How to bring chaos under control in the Wild West of vendor sprawl

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Guest post by Sherry Ramm, ITSM Marketing Consultant

 

If you manage IT services for your company, then you know all too well – you’re working with more vendors than ever. Vendor sprawl is a reality, and it’s only getting worse. While you’ve always been in the business of vendor management, the landscape has changed dramatically. 

 

Your engagements with vendors are increasing in volume, in complexity and in importance to the business. With the Internet, your business users have greater access to what they want. Whether they want that new pair of shoes or a new cloud business application to help them do their job, they can order it with a few key strokes and a credit card.   This shift impacts your department, your users and your company. How are you dealing with these changes?  You need to adapt with the times, but you can’t disrupt your current systems.  So what is your next step? If these are the questions you’re asking yourself, then you’re in good company. 

 

In this two-part blog series, we’ll define the challenges you face, and identify next steps and best practices you can employ to begin down the path without feeling like you’re changing the engine of the plane in mid-flight!  We’ll show you two companies who have taken the first steps and are already achieving great efficiencies, streamlined processes and monetary gains while increasing insight and control in their companies.

 

Analyst Perspective - Framing the trends and challenges with Frost and Sullivan

 

Recently, Lynda Stadmueller, Program Director of Cloud Computing from Frost and Sullivan set the stage in the thought leadership webcast “Managing Vendor Sprawl: How SIAM (Service Integration Framework) can help you gain control”.  She expertly details the industry challenges, the impact of them and advises what to do next.  We’ll summarize much of her discussion today, but I encourage you to view the archived webcast yourself

 

Regarding ‘what to do next’ about the surmounting vendor sprawl, Stadmueller emphatically urges, “Well, you can do nothing, which means do what you’re doing today… But you know what? You can’t. You know you can’t. There’s too much. It’s coming at you too fast.  You’ll implode.” 

 

She continues, “So what’s the right answer?  Turn into a services broker using the SIAM approach”. 

Within the SIAM overarching framework to service management, HP Propel is a key enabler focused specifically on transforming IT into a true service broker.  Propel includes a service portal, standard catalog and a knowledge base, all which are mobile enabled. Many Customers are on-ramping with HP Propel Free which can be downloaded now and plugged in without any disruption to current systems so you get immediate gains and expand as you wish.  Learn more about HP Propel here.

 

Just the Facts - Vendor Management Trends from Frost and Sullivan

 

-         66 percent of IT departments use Managed Services and 2/3 of those expect to increase usage over the next two years.

-         77 percent of companies will hire Professional Services to help ready their processes and infrastructure to be a cloud enabled environment

-         100 percent growth in cloud workloads in the next two years.  Avg. IaaS workloads will grow from six to twelve per business, and average three IaaS providers for six workloads.

-         83 percent of employees use unauthorized SaaS to do their jobs.

-         >50 percent of businesses plan to implement a hybrid cloud within two years.

-         73 percent of companies want Hybrid Clouds to link together multiple vendor clouds from a single managed platform. 78 percent want the hybrid cloud to link to their co-location. 71 percent want it to link to their on-premise cloud and traditional software.

 

The impact of growing chaos

 

Stadmueller from Frost and Sullivan goes on to explain how these trends are impacting IT.  The net-net is that vendor sprawl is causing IT headaches from every direction.  First, more vendors, of different types,, mean increased complexity.  Processes become more inconsistent and agility suffers for IT and its users.  Rogue SaaS amongst users is rampant. This translates to countless vendors running a company’s business where IT has zero visibility.

 

Disparate services platforms mean loss of flexibility and visibility of overall performance. As a result accountability is less clear.  Backup and recovery can be critically impacted and you can literally fail your business if you’re not on top of all your systems.  And in a cobbled together environment, doing that takes enormous manual workload to ensure.

Who has enough people to support this in IT departments already running thin?  IT simply doesn’t have the time, people or expertise to effectively manage the mounting disparate vendors and solutions.

 

What to do?

 

The reality is that we need a New Style of IT today. We know that the status quo is no longer an option. We can’t limit the number of vendors because then we would suffer vendor lock-in and miss out on best-of-breed technologies. We can’t let disparate departments manage their own vendors because IT would lose all consistency and control.   As Stadmueller insists, the solution is to transform IT into a true service broker. We need to harness the power of this new cloud era with an open exchange that directly automates and connects users to relevant products and services controlled by IT.  Put simply, users won’t ‘shop’ elsewhere when they can get that new power cord they desperately need through the IT portal with the same ease as buying it online. 

 

With today’s unprecedented capabilities we can’t just see nirvana, we can attain it. We can gain insight, efficiencies, control and agility to not only provide great service but to actually drive business value. In fact, IT can move from a traditional operational function to the predominant organization in a company driving business value that translates to stakeholder value. Sound like moving a mountain to get there??  It’s easier than you think.   

 

Getting the control you want

 

Tune back in for Post 2 in this series: How to Bring Chaos to Control in the Wild West of Vendor Sprawl

In Part 2, you will learn how to:

-         Define the IT service broker

-         Understand the clear steps to transformation

-         How customers are experiencing huge gains with first steps

-         Real results – quantifiable and qualified

Until then, start on your path today by downloading HP Propel Free. It’s a fully functional onramp to the new style of IT and works with your existing systems. Register to get the HP Service Portal, the Standard Catalog, and the Knowledge Base, all mobile-enabled. Take the first step free, and expand as you wish.  Learn more about HP Propel now.

Comments
Rainman-Macias | ‎02-25-2014 06:21 PM

The Propel tool sounds very promising, with the many IT tasks the group manages, multiple tools (Vendors), phones, and day to day trouble shooting has my homegrown management tool out of bandwidht or capability.

 

 

We have over 5000 users and we manage everything from printing to individual users software needs.

I'm looking forward to more information in your next post.

 

 

 

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