Daryl Plummer

A member of the Gartner Blog Network

Daryl C. Plummer
Managing VP & Gartner Fellow
18 years at Gartner
35 years IT industry

Daryl Plummer is vice president, chief of Research and chief Gartner Fellow. Mr. Plummer manages the Gartner Fellows Program, which is designed to allow senior analysts the opportunity to explore new research ideas and to elevate… Read Full Bio

“Digital BizOps”: A Philosophy of Business Operations in the Digital World, Part 1

by Daryl Plummer  |  September 19, 2014  |  2 Comments

Digital Business is everywhere and everyone is buzzing about it. But like a swarm of angry bees, sometimes all you want is for the buzzing to stop. Unfortunately, in the digital world, the buzzing is only likely to get louder and more persistent. And it turns out; the problem isn’t really the buzzing. It’s really a problem of figuring out what steps to take to do something about digital business that will have long lasting good effects.

But that requires a new mode of thinking, one former Gartner analyst Mark McDonald blogged about earlier this year. He postulated a new mode of digital thinking was needed from executives.

I agree.

But can executives adopt new modes of operations to match their new modes of thinking?

Yes, with Digital BizOps.

The Principles of Business Operations Need to Be Updated

Business operations have evolved over many periods of technological advancement in history. Whether in the industrial revolution or the digital revolution, business practices have had to change to meet the requirements of the age. Many have postulated that the digital age represents a major shift in the way business will compete or even exist in the world of digital business.

In big shifts, we find there are great opportunities to grow a business. But we also must learn which rules of operation are key to competing well in the new business paradigms. Barnes and Noble had to learn this to compete with Amazon.  Blockbuster struggled to learn this fast enough to compete with RedBox or Netflix.

The idea of Digital BizOps postulates that there are many new tools and disciplines for digital business operations that must be embraced. Among the tools and disciplines are rising categories like DevOps and industrialized cloud delivery among others. And, BizOps recognizes that there are new rules. The new rules of digital business operation are based on the premise that the ways we did things in the past may not be sacrosanct. We must be ready to change. And to do that, we must challenge our operational assumptions and we must be ready to adapt our operations to new realities on a regular basis. To do that, we must have an increasing number of what could be called “feedback loops” between internal and external people and processes. These feedback loops will allow users of a digital technology to help evolve the design and use of digital technology with appropriate speed to make a difference at the point of need.

In digital business, customers are more willing to try new options than ever before. New competitors may bypass you in a short time with little or no indication they were a threat until they show up on your customer’s doorstep.  The need to add new features or capabilities to your products and services has to be done as frequently as possible – and; it all has to be done in record time.

The examples are legion and almost caracatures of innovation by now. Uber revolutionizes transportation, WhatsApp shakes the foundation of messaging and communications, Air BnB, well, you get the picture…

Since almost any business can become a digital business overnight, it speaks to a competitive need to react more agilely than historically possible. But this kind of agility can be a trap. In most cases greater agility can lead to greater fragility. As changes mount at a business level, the chances that mistakes will be made or that unexpected failures will happen because of a change becomes high. These are the red flags of digital operations.

Executives are familiar with the basic tools of business economics when it comes to optimizing a business for certain economic conditions. We have the budget cutting knife which every IT department fears. We have the people-launcher which reduces employees to economic chess pieces to be sacrificed in the name of downsizing. But where are the tools that allow us to explore new options rapidly, to consistently leverage economies of scale, or to change without the changes themselves causing negative disruption?

This is not to say that all business operations must change or be overturned. Instead, it is to say that some challenges of digital businesses must be supported by operational discipline rather than reactive initiatives like cost cutting. Digital BizOps identifies some of those operational disciplines. Speed, scale, efficiency, and overall agility all supported by digital machines and the software that runs them are now operational imperatives.

