|By David H Deans||
|July 17, 2014 09:15 AM EDT||
Some people are never satisfied. These fearless agents of change are everywhere. They're informed, confident and willing to experiment. They seek out the best business technology solution for the job at hand. They act on instinct. Yes, you could say that they're driven.
However, they're also at risk of being labeled as "rogue employees" because they ordered a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering and perhaps expensed it without prior approval. Sometimes they're the champion of progressive projects that are referred to as Shadow IT -- intentionally bypassing their company's formal evaluation and procurement process. How can this happen?
Is it just because their activities are tolerated, or are they being encouraged? If so, by whom? Why would any business leader applaud a team member that breaks the rules? Maybe, the simple answer is that staying within the confines of the status-quo won't enable a top-performer to fully apply their talent, achieving their absolute best.
On the other hand, having a defined structure does provide benefits. Clearly, standardized business technology purchase processes are often chosen to create a manageable IT environment. But those guidelines also need to be flexible, to accommodate exceptions to the rules.
Truly, this scenario creates a dichotomy; one that will likely occur at greater frequency -- from within the smallest business to the largest enterprise -- as more companies encounter rapid shifts in global markets that tend to reward the most agile and responsive competitors.
Ongoing Quest for Strategic Advantage
As a senior executive, you know that business technology will always be a key part of your own forward-looking planning process. It's assumed that information and communication technology (ICT) will continue to be the business enabler of the 21st Century.
But these platforms are often just the table stakes that enables your business to participate in the Global Networked Economy -- they're not the actual source of a sustainable strategic competitive advantage.
In 2003 Nicholas Carr wrote a provocative article for HBR entitled "IT Doesn't Matter" -- where he suggested that once a technology achieves ubiquity, then the focus must shift to differentiated applications that are very difficult for competitors to replicate. Likewise, in time, cloud will become commonplace. So, when that eventuality comes to pass, what comes next?
That's when value-adding vendor offers of guidance on how to achieve distinct business outcomes will have the edge in this rapidly evolving marketplace. When evaluating cloud companies, such as Cisco, look for a vendor that offers deep domain contextual guidance at every stage of the cloud evolution cycle, for each of the major industry verticals, and for all the key stakeholders within your diverse leadership team.
This will help you implement a cloud-first strategy that brings together your organization, cloud partners and providers, and other technology vendors to form a portfolio and strategy that is open and secure.
Moving Beyond Basic Cloud Readiness
If your organization is an early-adopter of cloud computing, then you're already ahead of the game. You probably know how cloud services can be applied to help you achieve your desired business outcomes.
But are you seeing the full depth and breadth of the upside potential opportunities? If so, then are you ready to respond -- just in time -- when your top performers are ready to act on the next wave of cloud-related capabilities?
According the latest findings from the Cisco Global Cloud Index, 2014 will be the first year when the majority of workloads shift to the cloud -- it's estimated that 51 percent of all workloads will be processed in the cloud. By 2017, it will expand to 63 percent of all workloads.
Furthermore, if you've been following the key business technology trends, then you know that the evolving cloud services debate now incorporates the advent of mobile internet applications -- many of which are inherently cloud-centric. The virtual mobile office will gain momentum in 2014.
Preparing to Navigate the Internet of Everything
When the Internet emerged just over two decades ago, at first it wasn't clear what -- if anything -- would be significantly impacted. Today, we can point to numerous examples of how it has removed traditional boundaries to market entry, leveled the playing field, or recast a legacy industry landscape. Certainly, the disrupted media and entertainment sectors will come to mind.
But what we're about to see will make that transition pale in comparison. The Internet of Everything will change all kinds of industries that may have seemed unscathed by the prior disruptions. For the adventurous among us, that means a vast array of new opportunities.
And yet, many of the same core business-related challenges will likely remain constant. New venture capital investment will still be in short supply. Top-performing employee talent might be difficult to hire and retain.
Meanwhile, cloud services will be abundant. You'll have a plethora of choices -- including public, private and hybrid cloud offerings. But so will every one of your competitors. Therefore, you'll need something extra special, something that truly differentiates you in the marketplace.
If you want to win big, then you'll need to apply the best and brightest minds -- to uncover that special ingredient. Be prepared to seek help and ask for guidance from those who have "been there, and done that" type of forward-thinking ICT project before.
