Cloud and the Global Sourcing Market: Results from the NASSCOM India Leadership Forum

When I travel, I like to get out and see the city I’m visiting — especially when the city has more than 20 million people in it. On my most recent trip to Mumbai for the 20th successive NASSCOM India Leadership Forum, I decided to use an open morning to take a city tour.

This was no ordinary tour however; it’s known as “Mumbai Local,” and the key selling point is that you get to experience Mumbai like someone who actually lives in the city. The way the tour company accomplishes this is by substituting an air-conditioned taxi with readily available public transportation.

The tour was fantastic. My guide showed me Mumbai from a train, a bus, a taxi (non-air conditioned, of course) and on foot. We used just about every mode of transportation available to get to our final destination.

This fantastic trek through Mumbai got me thinking: our tour was a lot like the journey clients are taking to cloud. There is no single path to get there, and companies increasingly are trying lots of different routes to get to their goal: public, private, client-managed on-premises, vendor-managed off-premises, software- and platform-as-a-service. You name it, and clients are trying it.

As you may recall from my pre-NASSCOM post, the key question we were trying to answer was: How will cloud computing affect my outsourcing business? As I discussed this with my fellow panel members — Paul CobyPeter Coffee and Carla Zuniga — it became very clear that while there is yet no clear-cut answer, companies are embracing cloud; they’re just doing it in ways that the large, traditional IT service providers are not accustomed to, and they are taking many paths to get there.

Rather than signing up for large mega-deals where everything gets put into a highly standardized, multi-year deal, clients are picking individual workloads and trying them on various cloud delivery models. This is backed up by the Q4 TPI Index, which shows that small transactions (less than US$100 million) continue to grow quickly, while mega-deals (greater than US$1 billion) continue to stay flat. In fact, much of the cloud work that clients are engaging in does not even show up on this radar, because they’re starting small, using emerging providers and letting the solution grow (or fail) organically.

IT service providers that recognize this trend of smaller and faster will be able to help their clients transition workloads from more traditional managed services to emerging cloud services, and, if positioned correctly, will be able to play a key role in integrating these solutions together into a more holistic service-oriented strategy.

I’d like to thank both NASSCOM and my fellow panelists for a terrific discussion on cloud and the sourcing industry. If you’re interested in watching the discussion in full, here’s the video:

P.S. If you’re interested in the Mumbai Local tour, DM me via Twitter, or send me an e-mail at stanton dot jones at isg-one dot com. I highly recommend it!

About the author

Stanton helps enterprise IT and sourcing leaders rationalize and capitalize on emerging technology opportunities in the context of the global sourcing industry. He brings extensive knowledge of today’s cloud and automation ecosystems, as well as other disruptive trends that are helping to shape and disrupt the business computing landscape. Stanton has been with ISG for more over a decade. During his tenure he has helped clients develop, negotiate and implement cloud infrastructure sourcing strategies, evaluate and select software-as-a-service platforms, identify and implement best-in-class service brokerage models, and assess how the emerging cloud master architecture can be leveraged for competitive advantage. Stanton has also guided a number of leading service providers in the development of next-generation cloud strategies. Stanton is a recognized industry expert, and has been quoted in CIOForbes and The Times of London. You can follow Stanton on Twitter: @stantonmjones.