Define new types of assets

Typically business operations are about harvesting and increasing the value of assets both physical (fixed) and intangible. A building can be rented to create recurring revenue just as an idea can be sold on a royalty basis to create recurring revenue. While this also happens in a digital business, there is a new dynamic which potentially creates new types of assets – the blurring of the physical and virtual worlds.

We say that digital blurs the distinctions between the physical and virtual worlds in two specific ways. One is that physical characteristics can be pumped into the virtual world through sensors and the Internet of things. The other is through creation of physical objects from virtual representations directly through a 3d printer. These two directions of flow (sensor data in and 3d objects out) create what we call Transitional assets which will generate continuously changing physical or intangible assets that cannot be managed with the mechanisms of the past.

Fig 1: Business Assets

Assets

Transitional assets are ones which can form a bridge between a physical and an intangible asset. One might say that transitional assets are like money and stock, which can transition from one form to another and yet retain their value. These are usually called tangible assets. However, a transitional asset actually generates new value without sacrificing or transforming the value of the original asset.  While one could use monetary assets as a means to acquire more valuable assets, normally one would sacrifice ownership of the tangible asset used to pay for the new ones.

A blueprint for a 3D printed shoe is a transitional asset. In most business operations this would have been called an intangible asset but in Digital BizOps it is transitional due to the creation of a direct physical result through automated means, not through a manufacturing process. One might ask how this is different from any design document that is used to manufacture a car engine or a child’s toy. In essence it is no different. But in practice, the digital nature of the blueprint, and the rapidity at which it can be changed and printed is unparalleled at generating physical asset value significantly faster than other types of design documents.

Contextual information gathered from sensors is a transitional asset since it is gathered directly from physical monitoring and is used to form operations and transactions that directly generate profit. One example is the use of wearable sensors like Fitbit, or a Nike Fuelband where continuous health monitoring is tied to social interactions, discounts, loyalty programs, and even health product transactions. The transitional nature of this sort of asset is to turn contextual information into human behavioral catalysts. Not only are the sensors assets, but their physical location, who wears them, the direction they scan, and how much data they capture are also assets. While the physical location of a store, or the direction it faces have always been assets to a company, just try turning that store around or moving it to a different location once a month.

These are the new ways of securing the value of assets that have not been available to most businesses in such volume and density. It’s not that sensors or contextual data are new. It is the density of their presence, or the volume of data, or the ability to use it in so many digital ways that speak to the transitional nature of them as asset.

Just as Bitcoin is redefining financial categories for currency, so too will contextual data be used in ever changing ways to redefine profit scenarios. Just as 3d printed sculptures are redefining what is art, so too will the physical plant of an organization be redefined as printing options grow cheaper and more complex. Transitional assets will allow the creation of new ways to account for the three mandates of business operations described in Production and Operations Management (Poonia): generating recurring revenue, growing the value of assets, and securing the assets and revenues of a business.

Decide to embrace the mechanisms of digital BizOps

So, what are the mechanisms to support a movement to digital BizOps? They include mechanisms to allow for more rapid experimentation, to perhaps take advantage of serentipity (unexpected opportunities), and to become much more agile and adaptive. The savvy reader will have noted the correlation of the phrase “BizOps” and the phrase “DevOps”. This is in part intentional to show an alignment between technology driven approaches and the outcomes in business operations digital business requires.

In part two of this three part series, we will discuss the effect of things like DevOps, digital marketing, cloud industrialization, and even crowd sourcing on a digital BizOps model as we introduce the concept of DevOps Economics.

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Category: 3D Printing Applications Assets BizOps Business Operations Business Process Management Cloud DevOps Digital Business Emergin Trends Emerging Phenomena Emerging Trends Internet of Things IoT IT Governance Management Mobile Productivity Social Computing Social Networking Social Sites Strategic Planning Uncategorized     Tags:

3D Printing: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

by Daryl Plummer  |  March 3, 2014  |  2 Comments

 What’s the impact of 3D printing on society? According to a PBS Newshour story, 3D printing can produce everything from ballet shoes to human tissue.

