Consumerisation of IT & crumbling of single-vendor myth

Consumerisation of IT & crumbling of single-vendor myth

Summary: I was amused a few weeks back to see a webinar held by a top infrastructure vendor promoting the value of a single vendor approach to provide the best enterprise solution. It was like a step back into the past!

TOPICS: Emerging Tech

I was amused a few weeks back to see a webinar held by a top infrastructure vendor promoting the value of a single vendor approach to provide the best enterprise solution. It was like a step back into the past! That Gartner report from the end of last year Debunking the Myth of the Single-Vendor Network obviously caused them pain.

Consumerisation and mobility are the two critical trends facing the enterprise today. Wherever you are – with friends, family or business colleagues - take a look around you at all the different devices you and your colleagues use to stay connected. Until smartphones, the IT department largely managed to keep consumer products out – apart from Blackberries which they could issue and control.

Now, like it or not, IT has little choice but to embrace the value that consumer products bring to corporations and integrate the tools we've become accustomed to in our personal lives to enable more flexibility when, where and how we work. That means enterprises have to start looking for openness and interoperability.

I believe that openness will soon be evaluated by businesses as a key ROI factor. If it won’t be easily integrated with other elements within the infrastructure – legacy or future – it does not possess long-term value.

Forget the arguments of the single vendor, it’s a myth – as Gartner research clearly shows. Its research argues that networks that are tied into one vendor are missing real opportunities for business and cost improvement because procurement, integration and training are largely pre-determined.

According to Gartner capital cost savings from moving to a multi-vendor infrastructure can be significant - ranging from 30 to 50 per cent, with maintenance cost savings from 40 to 95 per cent, depending on the contract. And it doesn’t end there: complexity and manageability can also be improved by moving to a multi-vendor environment.

Gartner reckons that enterprises should start the transition to a best-of-breed multi-vendor environment at the periphery of their network, where a single-vendor approach may be less effective and/or overly costly.There are now proven network management to enable networks to dynamically adapt to a multi-application environment.

But most important, Gartner shows just how easily the abilities the highly skilled staff managing the network can translate to different environments.

Proponents of the single vendor approach may fight back, but the blinkers are off, with a little help from Gartner, but with much more help from employees themselves who are demanding flexibility to use their devices of choice.

Manish Sablok Head of Marketing (Northern Europe) Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise

Topic: Emerging Tech

Manish Sablok

About Manish Sablok

Manish Sablok is Head of Marketing, North Europe for Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise. Manish has a key role in defining go-to-market messaging for customer service, network infrastructure and unified communications product suites in the Northern Europe region. Manish has previously produced articles and white papers on subjects including the importance of Customer Effort in the drive for loyalty, the importance of an Application Fluent Network in establishing an effective multi-channel communications infrastructure and how organisations can move away from single-vendor tie-in to realise greater business benefits.

Manish has been at Alcatel-Lucent for seven years, and before his appointment for the new Enterprise group he was Solutions Marketing Director for Unified Communications (UC) with a worldwide remit. Manish Sablok has a strong background in communications infrastructure, having been at Avaya for five years as Product Marketing Manager for South Asia and before that was Global Account and Channel Sales Manager at Siemens.

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  • Interesting article. We’re definitely seeing the impact that the impact that the increased consumerization is having on CIOs, as we look to help them plan and execute their cloud transformation programs. My recent blog on IT Transformation, "Whatever you want: Why the "Consumerization" of IT Services necessitates CIOs becoming Business Service Portfolio Managers", discussed how technology trends, such as Cloud Computing and Virtualization....and business trends, like mobility and social networking, are converging to drive the increased "consumerization" of IT services. No longer restricted to just the internal IT organization, the business, irrespective of size, now has access to a much wider IT services marketplace allowing it to take advantage of end-customer oriented cloud services, including Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and SaaS/On-Demand applications such as or CA Clarity™ PPM On Demand, all governed by service level agreements (SLAs) that give them the ultimate power of switching providers if not entirely satisfied with the service provided. This is an attractive proposition for business users, who often find it much more difficult to exercise this level of power and influence when “locked in” to working with internal IT alone.

    CIOs must become more of a ”Business Service Portfolio Manager” or “Service Broker”, and transforming IT to become like a Managed Service Provider with the ability to utilize the most appropriate IT sourcing models to deliver the portfolio of services demanded by the business. Otherwise IT faces an uncertain future, where at best it becomes increasingly marginalized and at worst it becomes seen as an irrelevance by the rest of the business.
  • That is an interesting take on consumerisation with SaaS, Paas and IaaS. Freedom of choice and change is also an inherent attribute of consumerisation and a service-based approach in IT provides the same to CIOs.
    I am not sure that I agree with you when you say CIOs must become 'service brokers'. Vendors such as Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise want to enable and position solutions to allow CIOs to choose the best deployment model for their business - CPE, hosted or hybrid.
    Manish Sablok