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How Will Cloud Trends Impact The Enterprise In 2015

by Luc Van Haver

“Cloud services have matured to the point where they can absolutely deliver value for many use cases,” said Ed Anderson, research VP of cloud services at Gartner.

Here are five ways enterprises can tap into 2014’s top cloud trends to achieve a competitive edge in the year ahead.

 

Hybrid Clouds

I’ve explained hybrid clouds in human before. The more academic explanation would be the combination of two or more cloud services coming together to create a unified cloud experience. It can be a mix of private and public cloud services, but can also include combinations that are all public or all private. Experts are convinced that in the future not one particular cloud solution is going to meet a customer’s need nor give them the added value he is looking for. Enterprises therefor should adopt cloud services in a tactical way (within a strategic framework) to ensure they’re getting the right match. Most probably they will end up in with a hybrid scenario.

Cloud Operating Models

“As cloud services converge with social, mobile and information in what Garter calls the “Nexus of Forces,” companies will need to start incorporating cloud operating behaviors in a platform for digital business”, Anderson said.

“What happens if you are sourcing IT from this incredibly scalable, dynamic, adaptive environment? How can you do things differently from the way you did them before?” he asked. “Cloud is certainly a technology and we talk about it that way…but it’s really an operating model as well.”

In 2015, enterprises will need to start examining the synergies between their various cloud initiatives, Anderson said. “What are the next generation solutions that are going to come about as a result of all those things coming together?” he asked.

Personal Clouds

“Although cloud computing was driven by businesses, personal clouds reflect a growing influence of consumer-driven trends on corporate computing. Whether it’s having all their music available on all their devices, or a consistent backup of personal data, personal cloud services are starting to shape consumer expectations in terms of how they use information technology with a shift of focus from devices to services”, Anderson said.

People will start to question why they can’t have the same type of cloud-based access and services in their work environments as well. Companies looking to 2015 will need to start thinking about how to answer that question.

A Well-Defined Cloud Market

“While the start of 2014 was more like a free-for-all of cloud providers and services, look for a more well-defined cloud marketplace in 2015”, Anderson said. “There will be a handful of big, global, hyper-scale cloud providers,” he said. “And then there will be lots of smaller, regional, industry-focused custom providers to fill in all the white space around them.”

So what should enterprises expect in 2015?

“I would be thinking about the hybrid model and where I can use the big hyper-scale providers, because those are going to be the ones who are the cheapest and the most standardized,” Anderson said. “Then I would look at how to supplement that with some of these other providers to meet specific needs.”

Cloud Brokerages

“Organizations should expect to see a rise of cloud intermediation services in 2015,” Anderson said: “There’s a whole group of third parties who are stepping in and saying, ‘Now that cloud is pervasive, how do you pull everything together?’”

Those third-party providers—or cloud services brokers—will offer to manage and integrate organizations’ different hybrid services. Although the trend got well underway in 2014, Anderson expects it to become more prominent next year.

“Before choosing a provider”, he said, “enterprises will need to decide which responsibilities they’re going to delegate to third-parties”. “Organizations need to have a strategy that can incorporate the best of what’s happening in cloud along with things that they will continue to do on their own,” he said.

As enterprises plan for 2015, understanding the latest cloud trends can be critical to their successes in the year ahead.

“Now is the time,” Anderson said. “If you are evaluating technology upgrades, replacements or acquisitions, cloud has to be on your list of considerations.”

Based upon an article by Lisa Wirthman. Read the whole article here.

Google Cloud Workshop by Translucid

by Luc Van Haver

Translucid, a Cronos Group Company, organizes a Cloud Workshop on Tuesday, February 10th from 14:00h – 16:00h. Location will be the meeting room “Lucky Luke” at Cronos building, Veldkant 33b, 2550 Kontich:

 

“With this Google cloud workshop we want to show you how simple it is to setup your developer environment on “Google Cloud Platform”. We aim to give this workshop to developers / architects / devops

14:00 – 14:15 intro cloud platform presentation

14:15 – 15:00 case 1: App Engine

15:00 – 15:45 case 2: Compute Engine

15:45 – 16:00 Q & A

In less than 2 hours we’ll get you up to speed on how to move to the cloud!

Audacious Business Models powered by Cloud Computing

by Luc Van Haver

In 2014, everything had to be disruptive: technology, business models, innovation, my mother-in-law and even the barking of my dog. Disruptive sells, disruptive is cool. Disruptive was probably the word most commonly used by marketers in 2014. I was never a fan. I like audacious better.

Let’s first taste the word. Audacious. Almost delicious:

au·da·cious

ôˈdāSHəs/

adjective

 

  1. showing a willingness to take surprisingly bold risks.
  2. “a series of audacious takeovers”
  3. Bold, daring, fearless, intrepid, brave, courageous, valiant, heroic, plucky

 

That’s more like it. Audacious is simply put the mother of disruptive. No disruptive without audacious. Although it might have a connotation of lack of responsibility, putting too much money at stake not knowing what the outcome of the adventure will be, it is audacious that caused multiple revolutionary changes.

It is true that a lot of brave people ceased being audacious due to budgetary reasons in the past. The future will perhaps offer them new opportunities. “If you want to increase innovation, lower the cost of failure”, Joi Ito stated recently (Joichi “Joi” Ito, 伊藤 穰一 Itō Jōichi, born June 19, 1966, is a Japanese-American activist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist and Director of the MIT Media Lab. Ito has received recognition for his role as an entrepreneur focused on Internet and technology companies and has founded, among other companies, PSINet Japan, Digital Garage and Infoseek Japan.