3D printing represents a different kind of disruption from other IT-related technologies  — in the world of bioprinting it affects things largely centered on the physical world (e.g.,  tissue and organs) rather than the digital one. How will 3D printing be governed and regulated? Who will ensure quality? What are the intellectual property risks?

In Gartner Top Predictions 2014, Pete Basiliere, Gartner research vice president, and I wrote that 3D bioprinting brings opportunities and risks. By 2016, 3D printing of tissues and organs (bioprinting) will cause a global debate about regulating the technology or banning it for both human and nonhuman use. Read the full report, Gartner Top Predictions 2014: Plan for a Disruptive, but Constructive Future.   

The 3D bioprinting market continues to rapidly mature, making technological advances without full awareness of the ramifications (see Organovo’s 3D liver image and UPenn Vet School’s 3D printed model of dog’s skull that appeared in a recent Philly.com article).

organovo

How will 3D bioprinting help transform your business?  View Gartner Top Predictions 2014: Plan for a Disruptive, but Constructive Future to see key findings, market implications and recommendations. Discover the competitive advantages that await early adopters.

3D dog

For Gartner clients seeking more on 3D Printing, view:
Predicts 2014: 3D Printing at the Inflection Point

Pete Basiliere’s Blog

 

 

 

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Gartner Cool Vendors Nominations are All In

by Daryl Plummer  |  February 9, 2012  |  15 Comments

The Gartner Cool Vendors process happens at the beginning of each year and terminates in the April timeframe with the publication of our annual list of relatively un-known but interesting IT vendors.

In early January, we launched the internal nominations process for identifying Cool Vendors candidates. After a month of interaction, we finally reviewed and selected from a list of over 400 vendors. Unfortunately, many Vendors want to know how they can apply for Cool Vendors’ selection. The answer is that they cannot apply directly. Instead, analysts within the Gartner community are the only ones who can nominate a vendor for selection. In addition, we get asked frequently why large vendor with nice products (e.g. IBM, Apple, or Google) are not listed. The answer is simply that we are trying to highlight little-known vendors who are relatively small (1-100 million in annual revenues is ideal even though we allow exceptions).

The next stage is to move from selection to writing of the notes. This will happen during February and March, culminating with the publishing of the pieces in April. This year, we will do a look back to previous Cool Vendors selection in a retrospective piece. We will examine some key statistics about Cool Vendors as a whole over the years since 2004.

With almost 1500 Cool Vendors listed since 2004 the Cool Vendors process has benefitted many companies by allowing them to be seen by vendors looking for acquisition targets, investors seeking a new investment opportunity, and enterprise customers trying to find vendors to work with. Cool Vendors is a great resource for mining innovation.

So, keep an eye out as Cool Vendors reports begin to hit the street over the next few months.

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Cloud Brokerage Has a “Green” Future – The Color of Money

by Daryl Plummer  |  December 13, 2011  |  2 Comments

In 2011, Cloud Services Brokerage (CSB) has grown from a minor curiosity into a major point of interest for cloud providers and consumers alike. The issues of aggregating, integrating, customizing, and governing cloud services have become serious ones for small, medium, and large Enterprises who need help getting their cloud services to be the solutions they hope for.  This growth is expected to continue as the number of providers grows and as consumers continue with more critical cloud deployments.

Part of the evidence of cloud growth has been that even the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) have now added cloud brokerage  to its definitions for cloud computing.  In fact, since Gartner introduced the concept in January 2009, several advisory outlets have followed suit and added it to their coverage. For a good quick look at how the research has progressed, see Benoit Lheureux’s blog post for a look back.

So, what’s on the horizon for cloud brokerage? Well, the answer is a good one. CSB has moved from basic definitions to the question of who can do this kind of work (see our Who’s Who in Cloud Services Brokerage for a beginning list). Next up is an examination of the economics of doing brokerage in a world where cost savings are at the top of everyone’s mind. Will brokers cost you less by passing wholesale pricing from cloud providers to consumers? Or will brokers add to the cost of using cloud services but that is offset by adding value in innovative ways?

