Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Enterprise's Vision on IT Sourcing

Sourcing strategies are constrained by application level architectures. Closed application landscapes with proprietary interfaces, intertwined structures and poor identity- and access management will raise barriers to the feasibility of secure and flexible sourcing initiatives including the use of cloud computing, multiple provider strategies and seamless on premise interactions.

To gain full benefits of to-day’s sourcing offerings applications need to adhere to contemporary standards and architectural principles.

The challenges

The end-user has a responsibility to fulfill business processes or parts of it. He or she is facilitated by chains of applications. It is an IT-responsibility to maintain an adequate user experience in using the applications - including seamlessness, continuity, device independency and location independency - without distracting the user from the business process to be fulfilled.

At the same time it must be possible to outsource the applications in a flexible way, without being constrained by the supported business processes, being able to offer services at any place on any device to any user in a secured environment.

This leads to the following architectural challenges at the application layer:

• On premise accessibility, inbound and outbound interaction
• Cross-provider interfacing
• Seamless and quick workload transfer across multiple providers
• Universal access including single sign-on from any place on any device by anyone

The solutions

On premise accessibility

Legacy applications need to be wrapped with a standards based interaction shell and infrastructural middleware components need locally be installed to enable smooth communication between on premise applications and external applications in both directions.

Cross-provider interfacing

Applications must adhere to commonly implemented interoperability standards to enable communication between applications running in environments of different providers.

Workload transfer across multiple providers

Outsourced application component images must be portable between platforms running in environments of different providers.

Outsourced platform images - including the supported application components - must be portable between infrastructures running in environments of different providers.

Outsourced virtual infrastructure images - including the supported platforms and application components - must be portable between environments of different providers.

Universal access

Web bases access is required to enable application accessibility from any place and from any device.

Federated identity based access mechanisms must be in place to securely enable a single sign-on experience across multiple provides, including on premise access for potentially anyone.

1 comment:

Mohan said...

I like the way you start your argument that sourcing strategies are constrained by application level architectures.

Depending on the scale of sourcing, the application Architecture view would bubble up to the application portfolio or even enterprise views. And as the scale of sourcing goes beyond the portfolio view, the challenges take on different form. E.g, Universal access may be a lesser challenge than say need for dedicated channels of access by the SI partner