Assured Service Delivery – Emergence of a New Market
by Tim Coats, Director of Innovation Research
For decades services were delivered by a company’s IT organization using assets they owned and controlled. There was no sneaking the old terminal out to the local coffee shop to access the company’s inventory control system via the free WiFi. People were more interested in 90210 than 802.11 and finding a good coffee shop was next to impossible; at least by modern standards.
But, fast-forward to today and see how quickly things have changed. It’s a BYOD to work world. Everyone has forgotten about their M-TV and now wants their WWW. And thanks to the SaaS market, more and more business communication is moving away from company infrastructure and networks. The common denominator: companies own less of what they rely on to delivery business services; and we all know what happens when a denominator goes to zero.
The market has responded with piece-meal solutions. First generation solutions extend existing strategies to these new problems. Mobile device management is invasive and usually annoys the jellybeans out of users, especially if it was their device in the first place. VPN’s backhauling traffic through the data center for visibility and control, which has the same appeal as back-hauling laundry to your parents…love you, Mom!
What’s actually happening is a fundamental shift in the service delivery model. And the Internet is fundamental to this new model. It is ubiquitous, provides the bandwidth required, and represents a cost effective alternative to MPLS. It allow for more direct communication between remote users/offices without having to put all those miles on your data. It is also how your company is going to access more and more of its business services.
But ask any national agency, you can’t really control the Internet. And what’s more, most companies have a hybrid delivery model; some services are provided through the Internet while others are still tethered to an Ethernet cable in the datacenter. Having disparate control mechanisms creates additional complexity, ultimately making assurance more difficult to deliver.
I propose that we are witnessing the emergence of a new market opportunity: Assured Service Delivery or ASD. This is a market where assurances are services instead of infrastructure jigsaw puzzles. These solutions will span all networks, owned and public, and provide controls around availability, user experience, user access, secured routing, traffic prioritization, data protection, and a host of other security options. They will determine traffic baselines, alert on variances, enable digital asset tracking, provide user behavior analytics and detected/thwart sophisticated attacks as they develop. There will be visibility not only to your company’s traffic, but patterns and events unfolding all over the Internet.
There are many players already entering the field and many others coming. There are lots of individual solutions. But ASD is about creating a collaborative platform that brings companies, vendors, agencies, and providers together to build tighter integration, better security, and improved end-user experiences. Companies can focus on leveraging the cloud instead of worrying about the risks.
All achieved without having to capitalize any new hardware. And that’s one denominator that the CFO may not mind going to zero.