IDC predicts worldwide spending on digital transformation (DX) technologies will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.8% through 2019 to more than US$2.1 trillion. Enterprises will invest in leveraging 3rd Platform technologies — cloud, mobility, big data and analytics, and social business to enhance customer and business experience. IDC believes that the approach of DX leaders toward cloud plays a key role in their accelerated DX.
Enterprises are engaged in a continuous DX process as they adapt to or drive disruptive changes in their customers and markets (external ecosystem) by leveraging digital competencies. DX involves enterprisewide innovation in one or more of the following areas: organization (workforce), Omni-experience (customers), operating model (business model/process changes), information, and leadership. From a technology perspective, the adoption of cloud-based IT systems and services is the foundational transition that underpins all of these innovation efforts. Developing and executing a cloud transition strategy is critical for any DX initiative.
For organizations undertaking DX at the business level, the cloud isn’t just about picking among a specific set of product or service delivery models, such as public, private, or hybrid cloud. Developers and business leaders expect their IT teams to automate the provisioning of tuned IT resources for mobile, analytics, and internet of things (IoT) workloads at the right locations while also achieving the maximum reuse of all their IT and data assets as applications evolve.
Achieving these goals will require the selection of a cloud facilitator partner (although some large, diversified organizations may create their own internal cloud facilitation team), not just a provider of hardware, software, or software as a service (SaaS). This facilitator must provide the monitoring, service management, and data control capabilities needed to support multiple cloud/datacenter options. It must also be in the position to provide transition financing so that companies can more painlessly and quickly shift their procurement and budgeting policies and practices to more cloudattuned models.
At the same time, IT organizations must deliver a diversified portfolio of cloud services (on-premise and off-premise), improve their ability to manage a growing range of data and application assets in multiple internal and third-party data centers, and develop a hybrid IT and developer operations model.
The reasoning that drives cloud efforts in organizations needs to be closely aligned with the consumption of IT and resources with business activities and provide a platform for agile development and enhancement of the new engagement- and analytics-based services underpinning DX. Today’s CIOs understand that the shift to cloud-based IT is critical, but three significant challenges when it comes to the data center and IT resource planning are:
- How quickly does the organization need to complete the transformation to a predominantly cloud-based IT environment?
- What are the datacenter and hosting options most suitable for taking full advantage of existing and emerging cloud solutions?
- What are the best strategies for leveraging and managing the array of different on-premise and off-premise cloud options (private, public, or hybrid and infrastructure as a service [IaaS], platform as a service [PaaS], or SaaS)?
EMERGING OPTIONS FOR THE NEXT-GENERATION ENTERPRISE: QUINNOX CLOUD
Quinnox is an IT services and consulting organization focused on delivering innovative solutions for enterprises in manufacturing, retail, and financial services. It focuses predominantly on its agility and expertise and has worked with leading Fortune 500 companies.
Quinnox leverages strategic alliances with technology product companies such as SAP, Calypso, Oracle, MOND Cloud, and others to offer collaborative, cost-effective, and high-value solutions to enterprises. They also offer packaged implementation and product development services.
Quinnox has been offering computing solutions that are cloud-based and an array of wide possibilities for enterprises to accelerate digital initiatives. Quinnox’s cloud solutions are not merely an infrastructure solutions approach; Quinnox goes beyond and above in being able to offer solutions that address opportunities, whether for quickly integrating internal systems and technologies or streamlining the supply chain, all in a cost-effective manner.
SPs such as Quinnox have developed solutions that will address a wide range of next-generation enterprise requirements and challenges including, but not limited to:
- Cloud innovation. Quinnox offers a pioneering cloud approach to reduce the complexity of your IT architecture into a consolidated, simplified, and upgraded system.
- Turnkey solutions. Benefits include a four-step process (plan, deliver, operate, and optimize) to effectively manage a wide variety of client application needs in a cloud platform.
- Scalability. This is the ability to quickly scale up or scale out as your business requirements change and as your needs evolve.
- Cost reductions. Decrease costs through cloud integration, greater productivity, automation, supply chain efficiencies, collaboration, and more.
