How software-defined everything will change outsourcing

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Software-defined everything (SDE) -- the use of software to provision and manage pretty much all IT infrastructure -- is poised to make outsourcing much easier for some customers and for some workloads.

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By speeding and automating IT management, SDE can reduce the need for manual IT work and thus the value of outsourcing deals based only on lower offshore labor rates. By making it easier to scale infrastructure up or down, SDE makes it easier to buy services "by the drink" from cloud providers and to run some workloads internally to create hybrid clouds. As a result, cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are becoming alternatives to conventional outsourcers.

But to gain this flexibility, enterprises need new tools to manage their software-defined environments, the skills to decide where to run which workloads and new cross-functional teams to manage their software-defined infrastructures.

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