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Alternative IT Delivery Models Emerge


Gartner recently issued a warning that IT managers must consider what Gartner calls “alternative IT delivery models” or risk being bypassed by business units that will take matters into their own hands.

Specifically, Gartner noted that IT must undergo a transformation, shifting to a more service-oriented approach to supporting users. Rather than buying hardware and software for specific applications, projects, or business initiatives, IT resources will more likely be offered as some form of shared service in the near future.

“Traditional practices of technology lifecycle ownership, where the organization buys, configures, manages, optimizes and retires technology for its own use, are being questioned as to their efficiency and effectiveness, so alternative delivery models for technology and services are emerging,” said Mark Margevicius, research vice president at Gartner. “Alternative delivery and acquisition models include new channels for acquisition, use, and payment. In some organizations, alternative models involve only users and business units, bypassing the IT function.”

Prominent among these alternative models are storage as a service, software as a service, shared IT infrastructure architectures that will be offered on-demand and priced based on usage, grid computing, utility computing (using server virtualization, dynamic provisioning, and dynamic workload management), capacity on demand, Web 2.0 applications that take advantage of service-oriented architecture, and software-based appliances.

In most organizations, many of these technologies are being employed and evaluated separately today. But Gartner notes there are synergistic benefits when some of these approaches are deployed together. Additionally, Gartner believes the convergence of these new IT delivery models will fundamentally transform the way organizations consume and interact with IT in the next three to five years.

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This article first appeared in Bio-IT World’s Inside IT newsletter. Click here for a free subscription to Inside IT.

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