over 15 years’ experience in the IT services sector. Eira Hayward is a former editor of Computing, PC Dealer and launched Capacity magazine. An experienced business journalist and editor specialising in IT, telecoms, and management issues, Eira has also been an analyst with consulting firm Current Analysis. The Unified Computing Revolution Page 8 of 9
  9. 9. Interoute as a Unified Computing Supplier:A Unified Computing supplier such as Interoute, with its history as both a cloud services pioneer and owner ofthe largest next-generation network across the EU, is able to deliver the complete management, support,development and cloud-enablement of critical applications, not just the benefits and cost advantages of acloud infrastructure.Interoute has the capability and experience to provide its customers with a comprehensive range of cloud-enabled services, examples of which might include:  Infrastructure as a Service for a test and development environment.  A fully managed platform, tuned for a customer installation of SAP integrated with a customer’s MPLS.  A Web facing environment ready for the customer’s application content, with fully managed database, network, middleware, security, application server.  Hundreds of Windows and Linux servers managed at operating system level.  Microsoft Exchange, Lync and application development delivered back as a service.About Interoute:Interoute Communications Ltd is the owner operator of Europes largest cloud services platform, whichencompasses over 60,000 km of lit fibre, 8 hosting data centres and 32 collocation centres, with connectionsto 140 additional third-party data centres across Europe.Interoute’s Managed Application Services offers end-to-end hosted and on-premise support solutions forcritical database and application environments, seamlessly integrating the management of critical applicationswith the network and infrastructure.Interoute’s full-service Unified ICT platform serves international enterprises, as well as every major Europeantelecommunications incumbent and the major operators of North America, East and South Asia, governmentsand universities. These organisations find Interoute the ideal partner for computing, connectivity andcommunications and developing new services. Its Unified ICT strategy has proved attractive to enterpriseslooking for a scalable, secure and unconstrained platform on which they can build their voice, video,computing and data services, as well as service providers in need of high capacity international data transit andinfrastructure.With established operations throughout mainland Europe, North America and Dubai, Interoute also owns andoperates dense city networks throughout Europes major business centres. Visit www.interoute.com andwww.interoute-IAM.com for more information. The Unified Computing Revolution Page 9 of 9

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