- Despite the advances in software development, data integration still poses a serious challenge for companies. The outmoded methods include labor-intensive processes with potential human input error, extended production time, and inconsistent quality.
WebLogic, and JBoss PaaS The Quinnox PaaS model is an application layer embedded within an operational environment offered as a service. This comprehensive solution includes a complete middleware integration suite, along with customized interfaces, product maintenance, infrastructure maintenance, fixes, patches, and timely upgrades. It promises to keep systems online and available for businesses 24 x 7, allowing for supply chain integration with vendors as well. This solution holistically and completely addresses enterprise integration, enterprise resource planning, application maintenance, product engineering, testing, and mobility.
A set of structured and proven integration frameworks, technologies, and delivery methods can help enterprises overcome integration challenges across your enterprise and business-to-business (B2B) systems. Quinnox offers a wide-ranging suite of integration offerings that remove critical roadblocks in business operations and processes so you can drive your business forward at warp speed.
The Quinnox Test Smart Cloud
The Quinnox Test Smart Cloud is an on-demand, pay-per-use suite of predictive cloud-based software and services to support dynamic testing aimed at midmarket companies focused on “”speed to market.”” The comprehensive, on-demand testing solution, which includes DevOps and application life-cycle management (ALM) capabilities and incorporates predictive and containerization techniques, also have domain-specific business process management (BPM) models to expedite requirement gathering and test script creation via model-based testing (MBT) tools. Repository of automation test scripts for manufacturing, retail, and banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) as well as elements of predictive analytics are some other highlights.
MOND Cloud is a transformative provider of enterprise data integration that gives organizations a competitive edge by connecting trading partners and applications seamlessly. MOND Cloud’s suite of products include the following: MOND Agile Platform (MAP); MOND Intelligent Warehouse; enterprise application integration (EAI); extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL); BPM; and a proven, stable, massively scalable B2B solution that supports numerous mission-critical exchanges of several hundred thousand documents per day. The MAP is powered by semantic technology and enables any-to-any data transformation, allowing the exchange of structured and semi-structured data with all kinds of application owners. What makes it unique is that it supports end-to-end traceability and process management, which are critical to compliance.
QUINNOX PUBLIC AND PRIVATE CLOUD PLATFORM
The Quinnox cloud solution is an open and dynamic public cloud platform powered by OpenStack. Our services include computing capability, storage, databases, networks, and more. In addition to this, if you want to avail all the characteristics, such as cloud-like on-demand self-service, pay-per-use, metered service, and more, but have location or security requirements, the Quinnox Private Cloud is for you. We will deploy and manage an OpenStack-powered private cloud for you hosted at our or your datacenter.
So, let’s take a look at the kind of possibilities that Quinnox offers on the cloud and the IP:
- Cloud model decision tree. This is a decision tree based upon customer criteria for pricing, application characteristics, business continuity requirements, performance, and scalability requirements to identify the best cloud model option (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS), the cloud provider, and the corresponding reference architecture template.
- Automation for cloud instance build. Self-provisioning framework across different cloud providers (Azure, Amazon Web Services [AWS], Heroku)) builds the cloud instance based on the reference architecture and user inputs related to the application characteristics.
- Code components toolkit for cloud application enhancement. The application analyzer across Java/.NET/PHP helps identify the changes required to migrate a legacy/homegrown application on-premise to a cloud model. It identifies interfaces, external database dependencies, binary/library requirements, and security enhancements to achieve maximum benefits by moving to the cloud.
- Checklists. The automated checklist generator is for the rollout of applications to the cloud-based upon reference architecture and application characteristics.
- Resource monitoring templates. Standard templates for monitoring resource utilization of different cloud components provide recommendations on predictive sizing/capacity based upon utilization trends.
- Control tower. This allows the centralized monitoring and management of applications across cloud instances. It monitors cloud resource utilization and business transactions and helps in automated outage management and application patching.
- Performance test pack. The automated performance test pack with configuration parameters is for common application types on the cloud (e-commerce, dashboard, utility).
