Welcome!

Java Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski, Victoria Livschitz, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Java, SOA & WOA, .NET, Virtualization, Web 2.0, Security

Cloud Expo: Article

Enterprise Cloud Computing Adoption

IT Professionals Become Strategic Partners

IT professionals including server and storage managers often think that the adoption of cloud computing in the enterprise puts their jobs in danger. To the contrary, the role of the IT professional is evolving into a more strategic position as more organizations adopt private and public cloud, with many using a combination of the two, which is often referred to as hybrid cloud. Recent reports suggest that the cloud will result in increased career advancement for IT professionals both in terms of responsibility and job opportunities.

IT professionals should embrace the cloud, not fear it. Consider surfers who once rejected surf board leashes as "kook chords," dismissing them as unnecessary. However, as is the case with many innovations, the "kook chord" has gradually become a reliable standard used by virtually every surfer today.

Let's be blunt: IT is a terrible place for old-school purists. To succeed, IT professionals must continually refine their skillsets to evolve into the role of strategic IT advisors for the enterprise on cloud initiatives. Rather than being just elbows-deep in motherboards and memory, they are moving from a tactical role into a more strategic role that requires a combination of hands-on work and sourcing, depending on the type of cloud environment that makes sense for the enterprise. The IT professional may manage storage arrays in the data center, in a private cloud, or choose a cloud service provider and manage the relationship while keeping in mind things like performance, integration with existing IT infrastructure, and avoiding vendor lock-in. In the case of a public cloud, direct operations become less of a task, while management of cloud vendor relationships moves to the forefront. IT professionals can build on their indispensable expertise to find the best types of cloud storage, evaluate providers, and create a business case for choosing one over the other. With a private cloud, IT professionals retain a more hands on role while in a hybrid cloud environment IT professionals must balance the two. In either case, the evolved technical role is critical.

Becoming Strategic Partners in the Enterprise
Many IT professionals have already had a taste of choosing providers strategically. Very few corporations own their entire network. Many IT professionals are already familiar with the role of the consultant, offering up the business case for choosing, say, AT&T, Orange Business Services or NTT. As cloud computing evolves, IT professionals can take their careers to the next level by positioning themselves as cloud specialists - e.g., cloud architects, cloud security specialists, cloud developers, cloud infrastructure managers, and provider specialists - using their existing knowledge of systems and updating their skillsets.

For example, consider a bank executive who wants to develop a mobile application for her customers. The executive can make the business case for the application, but she may not know how the application runs on the back end - how much data it requires, or what kind of network the bank will need for the application to work. She will turn to an IT professional knowledgeable about public, private and hybrid cloud. In turn, the IT professional, a cloud specialist, can offer several options that meet the bank's requirements for the application and make a recommendation to host the application in a public cloud but store data in the bank's private infrastructure. A cloud architect can assist with building the application so that it is optimized for the cloud. The cloud specialist becomes a strategic partner, rather than the person tasked with building an application and deploying it on the server.

With the trend toward deploying public cloud applications and applications built in private clouds, the cloud architect plays a vital role in the success of the software, eliminating the need to deploy complex software and manage updates on each workstation. IT professionals specializing in cloud architecture now support the backbone of a company's operations, optimizing performance, improving security, increasing reliability, and ensuring easy access to mission-critical applications. As a result, the IT professionals gain greater insight into the inner workings of the business as they gain a better understanding of the technology with the goal of aligning IT with the business goals.

As strategic partners in the organization, IT professionals also can examine new ways to provide services that benefit the business, end users, and the IT organization. The benefits also extend to partners and consumers. Given the expansion of cloud computing and its rapid adoption, IT professionals are now better positioned to recommend which computing, storage, and virtualization resources to choose and how to deliver it. Due to the lower capital investment in public cloud-based solutions, IT professionals are positioned to provide scalable services to the business that otherwise may be struck down. The cloud gives IT professionals the opportunity to expand services delivered at a lower cost, which pleases executives and end users who expect their applications to run smoothly and their storage resources to be abundant.

For example, many vendors offer solutions like computer-aided engineering and productivity suites that are deployed across private clouds and accessed through web browsers. This approach adds up to significant cost savings for the business and significant power for the IT department - who keep access open to the software and optimize performance.

WAN Optimization: An Opportunity to Showcase Consulting Expertise
WAN optimization is now being offered in a variety of form factors including physical, cloud, and virtualized instances. A newer option IT professionals can consider as they move towards cloud computing is choosing WAN optimization-as-a-service. WAN optimization-as-a-service is particularly attractive to organizations that prefer the predictability of an operating expense, and provides all the same de-duplication and application optimization benefits of traditional WAN optimization appliances.

WAN optimization-as-a-service providers may offer WAN optimization solutions integrated with value add solutions such as application and network performance management tools to pinpoint, understand, and troubleshoot performance issues in modern IT environments. Instead of standalone WAN optimization, IT professionals can optimize, manage, and monitor the WAN with one service. As cloud specialists, IT professionals will be able to provide metrics on application performance and network performance to demonstrate the value of optimization as well as better allocate bandwidth.

The shift to the cloud, particularly private clouds in the enterprise, calls for an optimized WAN that can deliver applications with speed and agility. Users do not want to wait for their applications or data to load, and they expect that moving to the cloud, private or public, will provide the same computing experience as using the desktop.

IT professionals can seize opportunities for cloud computing by examining the IT infrastructure from every facet. Instead of fearing for their jobs, they can embrace the cloud and use it as an opportunity to sharpen their skills, challenge themselves, and play a strategic role in delivering the next generation of the enterprise network. Cloud will make IT professionals vital to the success of the organization.

More Stories By Miles Kelly

Miles Kelly is senior director of product marketing at Riverbed. Riverbed delivers performance for the globally connected enterprise. With Riverbed, enterprises can successfully and intelligently implement strategic initiatives such as virtualization, consolidation, cloud computing, and disaster recovery without fear of compromising performance.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.