This is the initial posting that I would like to make regarding the overall topic of PC as a Service. PC as a Servcie is a hot topic and may be part of the "next big thing" to arrive in mainstream. In truth, PC as a Service has been around for a long time. Referred to as PC Utility, PC on Demand, managed desktop (among other nomenclature) as a service now has morphed into what may be considered as a broad portfolio of service delivery alternatives.
Before continuing, the disclaimer as always. This blog represents my own opinions and not those of my employer.
In my opinion, the recession and the related economics has fostered a revisiting by many buisnesses of the service delivery strategies. For a long time, service providers have advocated that enterprises look at what lifecycle operations to declare as a core competancy and enter or exit those operations as desired. The care and feeding certain client computing operations may, or may not, be one of those functions to remain. I am presenting in research of this topic for an upcoming dialog as well, so this perspective is very current.
The alternatives available today are many because of the maturity of management toolsets, the service delivery firms that can be called upon to transform, the disciplines such as ITIL, CLLP, and others, and manageability of client computing.
Among the alternatives are- in source, out source, out task, selective out source, shared services, buy, lease, as a service, consumption based models, chip driven (VPro), operating system driven Windows 7, virtualization, the cloud, BYOC, and this is but a partial listing. The key may be that one size will not fit all and that a business may have multiple approaches in place based upon user segments.
What does seem to be clear is that this technology refresh cycle may be the impetus for many businesses to reconsider their service delivery strategies. Lifecycle mangement as a discpline becomes more important in this context as the enterprise must determine what to enter and exit, but also understand the new costing models, governance and risks associated with the delivery strategies. Changing the service delivery strategy may not mitigate risks to the enterprise, nor shift the focus, it may be quite the opposite. A change in servcie delivery strategy will place more emphasis on the business itself to perform due diligence and adjust the governance models. As we all know, the governance models may not have been changed for quite some time.
The other factor complicating the as a service approach is how new technologies are to be embraced. With new products, form factors and approaches naturally comes the requirement to be more agile.
A valid question now comes into play- what will client computing and lifecycle look life, is this the beginning of the end of the disipline? My opinion remains that for the next refresh cycle (3 to 4 years) lifecycle will continue to be in the mainstream, however, it must adapt to the new service delivery approaches in play, and deliver a new set of economics to be effective. The Great Recession has taught us that this is no longer business as usual. Optimization is a requirement, not an option. In the short term lifecycle management will have a renaissance of sorts. Service delivery strategies has been a part of the economic suite of CLLP since the beginning being identified as a separate suite from the commodity and value suites.
In coming blogs we will explore together the pros and cons of the various alternatives available today knowing that over the next 12 months the landscape will undoubtedly change. This may be the next great challenge in lifecycle management.
As we move ahead in this dialog your thoughts are critical to aid in the perspective, please let us know.