|By Lucas Roh||
|June 19, 2011 03:00 PM EDT||
A recent survey from the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) found two-thirds of outsourcing customers currently do utilize or have plans to implement cloud computing solutions. Eighty percent of those surveyed indicated their organization intended to deploy more outsourcing services in the next year.
In a recent Forrester report titled "Sizing the Cloud," it estimates a move from $40.7 billion spent on the global market for cloud computing in 2011 to more than $241 billion in 2020. The public cloud, which is under considerable scrutiny for security risks, will account for more than 66 percent of the total in 2020.
For many enterprises, moving data and applications is really a question of "when" instead of "if." The cloud is a sea change in business, and is moving well beyond a fad stage. Security breaches and large-scale outages might prove to be hiccups in cloud adoption rates, but the cost savings and increased flexibility will win out long term. Addressing the concerns about the cloud will allow you to see the benefits more clearly, and promote an informed decision in selecting a provider.
Time and Money
When IT managers are asked by senior executives why they should move their mission-critical data or applications to the cloud, the answer shouldn't be "because everyone is doing it." If IT comes back with a compelling list of reasons that increase efficiency and revenue while also costing less, then they have a compelling case.
As with most things in business and life, it all comes down to time and money. Spending less money and also freeing up time to earn more money efficiently. The simplest benefit for the cloud is the lower total cost of ownership. Moving to the cloud means less physical hardware purchases or upgrades. An enterprise with an on-premise server setup simply cannot compete with a multi-tenant cloud provider. You can't defeat economies of scale. Electricity bills are lowered as there are no longer server rooms that require optimal temperatures to function, and you don't need to operate all of the related equipment. Servers don't need to be frequently upgraded or repaired. In the cloud, the provider fixes the problems and ensures the platform is built with modern components and is working properly.
"Scalability" is another benefit tossed around so much that it almost loses its true meaning. It really means adaptability, where the cloud solution adjusts to user demand, which translates directly into cost efficiency and avoids overcapacity. If your company's product goes viral and daily demand increases ten-fold, cloud-based solutions can be quickly ramped up to handle the demand without the risk of not fulfilling orders.
For some enterprises that move large amounts of their data and application requirements to the cloud, some reductions in IT staffing may naturally follow. If staff reductions are not forthcoming, it's important to frame a move to the cloud not as simply the removal of an obstacle that will allow the staff to work more efficiently. For enterprises where the IT staff are already overworked and only a fraction of requests are handled, moving to the cloud can free up time for more mission-critical tasks. Perhaps now that new back office functionality can be completed or a sales team can be better trained on using the latest business intelligence suite.
For many enterprises, using the cloud initially for replication and disaster recovery efforts is a way to dip their technology toes into the water. Companies that want to hold on to the control of on-premises data centers can still benefit from the cloud's safeguards by trusting it with data backups. As competition rises and costs continue to fall for cloud-related services, disaster recovery efforts will become more and more cost effective.
With the recent Amazon Web Services and PlayStation Network security breaches, many enterprises are understandably worried about the security measures of various cloud providers. Change will consistently be met with hesitation, and when it comes to moving critical data to the cloud, some concern is warranted.
IT management has considerable concerns about giving up governance of corporate data. However, the management and security of this data is still the responsibility of the enterprise, creating a scenario where doing nothing can be perceived as the proper course. In order to move forward with progress, IT will need the right cloud provider that can allay the governance concerns and provide assurances to data safety.
Data breaches of private information or sensitive intellectual property can have a ruinous effect. Regulatory compliance adds another wrinkle, especially for global firms, where strict rules about the "location" of data conflict with many cloud providers lack of transparency. If your company is based in the U.S., but the data is technically residing in the United Kingdom, which privacy laws do you need to follow?
The lack of transparency in regards to outage or breach notification is another often voiced concern. IT managers want to learn about breaches immediately from the provider, not hours later from the blogosphere. IT wants the service provider to go on auto-pilot in the face of disaster, and to follow documented call-out and escalation procedures. Concern about breaches and outages is certainly justified, and in-house IT should have a direct hand in reviewing the cloud provider's processes and track record in handling problems.
Diving into the Cloud
For larger enterprises with multiple applications and massive data sets, it pays to start small in the cloud. There is no rule saying it's an all or nothing choice. Instead of moving applications that need to be fast down to the millisecond, consider setting up some back-office applications to test out the cloud provider's performance and security. While a piecemeal approach might result in higher initial costs, it does provide you with a testing environment where you can perhaps introduce failures to check the provider's systems. If the solution provider can't handle routine non-critical tasks, they can't be trusted with personally identifiable customer data.