And what about the different types of brokerage? The idea of arbitrage of cloud services is one we introduced with the concept but had seen little traction through 2011. However, there are indications that arbitrage may be about to rise. Recently, VMWare produced an article on cloud cost arbitrage that hinted that the concept might be about to come into its own. We’ve also seen a few clients implement simple forms of sourcing and booking arbitrage. 

And, alongside brokerage, there is the idea of financing cloud services that may become a prime brokerage opportunity. Finance and lease companies are evaluating the brokerage concept to figure out what their existence might look like in the cloud through becoming a broker of payments between consumers and multiple cloud providers. The advantage to consumers – more predictable cost management. The advantage to providers – up-front payments. Keep an eye out for my article on this in financial times.

So, the future for Cloud Services Brokerage looks green. And if that future shines bright, so will the cloud concept overall.

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Natural Cloud Salespeople

by Daryl Plummer  |  October 26, 2011  |  1 Comment

Natural cloud Salespeople

Natural Cloud Salespeople

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Category: Cartoon Cloud Uncategorized     Tags:

Back Your Way Into The Right Cloud Choices

by Daryl Plummer  |  October 26, 2011  |  Comments Off

Your motto shold be: If you assume Public Cloud CAN work for you, you will soon discover what it CANNOT do. If you assume Public cloud CANNOT work for you then you will NEVER discover what it CAN do! Back your way into the appropriate choices or lock yourself out of them – its your choice.

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Category: Cloud Emerging Trends Uncategorized     Tags:

Cloud Brokerage is Gaining Ground

by Daryl Plummer  |  August 31, 2011  |  2 Comments

All of a sudden, everyone is interested in cloud services brokerage. Well, by everyone, I mean end customers looking for an easier way to integrate cloud computing into their plans and vendors seeking a new set of markets to mine. But no matter the interested party, one thing is clear. The options for doing cloud brokerage are growing steadily.

When we introduced cloud services brokerage in 2009, we described a concept about intermediation between services. The value was in having a third party take on a lot of the work of aggregating, integrating, customizing, or governing (nee managing) cloud services on behalf of the end consumer. In a subsequent update last year, we did a number of reports, including a piece called “Cloud Services Brokerage: Taking Intermediation to the next Level” that described the concept in even more detail. But through all of that, the activity around cloud brokerage remained mostly at the application and platform level of cloud services. Companies like Appirio and Jamcracker were getting a lot of attention for integrating or aggregating cloud services into new application solutions. GXS, Hubspan, and Liaison were among the B2B networks starting to see interest grow – a case study on Mohawk Fine Papers that we recently published illustrates this. And this week, Dell has announced its plans to broker Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and other cloud SaaS solutions by aggregating and integrating using the Boomi brokerage enabling technology which they acquired. This is part of the steady growth at the applications level. But now, we are beginning to see the rise of brokerage at the infrastructure level as well.

Recently, there has been a flurry of activity aimed at making it easier to migrate from one IaaS offering to another, not just to integrate or aggregate SaaS services. The scenario is that an IT organization wants to have a more seamless integration between different cloud IaaS or between their on premises systems and cloud IaaS. The path of migration has been a long one. Very few offerings for federating or brokering between IaaS transparently have been available. Some of the WAN optimization providers like SilverPeak and Riverbed have offered optimization and management to bring together hybrid solutions but not really for seamless migration back and forth. Companies like OKTA are offering more and more management across multiple cloud services as an aggregation brokerage.  But one golden egg in today’s market is shaping up to be the ability to deliver strong integration across multiple cloud IaaS offerings through a CSB.

