Time to focus on customer renewal rates in age of the cloud

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 23, 2016 12:53:35 PM

When it comes to selling IT solutions in the age of the cloud, the biggest change for IT service providers is the emphasis that needs to be placed on customer renewal rates for services that are sold as a subscription. Historically, IT services providers almost always focused on the initial transaction. Renewals of software licensing contracts were an afterthought because most providers were rewarded for their efforts upfront. Now most of the deals in the age of the cloud involve subscriptions where vendors and partners get compensated over the course of one- to three-year contracts.

The vendor, however, still has to invest in the core technology to deliver the service. For that reason, most providers of cloud services are underwater for the first year of a subscription contract. They generally break even on the second year and then begin to make a reasonable return on the third year. As a result, cloud service providers need to have a fanatical emphasis on customer renewal rates in order to succeed.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

It's time to face the digital business fear factor

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 21, 2016 10:31:41 AM

A new report from the Harvard Business Review (HBR) suggests that the majority of businesses today are about to be on the receiving end of the disruption being created by the rise of digital business.

Sponsored by IBM, “The Ecosystem Equation: Collaboration in a Connected Economy” finds that even though more than half (52 percent) of the business executives surveyed acknowledged that substantial portions of their revenue streams are being threatened by digital disruption, only 18 percent said they are participating in a connected economy to a significant extend.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

How IT services providers can address a $2.7 trillion productivity gap

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 16, 2016 12:00:00 PM

One of today's economic mysteries centers on why after years of investment in IT the average worker is actually less productive today than they were before the great recession that occurred earlier this decade. In fact, economists have come to refer to this trend as the “productivity gap,” which they say is having a $2.7 trillion impact on the gross domestic product (GDP).

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Topics: IT Services Trends

A $1.7B ecosystem emerges around containers and microservices

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 2, 2016 9:13:41 AM

With the rise of containers and microservices, a whole new ecosystem surrounding “cloud native” applications is starting to emerge. In fact, a new report from Codenvy produced in conjunction with The New Stack says venture capitalists have already poured more than $1.7 billion into this ecosystem.

The report identifies 104 projects from 67 different companies that are now making container-related products, and about of a third of those (35) came to market in the past year. Navigating this ecosystem, which spans everything from container infrastructure to continuous delivery platforms, is a fairly complex endeavor for most IT organizations.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

How deploying operational IT intelligence as a service can help MSPs

Posted by Mike Vizard on May 31, 2016 12:00:00 PM

When most IT professionals think about Big Data, their minds naturally turn to Hadoop. But for many IT service providers, the most immediate opportunity for building a managed service may have little to do with Hadoop. Instead, massive amounts of machine data is now being natively captured in a repository developed by Splunk specifically optimized to provide operational intelligence to IT organizations.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Infographic: Work and Lifestyle Habits of IT Professionals

Posted by Raj Khera on May 24, 2016 8:30:00 AM

MailerMailer, makers of IT marketing automation tool Presstacular, recently took an informal poll of a couple hundred IT professionals and created an infographic that I think you’ll enjoy.

Here are some quick highlights: We found that more than 75 percent of IT professionals work more than 40 hours a week. Most of them have a hard time unplugging for downtime, too. More than 87 percent reported that they work during vacations, and 90 percent of IT business owners work on weekends.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Cloud professional services market to reach $65B by 2020

Posted by Mike Vizard on May 17, 2016 9:34:27 AM

Thanks to the rise of cloud computing in all its forms, Technology Business Research Inc. (TBR) is now forecasting that the size of the cloud professional services market will grow to $65 billion by 2020.

At the moment, Gartner predicts that the public cloud computing market will be worth $204 billion by the end of this year alone. TBR, meanwhile, says a smaller private cloud hosting market will grow to $43 billion by 2020. But perhaps most interesting of all to IT services providers is the TBR suggestion that the size of the hybrid cloud computing market has doubled since 2013.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Networking vendors and OPNFV face off in the NFV race

Posted by Mike Vizard on May 10, 2016 10:17:23 AM

NFV_race.jpgAs far as managed service providers are concerned, the most transformative technology under development today is network function virtualization (NFV) software, which replaces traditional networking appliances that are complex to manage with software.

But when it comes to NFV software, much of the same debate that is happening around software-defined networks (SDN) is playing out over the definition of the word "open." On the one side, Cisco and a handful of other networking vendors are betting that NFVs will run mainly on top of proprietary architectures such as the Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) framework.

At the other end of the spectrum, there is the OPNFV project, an open source project lead by the Linux Foundation that counts 165 software developers among its core base. 

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Topics: IT Services Trends

EU to require organizations to appoint data protection officers

Posted by Mike Vizard on May 3, 2016 11:03:12 AM

data_protection_officers.jpgWhile it may be popular to decry regulations these days, IT service providers that specialize in data protection will soon have a lot to be grateful for as governments such as the European Union move to implement much stricter privacy requirements.

As part of a wave of regulations that will go into effect in the next two years, the European Union has decreed that any organization doing business in Europe must have a designated Data Protection Officer (DPO). These DPOs are to be appointed based on “professional qualities and, in particular, expert knowledge of data protection law and practices and ability to fulfill its tasks.”

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Are you a victim of service catalog sprawl?

Posted by Mike Vizard on Apr 7, 2016 10:31:26 AM

service_catalog_sprawl.jpgThe number of catalogs the average organization is able to provision services through is starting to spin out of control. A new survey of 766 technical support professionals conducted by HDI Research finds that 85 percent of IT professionals now identify service catalog sprawl as being at least somewhat of a problem inside their organization.

In many cases, service catalog sprawl is simple too much of a good thing. Internal IT organizations create service catalogs to drive increased consumption of a sanctioned application, and external IT service providers create them for the same reason. Before long, multiple IT service providers along with multiple IT departments inside an organization are exposing end users to multiple service catalogs. The HDI Research survey finds that almost half of all organizations (49 percent) have five or more catalogs spanning a variety of IT and business services.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

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