The Coming of Cloudsourcing

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

The Impact of Cloud Computing

The primary driver for cloud computing adoption is shifting from costs to agility.

As a lot of IT outsourcing contracts come up for renewal, a lot of them are going to be renegotiated in an era of cloud computing that is fundamentally changing IT economics. While outsourcing as we know it today won't completely disappear, a large percentage of the application workloads that are currently managed by outsourcers will be shifting from multi-year contracts to cloud computing platforms that charge by the month.

This new era of "cloudsourcing" says Ben Trowbridge, CEO of Alsbridge, an IT consulting firm, is going to reshape not only the way IT services are delivered, but the entire IT industry itself.

To help IT organizations navigate this new era, Alsbridge has released a report that identifies strategic IT sourcing tactics that IT organizations should be employing in the age of the cloud. Trowbridge says the basic idea is to give IT organizations a roadmap to help navigate outsourcing contracts with an eye towards determining which type of applications are best run on what type of cloud or dedicated hosting platform.

Trowbridge says that one of the benefits of public cloud computing services is that they give customers more granular control of the IT environment, while in many cases being as much as 85 percent less expensive than what an IT outsourcer might charge. Of course, there are many companies that simply want to outsource IT operations or a particular business process altogether, which means there is still going to be a particular segment of customers who are still drawn to outsourcing.

But in his book titled "Cloudsourcing the Corporation," Trowbridge makes it clear that cloud computing services are going to be a major part of the future of outsourcing, which in turn is likely to lead to a wave of consolidation and mergers among the providers of these services, especially as the amount of available compute capacity in the cloud continues to outstrip demand.

It's still too early to tell which vendors in the current mix will come out on top as traditional outsourcing and hosting providers do battle with the likes of Amazon, systems vendors such as Dell, software companies such as Microsoft and Google, and host of venture-backed startup companies. But the one thing that is for certain is that when it comes to acquiring cloud computing services, it's a buyer's market.

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