Since standards for cloud services are still a long way off (assuming they ever really emerge), it becomes interesting to look to cloud providers who can bridge the gap between cloud services. So, here is where companies like BESOL (a small company going to production by the end of the year), OS33, and even Zimory (a cloud management provider) are expecting to make a move, among others. The point of these offerings is to say that you need to manage across multiple cloud solutions and eventually, to migrate between them seamlessly. This allows you, for instance to use one cloud IaaS offering as a backup to another. Or, it can allow you to rapidly deploy the same workloads from one IaaS to another to get better pricing or performance as needed.  Or, it simply allows you to manage billing, signon, use policies, and even use limits across different infrastructure services.

So, cloud services brokerage is real and getting easier to approach. IT organizations looking to gain a degree of control while still leveraging the flexibility and raw “trading” potential of the public cloud are gaining more options every day because of cloud services brokerage. And now, as we work on our “Who’s who in cloud Services Brokerage” we expect to see the options, and their growth potential, become undeniably concrete.

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Cloudstreams: The Next Cloud Integration Challenge

by Daryl Plummer  |  November 8, 2010  |  8 Comments

I’m about to introduce a term to describe a solid trend in cloud computing integration – Cloudstreams.

It will come as no surprise to those of you who have spoken to me that this trend lays in the domain of cloud services brokerage. I have said, and will continue to say, that cloud services brokerage represents the single biggest revenue growth opportunity in cloud computing and that it is built on markets totaling near one trillion dollars in IT spend. That’s all well and good.  But, when we get down to the details, we find that the biggest impact for actual customers will be found in a combination of four categories of brokerage – integration, customization, governance (including security), and aggregation.

Cloudstreams focuses on the integration, governance, and security impact points. Trust me, the definition is coming. And, no, I am not referring to the company Novosco who uses Cloudstream to describe many of its services (although it is related – free plug, guys).  

An odd thing is that the companies who provide the brokerage enabling technologies to do integration, governance and security at the appliance level often have lots of trouble differentiating their products and messages from one another. Go check out companies like Apigee (formerly Sonoa), Layer 7, Vordel, Intel (Expressway), Mashery, and IBM Data Power (If I left your company off the list, don’t scream, just call me and say – “I’m in!”).

What you will find is a dizzying array of terminology for basically the same things. They talk about SOA gateways and XML appliances and providing security or management for SOA and now for the cloud. The products are delivered as on-premises appliances, software, or even cloud services. We at Gartner even cover these products on our SOA governance technologies magic quadrant (now being updated for the cloud too).

The reason for all these different terms is that the customers these companies serve all talk about their problems in different ways, even though they mostly face the same issues. These customers want to talk from internal systems to external services (SOA or cloud) and they want to manage, secure, integrate, and generally enhance the access they get to those services. The problem is, they all talk at the purely technical level when specifying their need; and, the vendors come back with similar technical language to address those needs. One company might say they need application programming interface (API) management; another needs XML acceleration, service governance, interface tracking and versioning, a SOA appliance, caching, or policies for Kerberos authentication. All these needs are valid and most are provided from multiple vendors. So, unless you get down into the details, it is hard to understand why you would choose one of these vendors over another.

So, here comes Cloudstreams. The cloud has made the need for integrating between services (someone told me, “if you’re over 30 you call it an ‘API’, and if you are under 30 you call it a ‘service’”) more evident than ever. Companies want to connect from on-premises apps to cloud services and from cloud services to cloud services. And, all of these connections need to be secure and governed for performance. In short, what they want are flexible, well-defined, integrations of services at the API level using policies to orchestrate the data, messages, and invocations associated with those services. That is a Cloudstream.

Well, it’s actually more than that. A Cloudstream is a packaged integration template that provides a description of everything necessary to govern, secure, and manage the interaction between two services at the API level. It requires an appliance (Humor me. Call it a cloud broker appliance) to act as a gateway between services that is delivered in hardware, software, or managed (cloud) service form. Cloudstreams can be opened and maintained by XML appliances, SOA appliances or gateways, or any intermediary technology that can broker cloud and SOA services.

Now, you might be asking yourself, if we have all those names, why do we need a new term at all? The answer is simple. Complexity kills. Simplicity is the order of the day for cloud computing.

