2013 Parting Shots On Mobility, SDN And Software Licensing

With IT Trends & Analysis shutting down for the holidays until January 6, 2014, we’re cleaning out the story Hurt Locker with some bits and bytes from (), () and (). Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year!

How To Get Mobility On The Agenda

With mobility being a top priority for enterprises (71%), and the greatest factor (63%) in helping their organization gain a competitive advantage, getting on the C-suite agenda should be a no-brainer. Just the mobile payments sector alone is expected to reach $1 trillion in global transactions by 2015, but few C-suite execs realize the value that mobility brings beyond their latest smartphone or tablet support.

“The C-suite certainly knows and wants to do the right things by their employees and their customers,” said Ram Varadarajan, GM, New Business Innovation, and the Mobility guru at CA Technologies. However mobility and Shadow IT are creating havoc, and a disconnect between (employee/customer) choice and (IT/enterprise) control, he said.

“IT as a whole has not geared up to provide the right infrastructure to support these new devices… (You) need new kinds of controls and systems put in place so that you can get all these productivity enhancements, revenue enhancements. It’s all about how can you have your cake and eat it too!”

Monitoring the ecosystem is critical, said Varadarajan, and that’s role IT has to have. “It’s a discussion IT has to have with the C-Suite.

He sees the world in three buckets, with differing requirements for all of them:

-first is the internal employees of the corporation and what does one have to do to make them productive;

-second is your own IT department; they want to make all those things visible through mobile devices; they don’t want to be stuck in the office, so the ability of IT to help itself is also a factor; and,

-third, how can I get to new markets and new market engagements with my customers, through social, cloud and mobile.

These new and different demands are changing the C-suite, with different Cs controlling IT budgets, and this fragmentation will continue, said Varadarajan. One of the resulting changes is that the CIO must become more of an advisor. “We have a saying in CA: CIO has to be an office of KNOW as in knowledge, not NO!”

Bridging Today’s Reality And Tomorrow’s SDN

Depending upon your source, and timing, SDN is the must-have technology, a bust, or something which will be big when it eventually gets here. IDC predicted the SDN market will be worth $3.7B by 2016, while two newer reports state the market will be worth $3.52 billion by 2018, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 61.5% from 2012 to 2018, and that SDN and NFV (network functions virtualization) are poised to revolutionize carrier OSS and profoundly change the way service providers manage their networks.

What’s not up for debate is why SDN is drawing so much interest. A Brocade study found that while 75% of enterprises have updated their IT environments in the last three years, 91% of IT decision-makers stated that their current IT infrastructures still require substantial upgrades, and 33% admitted that their organizations experience multiple network failures each week. More than half, 61%, said their corporate networks are not fit for the intended purpose, with 41% admitting that network downtime has caused their business financial hardship either directly through lost revenue or breached SLAs or from their customers’ lack of confidence.

There are two assumptions that have to be considered when evaluating getting from networking’s grubby present to a bright and shiny future, said Arpit Joshipura, VP, Product Management and Marketing at Dell Networking. “I can’t throw away what I have. I can’t give all my money to Cisco and go with a vendor lock-in strategy.”

The SDN market is still fragmented, with every camp making progress by saying the other camps are not good, he said. “The good news is that each of these camps keep on making progress.”

At the end of the day it’s not about technologies, but how we can transform the data centers, said Joshipura. “From a Dell perspective, it’s not a rip and replace strategy.”

He divides the networking market into two segments. “About half the customers have heard about SDN but are confused about what it is. The other half are quite knowledgeable.”

For the first group, there is no debate over the benefits. For the second group, they want to know how they achieve those benefits, said Joshipura.

Software Licensing: Money Still Not Growing On Trees

According to the latest numbers, the enterprise software market grew 4.7% year-over-year to $20.2 billion. The amount of money being spent in datacenters is increasing dramatically because of things like virtualization and datacenter sprawl, said Jeff Kelsey, co-founder and VP of Products, Express Metrix, a provider of IT and software solutions.

Survey data from KPMG, Forrester and BSA confirm that unlicensed software revenue losses are running around 10%, and while that is a significant concern for software vendors, the failure to adequately manage software assets continues to burden purchasers of enterprise software with increased risk and unnecessary costs, states Express Metrix. Chief causes of license infringements are complex and difficult-to-understand metrics, followed closely by virtualized environments, that are difficult to track and report on.

Gartner said IT asset cost optimization is a growing concern for IT asset management (ITAM) and IT procurement professionals. Among these concerns:

-maintenance fees fees are rising steadily, and are more difficult for ITAM and IT procurement managers to reduce, even when the software is not in use; and,

-software audits are growing more intense, are being demanded by both Tier 2 and Tier 1 vendors, and are harder to defend against.

Throw in cloud, mobility, virtualization and Big Data, and controlling software costs is becoming a huge challenge. “Licensing is getting more complex,” said Kris Barker, Express Metrix co-founder and CEO. “License management… is not keeping up with that pace of change.”




Author: Steve Wexler

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