Revised mobile strategies, such as bring your own device (BYOD) and mobile applications availability, will expand IT service sourcing requirements as users demand new services, according to a report on the opportunities and risks presented by the convergence of social, information, mobile and cloud by IT research firm Gartner.
Sourcing managers should consider these factors when re-evaluating sourcing options, delivery models and vendors, include strong service integration capabilities for IT organizations adopting public cloud models. Using social technology for collaboration in complex outsourcing relationships can also increase efficiency, but sourcing organizations should also consider its nontechnical aspects, such as the way end users employ social media channels to find out information on products and services.
"Social, information, mobile and cloud shouldn't be considered in isolation as market forces," Gartner Vice President and distinguished analyst Linda Cohen said in a statement. "The convergence of these forces, which Gartner calls the nexus of forces, is what drives real business value. The nexus of forces converge in several ways: cloud, mobile and social solutions enable the distribution of information, social media usage and behavior drive mobile and information solutions, and cloud can be a foundation for information, social and mobile solutions."
According to Gartner, the availability of information, which is increasingly stored in cloud environments where it is accessible by a wide range of devices, is the connective tissue that binds this nexus of forces, as it drives social, mobile and cloud technologies to allow anywhere, any time access to content. The ubiquity of connected mobile devices is pushing this trend forward, as the rise of BYOD initiatives brings personal smartphones and tablets into the workforce.
Technically savvy and younger users are demanding more productivity applications on their mobile devices to expand desktop front-end capabilities and performance, suggesting IT organizations now need to offer mobility management services that go beyond a single device to include an ever-increasing variety of devices and application deployment and management. This includes security and controlled data access services—two critical mobile device management (MDM) components that regularly top IT organizations’ list of biggest BYOD concerns.
"To establish the most appropriate sourcing approach for 2013, sourcing managers must take a more holistic approach and understand wider IT service market trends," Gartner research Vice President Frank Ridder said in a statement. "To benefit, sourcing managers must consider the influence of the convergence of the Nexus of Forces on the services sourcing life cycle of activities, rather than considering each factor as a separate trend."