What I mean is that its time to up-level the discussion of integrating APIs between services (SOA or cloud). Instead of talking about needing to authenticate between this API and that one, let’s talk about opening and closing streams of information flowing to and from SaaS applications. Let’s talk about opening message streams from our organization to the cloud and back. Let’s talk about self-service configurations of Cloudstreams  in a simple tool that lets people set up what the data is, what the policies are, and what the key metrics are for performance and security. This is the only way we will ever get to a consistent way to describe the interactions between cloud services. This is about interoperability for the rest of us, not just the engineering geniuses in the basement.

And in case you think I made all this up in my basement, which is actually a theater, I ask you to look at a company like Layer 7 who offers all the necessary tools for providing these templates minus the self-service UI. In case you think I am being naïve, take a look at Mashery and then tell me that anything they do cannot be codified in one configuration file with relatively high level assertions and policies guiding the entire integration interaction. And if that is not enough for you or you think it’s too simple, go talk to GXS, who has created a trading network of over 33000 reusable templates for doing exactly this kind of thing in B2B scenarios and complex business solutions (not all cloud). Cloudstreams are not only feasible; they are only a marketing message and a configuration tool away for some vendors.  

I’ve spent a lot of time looking at technologies for governing interactions between services. From SOA to the cloud, this issue always seems to be at the top of the minds of people interested in using APIs to communicate between systems. It will continue to be so. Cloudstreams offers a unifying direction for all those efforts and will be used in my research about cloud services brokerages if it begins to gain more traction. As we work out the next market forecasting exercises, the next round of new Magic Quadrants, and the evaluations of brokerage enabling technologies for the cloud, you will see this term pop up over and over again.

The idea of packaging up cloud integrations (CIs), as Cloudstreams, is one which opens the gates (pun intended) to many streams of opportunities for the vendors who do this type of intermediation. As long as they remember that the cloud (and by association, SOA) should be about abstracting away from the technical details of how you interact with services and providing a way to think of those interactions as part of the business use of a solution, there will be a place for Cloudstreams. Let’s focus on the resulting integration that is part of the solution, not just on the appliance or the specific technology assertions that have to be upheld. The IT organization can focus on the details of authentication, caching, single sign on, identity, and a host of other fun fiddly-bits while still delivering a part of the solution that business users need. Remember when we got integration adapters and ODBC database drivers? Cloudstreams are packaged integrating processes that can be pulled off the shelf and modified as needed.

Imagine one day when your business comes to you and says “hey, we just bought a SaaS app and didn’t tell you! Now we want you to get data out of it and back into our internal ERP!” Your response could easily be, “oh, we have a Cloudstream for that SaaS app!” or, “Well, here is our menu of Cloudstreams. Just match your app to the right Cloudstream and you’re good to go!”

Cloudstreams. Remember it. The concept will live. It won’t hurt if the name catches on.

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Cloud Services Brokerage is Built on Markets Near 1 Trillion in Spend!

by Daryl Plummer  |  October 11, 2010  |  1 Comment

I recently wrote a prediction stating that “Cloud Services Brokerage (CSB) is the single largest revenue growth opportunity in Cloud Computing”. Of course, not everyone agrees with that. So, I had to go out an try to provide more evidence. And to do that, I finished rewriting the definition of cloud services brokerage. Benoit Lheruex and I have been working steadily on this and are seeing notables such as Accenture, Deloitte, and IBM all begin to plan for a significant brokerage future alonside upstarts like Appirio, Boomi, and even stalwarts like GXS. See Ben’s blog post on CSB here.