- Quinnox uses proprietary IP and open source components to aggregate data and bridges the knowledge and learning divide that pervades most organizations today. Business processes, employee knowledge, and decision making have been mostly ad hoc and siloed in many organizations.
Quinnox testing solutions cut across major industry verticals and domains, ensuring you maintain your competitive advantages through innovative solutions that reduce cycle time. The Q-FRAME test automation assets can also help you achieve a higher ROI and ensure quality through the reduction of defects.
MOND, on the other hand, helps ensure accurate supply chain data capture at every step. Whether it is facilitating product development, nurturing relationships, implementing effective technology, or maintaining efficient order, data is everything. MOND is a cloud platform that supports mission-critical exchanges of thousands of documents every day. It is an enterprise data integration platform enabling the exchange of structured and semi-structured data from a variety of application owners. MOND also supports end-to-end traceability and process management, which helps you stay compliant with regulations.
For example, a leading U.S.-based healthcare provider envisioned a solution that would enable “”persuasion”” to promote wellness and thus save lives. Quinnox designed and created a nimble persuasion engine built on open source technology, with minimal cost of ownership, best-in-class analytics scalable and extendable across devices that will enable patients to cultivate healthy behavior and promote wellness. Quinnox delivered the vision of a persuasion engine on cloud and designed a robust architecture that meets the ever-changing needs of future releases.
Quinnox fulfilled the vision of a persuasion engine built on open source technology, delivered on the cloud, and designed with a robust architecture that will meet the ever-changing needs of future releases as well. The engine is powered by big data analytics and is a responsive web solution.
Using a high-potential combination of hybrid agile methodology for development across locations for faster time to market and flexibility with the requirements as well as a cloud-based model to leverage a pay-as-you-go approach to help eliminate capex, Quinnox ensured the orchestration of a model, a framework, and an architecture especially designed for a healthcare provider that could be scalable and customizable for other providers as well.
Another example involves a large telecommunications giant and a leading mobile equipment player required to migrate to the cloud since their third-party B2B application was significantly slowing down operations. In the domain that consisted of a wide portfolio of converged mobile devices, end-to-end video, and data delivery and management solutions, this specific third-party B2B application slowed down onboarding time, hampered collaboration, and substantially increased maintenance costs.
Quinnox worked seamlessly with this organization’s suppliers and partners and devised a plan for deploying a solution built on the MAP. MAP enabled the client to build, deploy, and run business process applications and integration applications to exchange data with customers, suppliers, and between internal systems while providing complete visibility into the transactions flowing through the platform. It also provided control to the business managers to manage their processes in real time.
Prior to migration, Quinnox gathered business insights related to the client’s trading partner transactions and defined an incremental support transition methodology for faster and smoother transitions. Collaborating with the client’s trading partners was an essential component of this successful engagement on several levels. The Quinnox team worked with the trading partner to thoroughly assess and plan a seamless strategy that would overcome any known or potential testing challenge during migration. The team also collaborated closely with the trading partner to resolve issues that surfaced and provided customized dashboards for each trading partner according to the partner’s requirements.
Constant monitoring and the high availability of a dedicated support team helped make infrastructure management easier as well. A seamless migration was achieved by allowing any-to-any file formatting and straightforward migration to new react-native versions. The important highlights of the Quinnox solution include:
Migration of existing webMethods BAM component to MOND ▪ Migration of FTP transactions to the MOND FTP platform ▪ A single hawkeyed view dashboard for observing all end-to-end business activities ▪ Agile creation of new instances for the testing environment, highly valued key performance indicator (KPIs), alerts, and messages.
What is evident from the two case studies mentioned earlier is that organizations that have undertaken DX as the core of reinventing operating models and experiences to drive value-based outcomes are increasingly going to need partners who will, among other technological advancements and deployments, ensure improved visibility of processes, greater transparency, and reduced costs.