That is exactly what cloud computing can offer. A lower cost of failure. Cloud computing can power your audacious idea to the extent that in case of failure, the cost of getting drunk the day you realize you failed will probably be higher than the amount you spent on IT infrastructure trying to succeed.

Audacious is going to be the 2015 buzzword. Be audacious!

How to tackel resistance towards cloud computing

by Luc Van Haver

I’m happy to post some thoughts on this subject, written by Sahba Hussien, Senior Technology Consultant:

“Cloud Computing undeniably introduces management challenges to an organization and will create some tension and opposition. However, management should see them as opportunities to build a more highly skilled workforce, a more responsive IT department and in doing so to focus on core strategic issue, ultimately, a better organization overall.

There is a fear among IT professionals which with the tendency to abstract responsibility away from the organization will leave them with few opportunities. Some fear redundancy and unemployment.

Abstracting non-core operations away from the organization, and focusing more on strategic tasks introduces a varied spectrum of skills and capabilities that impacts both challenges and opportunities within the organization.

The positive aspect of Cloud Computing is that there are many existing opportunities for people to learn these new skills – ongoing training in commerce and strategy can fit well within an existing role and can result in a progression from pure IT technologist to a role that has a significantly higher business focus to it, and in many cases, higher business value.

For those who fall into this class, there are some real opportunities around the interface between the different applications and services the organization will use in the Cloud. The rise of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for example has led to an entire industry based around the utilization, creation and manipulation to bind the different services together. While system integrator firms are available, there is still the need for internal system integrators to tie together the various cloud services.

Similarly there are opportunities to specialize in the areas of Cloud Computing monitoring and control for internal staff to have an interaction with the services.

Moving to Cloud Computing enables IT departments to minimize their involvement in the technical aspects of IT and become true strategic partners of the business, by teaming up IT professionals with staff dealing with strategy, therefore become a value-adding department that is actively involved in delivering solutions and benefits.”

Cloud Essentials in Human

by Luc Van Haver

When you ask around about the meaning of Cloud Computing, you may expect a wide variety of answers, from fluffy descriptions by self-declared experts covering a lack of knowledge to in depth technological explanations masking specific vendor solution sales.

Yet there is only one more or less world-wide accepted official description, published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Not an easy exercise, since the one below is the 16th and final version of their definition:

“Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.” (Source: NIST-USA 2011).

This means we can use the term Cloud Computing when it meets the five essential characteristics described in the definition:

 

Resource Pooling: a variety of consumers has access to the resources in a virtual way (multi-tenant) and they have no or limited control over the physical location of the resources. Resources typically would be virtual machines, storage, networking, databases, bandwidth, software,…

On-demand Self Service: the consumer activates the resources without human interaction from the provider. A self-service tool is installed to obtain the required resources.

Broad Network Access: the chosen resources (capabilities) are available over a network and accessible through certain standard tools like a workstation, a thin client, a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone.

Rapid Elasticity: the resources can be elastically provisioned, in some cases manually or sometimes even automatically, to meet the requirements of the customer. The outward and inward scaling can be realized rapidly.

Measured Service: the usage of the resources is measured and can be monitored and controlled to the benefit of both provider and consumer.

 

If the story you are being told matches the characteristics above, it’s a true cloud story. If not, it is probably fog…

Of course there are several Cloud Deployment Models, but that’s another story I’ve written here

Five tips to help companies elevate the success levels of their cloud transformations

by Luc Van Haver

In its recent cloud survey report, “Elevating Business in the Cloud”, KPMG concludes that cloud is no longer a technology focus of an IT department. It has become a top-level discussion that involves the entire management team and the board in order to make strategic decisions that drive transformation and enable innovation. It’s clear that organizations that embrace cloud as a management topic – beyond IT – will seize much greater potential from all that cloud has to offer.

KPMG suggests five tips to help companies elevate the success levels of their cloud transformations – and elevate above the competition.

1. Make cloud transformation a continuous process.

To realize true long-term business benefits from cloud, cloud adoption should not be viewed as another technology implementation project, but rather a transformative journey spanning from strategy through execution.

2. Drive cloud transformation from the top.

Decentralized organizations which lack a clear decision-making hierarchy may struggle with the changes triggered by cloud adoption, impeding the transformation. Rather, organizations should seek to manage cloud transformation projects centrally, with a senior-level team that oversees the transformation process and guides strategic decisions.

3. Focus on strong leadership and engagement.

Cultural alignment through all levels of the organization is essential to managing the change associated with cloud transformation. Executive management should work to establish an aligned corporate culture at the outset, focusing first on getting the buy-in and support of cross-functional business leaders.

4. Avoid silos.

Cloud transformations succeed when organizations are able to embed change into every aspect of the business. As such, silos hamper transformation. In contrast, collaboration powers it. For example, business and IT professionals should work side by side as cloud is adopted into the enterprise.

5. Measure success.

Organizations should develop realistic and measurable outcomes for their cloud transformation projects that tie back to key business objectives. A value- and metrics-driven approach to cloud transformation enables the organization to know when milestones are reached and stay focused on achieving strategic goals.

source: KPMG 2014 Cloud Survey Report: “Elevating Business in the Cloud”