So, in the definitional piece called “Defining Cloud Services Brokerage: Taking Intermediation to the Next Level”, we said (free peek):

Since CSB is not a technology. It is necessary to describe it in terms of a business model, providers, deliverables, functions and enablers:

  • CSB business model: A model where a business acts on behalf of consumers of one or more cloud services to intermediate and add value to the service being consumed. Providers of cloud services can benefit as well through establishment of an ecosystem of partners, such as brokerages, who enhance the provider’s service and draw customers to it.
  • CSB providers: Specific companies or other legal entities that offer CSB.
  • CSB deliverables and functions: Business and technical value-added capabilities delivered by a CSB provider.
  • CSB enablers and enabling technology: Various IT services, software or hardware assets used to deliver CSB.

But that wasn’t enough. We had to go on and provide a logical reference model (See “A Logical Reference Model for Cloud Services Brokerage“, by me – sorry about the pay wall) and some basis for the judgement that CSB is going to be big Big BIG! So, we used simple logic. We looked at the companies entering the CSB-related markets and companies that were already there. Now, from here, you can do the math.

Use whomever’s market numbers you want. Add up the custom development markets for SIs, SI application and integration projects, B2B integration markets, Process outsourcing (BPO) markets, API governance markets, context brokerage markets, security brokerage markets, value-added reseller markets, internet performance acceleration/content delivery markets, backup and recovery markets and…well, I could keep going but you get the point – we’re getting into the range where there is a “tr-” in front of the “-illion”. Now, let’s go conservative and attribute just 10% (that’s only one customer in 10 doing cloud stuff) of those market totals to companies in those markets doing what they do – but doing it for cloud services. And, if the number you come out with isn’t BIG, then I’ll ask you to count again.

Cloud services brokerage is not one market. It is a composition of parts of markets that are really significant in size. I’m not saying that all the revenue in those (and more) markets will be CSB revenue. I am saying that a non-trivial part will be. If cloud computing will be big, brokerage will flow right along with it. And just like the accessories markets for your iPod, Android phone, PC, and Honda accord, you will find the value-added intermediaries (brokerages) may command the lions share of the spend happening in cloud computing.

Some people feel intermediaries needlessly complicate things in the cloud. I feel the opposite. And, opportunity awaits.

A lot more is coming on this, so join the dialog!

Cheers, Daryl

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Category: Applications Bill of Rights Business Process Management Cloud EA Emerging Phenomena Emerging Trends ERP Google IT Governance Responsibilities Service Orientation SOA SOA Governance Social Computing Social Networking Strategic Planning Uncategorized Vendor Contracts Virtualization Windows 7     Tags:

Gartner’s Global IT Council on Cloud Computing: Do You Have Rights?

by Daryl Plummer  |  July 11, 2010  |  5 Comments

It has long been apparent to me that Cloud Computing represents a significant change in the relationships between providers of solutions based on technology and the consumers who use those solutions. Whether you are talking about how computing solutions are paid for, who delivers them, or what the contracts for those services look like, you have to deal with the trust that must be established between service providers and service consumers. And, one of the key ways of building trust is to agree on who gets what rights, and who takes on what responsibilities.

In the past 8 months, I’ve worked with a number of industry players to try to put into words some of the issues that can erode that necessary trust between providers and consumers in the cloud. That effort is part of Gartner’s Global IT Council where we not only looked at the issues, but actually sought to propose some basic approaches to addressing those issues.

The Gartner Global IT Council for Cloud Computing consists of CIOs and senior IT leaders of large global enterprises who work together to create actionable real-world recommendations and drive fundamental changes in the way the IT industry works. 

The Council’s list of Rights and Responsibilities for Cloud Computing identifies some of the more interesting “basic truths” that should be self-evident but often are not. It seeks to establish a checklist of elements that should be addressed in any contractual agreement between cloud service providers and consumers. Once that checklist is in hand, a proper discussion of how to most effectively evaluate, select, and consume cloud services can be started. This is necessary even for simple cloud services, but is essential for the most mission critical of business processes supported by cloud computing.

The Councils preliminary findings and a detailed overview of their Charters can be found athttp://www.gartner.com/technology/research/reports/global-it-council.jsp. Join the discussion and help the list grow and change over time as the industry evolves the dialog.

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