In today’s world, every business is increasingly demanding a seamless communication of disparate IT systems that are complex and heterogeneous. These interdependent and interconnected systems are in a state of constant flux to accommodate and cater to ever-changing business demands. To accommodate these changes, IT delivery is becoming more agile and iterative. In such business scenarios, consistent and repeatable quality and timely delivery become central.
Quinnox offers an all-important combination of:
- IT delivery consistency and predictability — tools, point solutions, frameworks, and metrics coupled with predictive dashboards to deliver a clear process-centric assurance
- Enhanced IT throughput — the ability to “”prevent”” rather than “”detect”” defects and automate life cycles, thus leading to shorter quality assurance (QA) and release cycles
- Flexibility and adaptability — customizable testing as a service (TaaS) solutions that give enterprises enhanced control and management of resource time in conjunction with specific business objectives
- Costs — open source–led solutions that offer direct cost efficiencies by moving away from capex-based models to opex-based models
CLOUD ADOPTION: DRIVERS AND INHIBITORS
Although we have observed a significant shift in enterprises adopting the cloud story when it comes to services and service integration toward building long-lasting solutions that drive on ground business value, there continues to remain key drivers and inhibitors.
Increasing enterprise cloud adoption and maturity. As more enterprises gain more experience and process maturity with cloud services, they will migrate existing workloads to, and develop new workloads in, public cloud environments.
Rapid expansion of new DX apps and services in the cloud. With virtually all new corporate apps and services now being developed in the cloud, public cloud adoption will grow as this new generation of “”killer apps”” expands.
Continuing migration of traditional enterprise apps to SaaS. This means that many enterprise software customers, as they reach their next major software upgrade decisions, will be offered SaaS as the preferred option. Put together, new solutions born on the cloud and traditional solutions migrating to the cloud will steadily pull more customers and their data to the cloud.
Security remaining as the number 1 inhibitor and requiring a strategic focus. We believe the drivers of cloud adoption availability of desirable new services in the cloud, simplifying migration of traditional systems to the cloud, and growing overall comfort with the cloud will far outweigh the inhibitors as seen by the high cloud adoption CAGR. However, providing customers greater assurance around their security concerns will remain a strategic differentiator for providers able to do so.
Management/governance, cost, and performance/functionality as lesser inhibitors. Given the almost weekly announcement of new security, management, compliance, and performance/functionality offerings from public cloud SPs as well as regular and steep price cuts, we expect to see the strength of these inhibitors steadily diminish over the forecast period.
ADVICE FOR THE TECHNOLOGY BUYER
The future of digital business will essentially depend on innovations derived from continuous experimentation, and the cloud is at the forefront of enabling this culture through IT agility. Enterprises that want to leverage the power of the cloud to achieve their business objectives need to transform their network environments to a cloud-centric model.
Making a large-scale transition to the cloud means that many developments, operations, and security processes are no longer applicable or they’re dramatically altered in the cloud. Adopting this significant change is just the beginning. However, enterprises on their cloud journey or those looking to transform the way they deliver value to the business also need to find ways to take stock of new and emerging paradigms. Embracing the new model will require enterprises to transform, in an equal and absolute measure, their internal visions, processes, and operating models.
Some key questions that need to be answered when embarking on this journey are:
- Vendor selection. Use this IDC MarketScape in contract negotiations and as a tool not only to short-list vendors for cloud professional services bids but also to evaluate vendors’ proposals and oral presentations. Make sure you understand where these players are truly differentiated and take advantage of their expertise, industry-based or otherwise.
- Project value and timeline. Include vendor performance on these factors among your highest selection criteria. Both these factors are rated among the top 5 in terms of importance for project success as rated by customers that were surveyed for this IDC MarketScape
- Engagement pricing. Make sure you understand the nuances of alternative pricing schemes for cloud professional services. This is especially true when a consulting or integration engagement is embedded in the pricing of related cloud services or when financing is involved. About 80% of all cloud professional services projects are still standard time and materials or fixed-price engagements, but numerous alternative arrangements are on offer. For the 20% of alternatively priced projects, it is critical to understand how the pricing of a given engagement works, and make sure it supports your overall goals.