blog It’s now been several years since cloud computing became mainstream in Australia. Small businesses are using it. Major corporations such as Australia’s largest banks and insurers are using it. And even the public sector has started using it.
With this breadth of adoption has also come a deepening of our understanding of how large organisations should use cloud computing. One quite mature view into the internal discussion about how major organisations are managing their cloud has come this week from insurer AMP.
In this article published by iTnews (I recommend you click through for the whole yarn), AMP CIO Craig Ryman discusses how the company’s long-running IT outsourcing deal with CSC is evolving, particularly its relationship to the insurer’s usage of Amazon Web Services Infrastructure. Most of the article is locked off (you need to register), but here’s the first paragraph as a preview:
“Finance giant AMP is restructuring its long-running outsourcing deal with main partner CSC as it works to implement a new model of supplier governance based on the service integration and management (SIAM) approach.”
I took two main things away from this article.
Firstly, it seems clear that IT outsourcers such as CSC would be quite unhappy about the rapid spread of commodity cloud computing platforms such as AWS offers. It is extremely obvious that major organisations have started shifting their dollars around as a result of the cloud, and that much of the relationship that IT outsourcers have with major organisations would be being adjusted as a result.
This may not be a net negative for outsourcers such as CSC — after all, most major organisations have quite steady IT spend these days. Even if they are spending less on IT infrastructure per se, they are often spending more in other, more complex areas. But there is no doubt it is a challenge for the IT outsourcers.
But this changing dynamic will require the outsourcers to adjust, especially in terms of providing services around platforms such as AWS.
Secondly what I am seeing here is the rise for the need for middleware to sit between the various cloud computing offerings out there and the systems of major organisations. Major organisations will use quite a few different cloud platforms; and will require software both to manage those platforms in a homogenous way, as well as to integrate them with their own internal IT infrastructure.
It reminds me of the way we’ve seen middleware management suites arise over the past few years to ensure major organisations can manage mobile fleets which might include Android, iOS and Windows devices.
In any case, I commend this article to readers; I’d like to see more of this deeper discussion about the way the cloud is changing the traditional IT outsourcing relationship. I hope to bring some more of this kind of material onto Delimiter in future.