IT as a Service Emerges as a New Management Paradigm in the Software-Defined Datacenter Era

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1 Customer Needs and Strategies IT as a Service Emerges as a New Management Paradigm in the Software-Defined Datacenter Era Mary Johnston Turner IDC OPINION IT as a service (ITaaS) represents a fundamentally different approach to the way IT organizations provide enterprise business users access to corporate information, applications, and infrastructure. ITaaS focuses on the use of policy-driven self-service activation enabled by SLAs, analytics, and automation as the primary end-user point of interaction with IT. Rather than creating a service request or ticket, IT users can simply access a service menu and select from the personalized or rolebased list of services available to them. This will speed up end-user provisioning times, standardize configurations, reduce complexity, and create a common user experience for managing all IT resources regardless of where they are sourced. In effect, it extends the cloud "as a service" enablement model to all aspects of IT operations. For most IT organizations, it will take some time to develop the required service definitions, governance processes, and orchestrated workflows needed to fully enable ITaaS; however, as software-defined datacenters, cloud, and converged and integrated systems become more and more the norm, IT teams will find that they must embrace this more integrated, unified real-time approach to IT operations if they are going to remain relevant to business stakeholders and end users. Critical management software enablers that all IT organizations should be considering now to enable ITaaS include: Role-based service catalogs enabled by policy-based orchestration and automation engines Integrated infrastructure and application monitoring and analytics to drive real-time performance and capacity optimization Unified end-user experience monitoring and management across desktop and mobile devices as well as across on-premise resources and public cloud services Cloud service brokering solutions that allow IT teams to consistently manage, source, and chargeback services, regardless of whether they are provisioned via in-house, third-party, or public cloud datacenters January 2014, IDC #246379

2 IN THIS STUDY This IDC study describes the emerging concept of IT as a service and discusses how trends toward the adoption of cloud, virtualization, automation, and orchestration are helping to reinvent the way that IT teams must deliver end-to-end business and IT services in the era of software-defined datacenters and cloud. Note: All numbers in this document may not be exact due to rounding. SITUATION OVERVIEW Over the past years, thanks in large part to virtualization and the more recent emergence of cloud, datacenter architectures have shifted from being hardware centric to being software controlled. At the same time, application environments are being transformed with the use of modern development languages, and application developers are embracing continuous delivery strategies that require frequent ongoing changes to production code, particularly for mobile apps and SaaS services. Public cloud services are making inroads into corporate computing environments by providing a wide array of options for quickly sourcing infrastructure, development platforms, and applications software, while business end users are increasingly embracing mobility and self-service provisioning capabilities. As shown in Figure 1, the majority of IT decision makers polled by IDC expect that their IT environments will rely on a heterogeneous, hybrid mix of multivendor infrastructure, public and private cloud resources, and modern and legacy applications and middleware for many years to come IDC #

3 FIGURE 1 Estimated Percentage of Organizations' Total Annual IT Budget Allocated to Each of the Cloud and Traditional IT Procurement/Management Models n = 1,109 Source: IDC's CloudTrack Survey, 2013 These heterogeneous environments can be complex and expensive to manage, particularly when distributed applications rely on information and computing power provided from multiple generations of technology and third-party services. Adding to this situation is the fact that IT teams are facing constant and rising pressure to more quickly respond to end-user requirements for always available computing and instant access to resources, and it is becoming clear that traditional approaches to managing IT service requests and provisioning processes will no longer scale effectively in today's environments. Rather than continuing to make do with fragmented IT management and automation processes, and tools that were designed for more static and tightly coupled IT architectures, IT decision makers are beginning to rethink the way they define and deliver IT services to their end users. This emerging approach to delivering IT as a service transforms the way that IT services are defined and delivered by taking advantage of software-defined datacenter architectures, cloud, virtualization, advanced automation, orchestration, and analytics IDC #

4 FUTURE OUTLOOK IDC's research shows that many IT decision makers expect to use cloud as a catalyst to consolidate and simplify existing systems management software portfolios and operational processes. Currently, it is not uncommon for a large enterprise datacenter to use more than 100 different point solution management software products to monitor, maintain, configure, and control a wide range of system and application management activities. Many processes are manual and ad hoc or poorly documented. IT decision makers are looking at software-defined datacenters, cloud, and automation to help drive more efficient operational models across IT. Whether based on physical or virtual systems or private, public, or hybrid cloud, the goal is to standardize and automate service delivery, empower end users, increase IT staff agility, and take cost out of the environment. IT as a service represents a fundamentally different approach to the way IT organizations provide enterprise business users access to corporate information, applications, and infrastructure. ITaaS focuses on the use of policy-driven self-service activation enabled by SLAs, analytics, and automation as the primary end-user point of interaction with IT. Rather than creating a service request or ticket, IT users can simply access a service menu and select from the personalized or rolebased list of services available to them. This will speed up end-user provisioning times, standardize configurations, reduce complexity, and create a common user experience for managing all IT resources regardless of where they are sourced. In effect, it extends the cloud-as-a-service enablement model to all aspects of IT operations. As shown in Figure 2, the management software environment needed to fully enable ITaaS includes emerging cloud service broker capabilities and advanced analytics and broad-based automation and orchestration. For most IT organizations, it will take some time to develop the required service templates, governance models, and workflows needed to fully enable ITaaS; however, as softwaredefined datacenters, cloud, and converged and integrated systems become more and more the norm, IT teams will find that they must embrace this more integrated and unified approach to IT operations if they are going to remain relevant to business stakeholders and end users IDC #

