Business is moving at such high speed now that many customers are looking to consultants not just for traditional advisory services, but for pre-defined technology solutions, according to Accenture partner Mike Montalto.
For many customers, this will mean choosing a pre-built solution such as EMC’s Vblock, which combines server, storage and networking technology in a turn-key, pre-tested package, noted Montalto’s Accenture colleague Rockwell Bonecutter. Both Montalto and Bonecutter [http://www.justin.tv/siliconangle/b/285548912] discussed industry trends on SiliconAngle’s The Cube with hosts David Vellante and John Furrier at EMC World 2011 this week.
The Vblock approach, as delivered by the VCE coalition (VMware, Cisco and EMC), means “there’s a lot less drama in the implementation, and you have a single throat to choke” when issues come up, Bonecutter said. Of course, he noted, if Accenture is running Vblock in an outsourcing engagement for a customer, then Accenture becomes that single throat, backed up by the VCE coalition.
“The fact that it’s turn-key means we can get down to looking more closely at the application and the business outcomes of the application,” he said.
As Vellante pointed out, many customers look to systems integrators like Accenture, an EMC partner, for vendor-agnostic advice. Bonecutter agreed but pointed out that sometimes “we’re paid by customers to take a point-of-view – in these cases they don’t want a high-level view, they want to buy something,” he explained.
Another big change, Montalto pointed out, is that the consumerization of IT has driven interactivity to the next step. “If I’m a developer and I want to get an instance up and running and I want to play with Hadoop, I don’t need to wait for IT, I take out my credit card, I go onto Amazon, punch in the numbers, and I have a virtual machine up and running. I can load my software on there and go,” Montalto noted.
As it did when PCs were surreptitiously imported into data centers over 20 years ago, this scenario puts IT management in a defensive mode, this time worrying about the security implications of individuals launching their own applications. IT needs to be able to at least match the quality of the home-grown applications, as well as the speed of deployment, or it loses control, Montalto noted.
“The advent of the PC was definitely an inflection point, and we’re at another inflection point now,” he said.
Data is now being thought of as a resource that can be packaged and monetized – “there’s definitely a pivot underway,” Montalto said. But not all customers have advanced their thinking at the same rate. “Most customers are still asking, ‘What is cloud?’” Bonecutter noted. But there is no doubt that CIOs are very interested in cloud’s promise of offering capacity by the drink, he said.