White Paper: Building the Service-Enabled Enterprise
Today’s interconnected, globalized economy was founded on links forged by information systems. In recent years though, the strain of new demands, faster business cycles and rapidly evolving next-generation technologies have begun to take a toll on the traditional approach to IT infrastructure and application development — across every industry.
For example, CIOs recently surveyed in the insurance industry largely agree that sprawling policy administration systems are outdated and running on expensive-to-maintain technologies. However, the task of unwinding large legacy systems is so daunting that few have attempted to do so. Meanwhile, new entrants to the market, unburdened by a large IT legacy estate, are progressively taking market share from long-established players by introducing new, innovative products and serving customers through new social and mobile channels.
The As-a-Service Economy
The changing market is influencing the way companies formulate and execute fundamental business strategies. Enabled by technology, companies are shifting their IT focus, looking for ways to spend less to maintain systems so they can redirect resources to more innovative uses, such as improving workflows and optimizing existing processes. But there’s an even stronger force driving the demand for more innovation — changing consumer behaviors and expectations.
Consumers have been reshaping IT over the past two decades, first with the laptop and cell phone, now with smartphones and tablets. Through the adoption of smart devices, mobility and centralized application management, consumers are enjoying incredible innovation and capability, delivered in a seamless, frictionless way to the palm of their hand. This is why today we often have better tools and capabilities outside the enterprise than we do inside it.
A commonly used term today is the as-a-service economy, which describes a fundamental change in the way IT services are developed and delivered. As an example, thousands of companies are building applications and services on Google Earth’s geospatial data and mapping technology, benefiting from an investment that few companies would make purely for internal use. Cloud-based email, sales-force automation, and ERP solutions are enabling companies to shed expensive infrastructure and unused software licenses in exchange for pay-as-you-go utilities. In the as-a-service economy, these types of services are becoming the norm.