5 FIGURE 2 IT-as-a-Service Management Software Overview Source: IDC, 2014 ITaaS moves IT teams from focusing their time and energies on configuring and maintaining the health of individual hardware and software components to prioritizing end-to-end speed of delivery, quality of service, scalability, repeatability, and user experience. Rather than relying on IT architectures that tightly couple applications to infrastructure and depend on lengthy procurement and deployment cycles for resources dedicated to a specific workloads, ITaaS reflects efforts by IT operations teams to share IT resources across the organization, using software-defined datacenter technologies, self-service, and automation to deliver end-to-end services defined in terms of business application priorities, enduser experiences, and operational policies. ITaaS builds on many existing ITSM methodologies and best practices such as ITIL but adds an important new set of processes and automation technologies focused on optimizing end-user experience, simplifying self-service provisioning, accelerating dynamic delivery, and enabling hybrid architectures. IDC expects that as part of the transition to software-defined datacenters and cloud, many IT teams will consolidate and replatform the existing management software environment IDC #

6 Critical management software enablers that all IT organizations should be considering now to enable ITaaS include: Unified role-based service catalogs enabled by policy-based orchestration and automation engines that support infrastructure provisioning; image management; software and firmware updates and patching across physical and virtual servers; converged and integrated platforms; and cloud infrastructure as well as application release, upgrade, and life-cycle optimization Unified infrastructure and application monitoring and analytics to drive real-time performance and capacity optimization and service-level delivery across on-premise resources and service provider infrastructure Unified end-user experience monitoring and management across desktop and mobile devices as well as across on-premise resources and public cloud services Cloud service brokering solutions that allow IT teams to define service requirements in terms of policies, cost, and SLA and provide end users with a consistent experience for ordering and monitoring usage regardless of whether the computing capability or application is supported on in-house legacy or private cloud, hosted third-party datacenters, or public SaaS or PaaS services In an era when business stakeholders are pushing for more autonomy, business-centric ITaaS strategies will allow IT teams to maintain consistent policies, optimize cost and performance, and respond to end-user business needs much more quickly than was possible using traditional IT-centric processes and tools. ESSENTIAL GUIDANCE ITaaS is critical for effective IT management and operations in an era when business computing requirements are enabled by a complex hybrid mix of in-house and third-party services; multiple generations of physical and virtual systems; and a wide range of development languages, middleware, and database choices. As the hybrid cloud world matures and IT teams adapt to deliver ITaaS and manage software-defined datacenters, leaders must transform their organizations into strategic service delivery organizations and create IT environments that are more flexible and cost effective while increasing business and end-user productivity and agility. LEARN MORE Related Research Worldwide Cloud Systems Management Software Forecast Update (IDC #244915, December 2013) Worldwide System Infrastructure Software 2014 Top 10 Predictions: Buyers, Markets, and Ecosystems Transformed (IDC #244386, December 2013) VMware Unifies Cloud Management Portfolio with a Focus on IT as a Service (IDC #lcus , October 2013) 2014 IDC #

7 Five Success Strategies for Effective Cloud Management and Operations (IDC #243451, September 2013) Worldwide Cloud Systems Management Software 2012 Vendor Shares (IDC #241426, June 2013) IDC Maturity Model: Cloud A Guide for Success (IDC #239772, March 2013) Systems Management Software Purchasing Priorities Must Focus on Productivity and Simplification in 2013 (IDC #239056, January 2013) Cloud Management Priorities for 2013 Target Analytics, Consolidation, and Transformation (IDC #239094, January 2013) Synopsis This IDC study describes how the emergence of the IT-as-a-service (ITaaS) datacenter management paradigm represents a fundamentally different approach to the way IT organizations provide enterprise business users access to corporate information, applications, and infrastructure. "ITaaS focuses on the use of policy-driven self-service activation enabled by SLAs, analytics, and automation as the primary end-user point of interaction with IT. Rather than creating a service request or ticket, IT users can simply access a service menu and select from the personalized or rolebased list of services available to them. This will speed up end-user provisioning times, standardize configurations, reduce complexity, and create a common user experience for managing all IT resources regardless of where they are sourced. In effect, it extends the cloud 'as a service' enablement model to all aspects of IT operations," explains Mary Johnston Turner, IDC research vice president, Enterprise Systems Management Software IDC #

8 About IDC International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make factbased decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For more than 48 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. Global Headquarters 5 Speen Street Framingham, MA USA idc-insights-community.com Copyright Notice This IDC research document was published as part of an IDC continuous intelligence service, providing written research, analyst interactions, telebriefings, and conferences. Visit to learn more about IDC subscription and consulting services. To view a list of IDC offices worldwide, visit Please contact the IDC Hotline at , ext (or ) or for information on applying the price of this document toward the purchase of an IDC service or for information on additional copies or Web rights. Copyright 2014 IDC. Reproduction is forbidden unless authorized. All rights reserved.

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