Look ahead to your growth rate as well and consider your likely data and application needs. If you have confidence in a growing business, your related systems will need to handle that movement without interruption. Few things derail a growing firm's chances faster than outages due to unexpected data or application demand. With a cloud solution in place, spikes in demand can be transformed from an issue to be feared to a welcome sight that heralds new milestones for the business.
Finding That Trusted Partner
The barriers to entry for the cloud are quite low, with new companies entering the space or established companies launching cloud divisions by the minute. Many vendors dive into this arena without sufficiently trained staff or the right technology expertise. They might not understand the regulations surrounding PII or have the right controls in place to protect from breaches.
To properly screen your solution providers, you need to ask them to be upfront with their protocols for data security and also pricing. Demand visibility. As the industry matures, customers who only accept transparency and don't tolerate confusing service agreements or evasive answers will help weed out the poorly run cloud outfits.
While moving to the cloud often takes some responsibility away from internal IT staff, you still need them involved in the process from the beginning. Ask your IT security staff to carefully review the cloud providers security and network procedures and to raise any red flags. Use their knowledge to poke holes in the provider's system and call out any outlandish claims about security or uptime.
Another key consideration is to look at any other SaaS providers that are interrelated with your chosen vendor. Every organization that has access to your data needs to follow set standards to be sure you don't have security holes for your data management. This chain of outsourcers can reach three or four levels removed from your company, so you need assurances from the cloud provider that these company's data standards are sufficient.
Outsourcers should be able to provide you with clear password creation and management standards that will help prevent password hijacking. Especially for multi-tenant cloud environments, the vendor needs to have controls in place to keep your data separate from other tenants.
For localized outages where there are hardware failures, how does the vendor handle such problems? Will they fix it within the hour, or within 24 hours? The best vendors will have extra hardware equipment on hand to proactively handle failures.
Finding the right vendor will allow the enterprise to experience lowered costs and operational flexibility so they can reach greater heights that would not be attainable with on-premise solutions.
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
Jun. 30, 2016 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 665
"We work in the area of Big Data analytics and Big Data analytics is a very crowded space - you have Hadoop, ETL, warehousing, visualization and there's a lot of effort trying to get these tools to talk to each other," explained Mukund Deshpande, head of the Analytics practice at Accelerite, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jun. 30, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 588
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
Jun. 30, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,006
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, provided an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profession...
Jun. 30, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 411
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Jun. 30, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,271
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Jun. 30, 2016 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 310
When people aren’t talking about VMs and containers, they’re talking about serverless architecture. Serverless is about no maintenance. It means you are not worried about low-level infrastructural and operational details. An event-driven serverless platform is a great use case for IoT. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Animesh Singh, an STSM and Lead for IBM Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, will detail how to build a distributed serverless, polyglot, microservices framework using open source tec...
Jun. 30, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 683
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
Jun. 30, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,347
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Jun. 30, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,510
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann returns to 'DevOps at Cloud Expo 2016' as Conference Chair The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "DevOps is set to be one of the most profound disruptions to hit IT in decades," said Andi Mann. "It is a natural extension of cloud computing, and I have seen both firsthand and in independent research the fantastic results DevOps delivers. So I am excited t...
Jun. 30, 2016 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 502
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jun. 30, 2016 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 610
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
Jun. 30, 2016 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 643
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
Jun. 30, 2016 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 736
The idea of comparing data in motion (at the sensor level) to data at rest (in a Big Data server warehouse) with predictive analytics in the cloud is very appealing to the industrial IoT sector. The problem Big Data vendors have, however, is access to that data in motion at the sensor location. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Scott Allen, CMO of FreeWave, discussed how as IoT is increasingly adopted by industrial markets, there is going to be an increased demand for sensor data from the outermos...
Jun. 30, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 467
CenturyLink has announced that application server solutions from GENBAND are now available as part of CenturyLink’s Networx contracts. The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Networx program includes the largest telecommunications contract vehicles ever awarded by the federal government. CenturyLink recently secured an extension through spring 2020 of its offerings available to federal government agencies via GSA’s Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts. GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ Application...
Jun. 30, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 495
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
Jun. 30, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,113
Presidio has received the 2015 EMC Partner Services Quality Award from EMC Corporation for achieving outstanding service excellence and customer satisfaction as measured by the EMC Partner Services Quality (PSQ) program. Presidio was also honored as the 2015 EMC Americas Marketing Excellence Partner of the Year and 2015 Mid-Market East Partner of the Year. The EMC PSQ program is a project-specific survey program designed for partners with Service Partner designations to solicit customer feedbac...
Jun. 30, 2016 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 696
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
Jun. 30, 2016 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 585
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
Jun. 30, 2016 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 994
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
Jun. 30, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 571