The rise of self-service data integration

Posted by Mike Vizard on Apr 16, 2015 9:00:00 AM

IT service providers have made billions of dollars integrating applications inside and outside the cloud, but a new category of data integration platforms in the cloud has the potential to cut into those profits. The transformation of data integration into a self-service offering that requires no programming expertise whatsoever is threatening the need for IT experts. For IT services providers, the rise of these services represents something of a double-edged sword.

Two examples of these new classes of data integration services are Bedrock Data and Adeptia, which interestingly have taken different approaches to solving a similar problem.

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Topics: IT Services Trends, Cloud Trends, Integrations

Gartner forecasts drop in IT spending for 2015

Posted by Mike Vizard on Apr 10, 2015 12:00:00 PM

The market research firm Gartner sent a chill through the IT industry this week with a forecast that says global IT spending will decline 1.3 percent to $3.66 trillion in 2015 instead of increasing as originally predicted.

Gartner says the root of the problem is the higher value of the U.S. dollar, which in effect devalues other currencies in a way that makes products from the U.S. appear to be more expensive. Gartner says this shift in the valuation of the dollar has introduced a state of shock into IT purchasing processes in markets such as Western Europe, Russia, and Japan. In these regions of the world, the increased value of the U.S. dollar is tantamount to a price increase for products manufactured in the U.S.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

It’s time for IT service providers to kill the username and password

Posted by Mike Vizard on Apr 3, 2015 1:30:00 PM

For all the talk about IT security, most end users are still their own worst enemy. They employ the same basic password time and again and have access to administrative rights most will never need. Invariably, when an end user’s credentials are compromised it turns out the damage done to the system can be directly attributed to the fact that they had administrative rights that enabled hackers to install malware on that machine.

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Topics: IT Security, IT Services Trends

Leveraging cloud brokering still a challenge for IT service providers

Posted by Mike Vizard on Mar 24, 2015 12:00:00 PM

A generally accepted piece of wisdom about cloud computing is that when there’s a need to broker services across multiple clouds, a significant opportunity is created for IT service providers.

A new survey conducted by Technology Business Research finds that of the 318 IT professionals using cloud services who were surveyed only about 32 percent have actually adopted cloud brokerage services, though. The survey does find that another third are planning to adopt them, but what’s not clear is to what degree organizations are actually using these services. The reason for this is that while there is no shortage of cloud computing platforms, most of them are semi-autonomous.

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Topics: IT Services Trends, Cloud Industry and Technology, Cloud Trends

Need for greater agility will drive service providers to invest in LSO software

Posted by Mike Vizard on Mar 19, 2015 2:00:00 PM

As IT becomes more complex to manage, providers of IT services are starting to come to terms with the idea that a major upgrade to the platforms they use to deliver those services is all but inevitable. In fact, a new report from the market research firm Rayno Media finds that the market for service provider lifecycle service orchestration (LSO) software could be valued at $2.75 billion by 2019.

The simple truth of the matter is that most of the processes used to manage IT are still far too manual. While advancements have been made in terms of provisioning virtual machines and now containers such as Docker, it still takes weeks to provision network services. To address that issue, there is a major migration on the horizon to software defined networking (SDNs) and eventually to network function virtualization (NFV) software.

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Topics: IT Services Trends, Cloud Industry and Technology

Demand for managed security services grows as threats increase

Posted by Mike Vizard on Mar 12, 2015 3:54:00 PM

With information security becoming a challenge that is too big for most organizations to handle, there’s now more interest in relying on third-party experts to manage it. In fact, a new study from ABI Research forecasts that demand for managed security services will grow from $15.4 billion this year to $32.9 billion in 2020. Much of that demand is likely to be driven by the line of business executives who are coming to the realization that no matter how skilled their internal IT organization is, the task of securing information these days is beyond the means of a single IT department.

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Topics: IT Security, IT Services Trends

Interest in IT automation rises to meet the challenge of scale

Posted by Mike Vizard on Mar 10, 2015 11:44:41 AM

Unlike large-scale web companies such as Facebook and Google, most IT organizations don’t have an excess of engineering talent to throw at IT challenges. Therefore it’s not surprising that a new survey conducted by EMC finds that many IT organizations are counting on advances in IT automation to help them manage IT at scale.

The survey of 10,451 IT business decision-makers also finds that 74 percent of the respondents said that increased reliance on automation is imperative to their business growth strategies.

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Topics: IT Services Trends, IT End User Management

Internal IT cloud spending trends towards fundamentals

Posted by Mike Vizard on Feb 6, 2015 12:00:00 PM

For all the hype surrounding cloud computing as transformational technology most usage of cloud computing by internal IT organizations can best be described as utilitarian.

For example, a new survey of 600 IT professionals by Spiceworks, a provider of IT management software, finds that only 12 percent of annual IT budgets will be spent on hosted/cloud-based projects in 2015. Of that, 18 percent will be allocated to email hosting, 16 percent to Web hosting, 13 percent for online backup/recovery, 7 percent for application hosting, and 6 percent for industry-specific apps.

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Topics: IT Services Trends, Cloud Trends

Hybrid clouds should spur demand for managed services

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jan 29, 2015 10:12:54 AM

For more years than most IT services firms would care to admit, selling managed services has been an exercise in frustration. As profitable as those services can be, internal IT teams remain firmly entrenched inside most organizations where they exist. In fact, a recent survey of 600 IT professionals released by Spiceworks, a provider of IT management tools, finds that only about 10 percent of the average IT budget is allocated to managed services.

But there is hope. A separate survey of 1,200 IT professionals conducted by ScienceLogic, a provider of IT monitoring software, finds that 62 percent admit they don’t have any visibility into what’s occurring in the cloud.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Custom-priced productization for managed services

Posted by Achmad Chadran on Jan 28, 2015 1:53:20 PM

A services manager for a large and growing MSP shared some valuable insights recently during a conversation about Intronis’ fixed pricing. He enthusiastically offered that, compared to the per-gigabyte plans he was used to working with, fixed pricing vastly simplified planning and positively transformed forecasting. Moreover, his company now had greater flexibility to bundle and value-price their service offerings.

“That’s excellent,” I said. “So do you tier your services now?”

Here the response was much less definitive. “Well sorta-kinda. I’d say we tend more to size up the work effort and then custom-price our services per customer.”

Aha! Customized pricing for managed services….

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Topics: Growing Your MSP Business, MSP Marketing, Innovation and Ideas, IT Services Trends, Business Development

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