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BizCloud® Network | November 29, 2015

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Gartner Says CIOs Must Take Steps to Manage Risk and Unexpected Costs During the Cloud Sourcing Revolution

The $820 billion IT services market is changing quickly and dramatically, as cloud computing and offshoring become mainstream, and CIOs should take steps to manage inherent risks and unexpected costs during the cloud services revolution, according to Gartner, Inc.

During the next few years, market dynamics will determine whether cloud-enabled outsourcing will be the demise of traditional outsourcing, if it will lead to the convergence of services and products currently marketed “as a service,” or if it will result in next-generation outsourcing.

Cloud-driven business and IT services include all types of solution that are developed, bundled and packaged as outsourcing service offerings for which the business or IT service provider uses one or more cloud computing technologies within the solution’s overall architecture.

Gartner refers to these services as “cloud-enabled outsourcing service offerings.” These services can be delivered directly by a cloud provider or via a service aggregator for the delivery of pre-engineered and configurable business solutions in a timely and cost-effective manner.

“Cloud service sourcing is immature and fraught with potential hazards. The hype around cloud computing services has increased interest, as well as caution, for CIOs trying to determine where, when and if cloud services can provide valuable outcomes for their businesses,” said Frank Ridder, research vice president at Gartner. “Cloud computing is driving discontinuity that introduces exciting opportunities and costly challenges. Organizations need to understand these changes and develop realistic cloud sourcing strategies and contracts that can reduce risk.”

Mr. Ridder said that traditional IT services often find organizations locked in, fighting with rigid delivery or hesitation to change when engaged in traditional IT services deals. Innovation seldom materializes and solutions fail to scale, and service providers often struggle with their profits.

In the new cloud services scenario, however, flexibility, agility and innovation are design principles and, over time, service providers will succeed in delivering on these principles. The market also expects scalability, cost-efficiency and pay-per-use pricing models from cloud services solutions. Although cloud services already provide these, service providers manage their risks through terms and conditions that are still immature. However, Gartner believes that solutions and their commercial terms are maturing quickly.

To avoid the potential pitfalls and hidden costs of cloud sourcing, Mr. Ridder said that organizations need to ensure they understand the short- and long-term implications of cloud services, on the demand and supply side, as well as on the sourcing life cycle itself. The services sourcing life cycle includes four crucial elements: sourcing strategy, vendor selection, contracting, and management and governance.

“The life cycle is a critical area to plan and manage, regardless of whether organizations source their IT services through internal or external resources. Our forecasts indicate that organizations spend 53 percent of their IT services budget on external services, and that spending is growing 3.9 percent per year, while new categories of services are experiencing double-digit growth,” said Mr. Ridder. “Organizations can use Gartner’s extensive analysis of changes in delivery, pricing, investment and cost to more effectively develop their cloud sourcing strategies, negotiate their cloud services contracts and manage the performance of their providers.”

More-detailed analysis is available in the Gartner Special Report on Cloud Sourcing. The Special Report includes extensive research around key cloud sourcing issues related to emerging market trends, offerings, contracting, and pricing. There are also links to Gartner’s Talking Technology series, as well as links to recent and future webinars. The Special Report is available on Gartner’s website at

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. is the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company. We deliver the technology-related insight necessary for our clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, we are the valuable partner to clients in over 13,000 distinct organizations. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, we work with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, USA., and has 5,800 associates, including more than 1,450 research analysts and consultants, and clients in 85 countries.

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  1. Jessie

    Really great article.

  2. Mr. Ridder makes some excellent points. It seems to me that the vast majority of IT users can benefit from the rapid introductory pace of new applications by connecting with the cloud. Most of IT users need some sort of guidance regarding when and how such new aps are incorporated.

  3. ScottSafe

    Surprised Mr. Ridder didn't mention security as a key topic on cloud implementations.

  4. Mr Ridder is spot on with his assessments. Cloud sourcing requires aggressive management of the services life cycle. services sourcing life cycle includes four crucial elements: sourcing strategy, vendor selection, contracting, and management and governance. Cloud sourcing is complex as it unifies product and services on the cloud platform. To source cloud based solutions from multiple providers, what is required is a new capabilities that will help customers model cloud solutions by optimally matching vendor services, ranking them based on QOS, cost and risk and follow through with deployment, management and governance. Gravitant Inc, a cloud management software company delviers next generation integrated cloud broker, sourcing and governance technology that automates the cloud services lifecycle.

  5. @scottsafe – not only security, but also the financial and operational strength of a cloud vendor would be in my top 3 selection criteria.

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