Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, TJ Randall

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Three Important Ways SaaS and Cloud Are Changing IT’s Role

I see three big changes for IT professionals

While on-premise deployments are still the default for many enterprise applications today, most everyone agrees that SaaS and Cloud are the future. The question from the CXO is no longer, "Should we consider putting this application in the cloud?" It is, "Why wouldn't we deploy this in the cloud?" As this new thinking takes full effect, I see three big changes for IT professionals:

A Shift from Owner/Operator to Consumer Coordinator
Instead of acquiring and operating on-site infrastructure and applications for the enterprise, IT professionals will be expected to coordinate business services for employees and end-users. Their role will be to ensure their "customers" are getting the performance levels they need to speed communication, increase collaboration and accelerate individual and organizational productivity.

While many IT folks have already embraced this role to some degree, the requirement becomes much more pronounced as a greater share of their IT infrastructure and services go the way of the Cloud. There is also an impression that when apps go to the Cloud, so too does the responsibility for service levels. This is a myth. While SaaS provides some service level visibility via status dashboards, local IT is still on the hook for the quality of service realized by users.

The Power of the Crowd Grows
To assure service levels in a SaaS/cloud environment, IT will have to be able to monitor and troubleshoot infrastructure they cannot touch -- the end-to-end service delivery chain from their premises, through the various Internet Service Providers, to the application provider and back. This is the only way to effectively detect, isolate, and resolve issues affecting cloud application performance before they negatively impact users and their organizations. As such, IT professionals will need to embrace the concept of the "Crowd."

SaaS applications are by definition shared by a global community of customers. So it stands to reason that monitoring of these services could and should be done in a shared manner as well. There are already examples of the Crowd monitoring the cloud in informal ways through Twitter. But it won't stop there. Technologies exist today that enable IT organizations to monitor and aggregate data across all users of a SaaS service. The greater the number of monitoring points, the more accurately IT can detect and isolate specific problem spots that degrade service levels and user experience. This concept will be key to delivering on service level expectations and I expect IT professionals to find interesting new ways to put it to work for their organizations.

Management Tools Match the Ease and Simplicity of Cloud Apps
With the changes in the role of IT and the need to manage and monitor infrastructure outside the four walls of the enterprise, IT management tools will change also. The "Consumerization of IT" has become a cliché, but you need only spend a few minutes in an app like Expensify or the admin consoles for Office 365, AWS, or Google to see that they are becoming much more like Twitter and Facebook and less like SAP. We are all now conditioned to expect user interfaces that are simple, intelligent, and friendly.

Yet, most IT systems management software solutions still require a lot of heavy lifting to deploy and use. We know these legacy solutions can't provide much visibility into the performance and availability of cloud based apps. Beyond that, though, a lot of them still subject IT to an amazing amount of effort and complexity just to deploy and manage the management software itself! IT teams won't put up with systems management and monitoring tools that require a team of consultants to stand-up, especially when they are trying to simplify things by moving apps to the cloud. Instead, management tool providers will make their solutions easier to deploy and manage - exactly like the cloud-based business apps and services they are running their business on.

More Stories By Patrick Carey

Patrick Carey is vice president of product management and marketing for Exoprise, a provider of cloud-based monitoring and enablement solutions for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications. He spends his free time thinking about how companies can get to the cloud faster and stay there longer.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


CloudEXPO Stories
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to advisory roles at startups. He has worked extensively on monetization, SAAS, IoT, ecosystems, partnerships and accelerating growth in new business initiatives.
Whenever a new technology hits the high points of hype, everyone starts talking about it like it will solve all their business problems. Blockchain is one of those technologies. According to Gartner's latest report on the hype cycle of emerging technologies, blockchain has just passed the peak of their hype cycle curve. If you read the news articles about it, one would think it has taken over the technology world. No disruptive technology is without its challenges and potential impediments that frequently get lost in the hype. The panel will discuss their perspective on what they see as they key challenges and/or impediments to adoption, and how they see those issues could be resolved or mitigated.
Lori MacVittie is a subject matter expert on emerging technology responsible for outbound evangelism across F5's entire product suite. MacVittie has extensive development and technical architecture experience in both high-tech and enterprise organizations, in addition to network and systems administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning technology editor at Network Computing Magazine where she evaluated and tested application-focused technologies including app security and encryption-related solutions. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University, and is an O'Reilly author.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Nutanix has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO New York, which will take place November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Nutanix makes infrastructure invisible, elevating IT to focus on the applications and services that power their business. The Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform blends web-scale engineering and consumer-grade design to natively converge server, storage, virtualization and networking into a resilient, software-defined solution with rich machine intelligence.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed by some of the world's largest financial institutions. The company develops and applies innovative machine-learning technologies to big data to predict financial, economic, and world events. The team is a group of passionate technologists, mathematicians, data scientists and programmers in Silicon Valley with over 100 patents to their names. Big Data Federation was incorporated in 2015 and is ...