Value-adding vendors have savvy business consulting and technical services staff, plus a multifaceted ecosystem of integration partners that you can depend on to meet your primary goals and satisfy the demands of your top-performers. Be wise, choose carefully. Don't settle for anything less than what you really need to succeed in the coming year.
The cloud is everywhere and growing, and with it SaaS has become an accepted means for software delivery. SaaS is more than just a technology, it is a thriving business model estimated to be worth around $53 billion dollars by 2015, according to IDC. The question is - how do you build and scale a profitable SaaS business model? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Jason Cumberland, Vice President, SaaS Solutions at Dimension Data, discussed the common mistakes businesses make when transitioning t...
May. 27, 2015 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,934
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial C...
May. 27, 2015 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 5,473
Cloud and Big Data present unique dilemmas: embracing the benefits of these new technologies while maintaining the security of your organization's assets. When an outside party owns, controls and manages your infrastructure and computational resources, how can you be assured that sensitive data remains private and secure? How do you best protect data in mixed use cloud and big data infrastructure sets? Can you still satisfy the full range of reporting, compliance and regulatory requirements? In...
May. 27, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,347
There has been a lot of discussion recently in the DevOps space over whether there is a unique form of DevOps for large enterprises or is it just vendors looking to sell services and tools. In his session at DevOps Summit, Chris Riley, a technologist, discussed whether Enterprise DevOps is a unique species or not. What makes DevOps adoption in the enterprise unique or what doesn’t? Unique or not, what does this mean for adopting DevOps in enterprise size organizations? He also explored differe...
May. 27, 2015 06:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,624
Storage administrators find themselves walking a line between meeting employees’ demands to use public cloud storage services, and their organizations’ need to store information on-premises for security, performance, cost and compliance reasons. However, as file sharing protocols like CIFS and NFS continue to lose their relevance, simply relying only on a NAS-based environment creates inefficiencies that hurt productivity and the bottom line. IT wants to implement cloud storage it can purchase a...
May. 27, 2015 06:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,789
The move to the cloud brings a number of new security challenges, but the application remains your last line of defense. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Arthur Hicken, Evangelist at Parasoft, discussed how developers are extremely well-poised to perform tasks critical for securing the application – provided that certain key obstacles are overcome. Arthur Hicken has been involved in automating various practices at Parasoft for almost 20 years. He has worked on projects including database dev...
May. 27, 2015 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,780
In this scenarios approach Joe Thykattil, Technology Architect & Sales at TimeWarner / Navisite, presented examples that will allow business-savvy professionals to make informed decisions based on a sound business model. This model covered the technology options in detail as well as a financial analysis. The TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) and ROI (Return on Investment) demonstrated how to start, develop and formulate a business case that will allow both small and large scale projects to achieve...
May. 27, 2015 05:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,161
Cloud Foundry open Platform as a Service makes it easy to operate, scale and deploy application for your dedicated cloud environments. It enables developers and operators to be significantly more agile, writing great applications and deliver them in days instead of months. Cloud Foundry takes care of all the infrastructure and network plumbing that you need to build, run and operate your applications and can do this while patching and updating systems and services without any downtime.
May. 27, 2015 05:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,512
Are your Big Data initiatives resulting in Big Impact or Big Mess? In her session at Big Data Expo, Penelope Everall Gordon, Emerging Technology Strategist at 1Plug Corporation, shared her successes in improving Big Decision outcomes by building stories compelling to the target audience – and her failures when she lost sight of the plotline, distracted by the glitter of technology and the lure of buried insights. The cast of characters includes the agency head [city official? elected official?...
May. 27, 2015 05:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,322
Building low-cost wearable devices can enhance the quality of our lives. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Sai Yamanoor, Embedded Software Engineer at Altschool, provided an example of putting together a small keychain within a $50 budget that educates the user about the air quality in their surroundings. He also provided examples such as building a wearable device that provides transit or recreational information. He then reviewed the resources available to build wearable devices at ...
May. 27, 2015 04:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,955
After a couple of false starts, cloud-based desktop solutions are picking up steam, driven by trends such as BYOD and pervasive high-speed connectivity. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Seth Bostock, CEO of IndependenceIT, cut through the hype and the acronyms, and discussed the emergence of full-featured cloud workspaces that do for the desktop what cloud infrastructure did for the server. He also discussed VDI vs DaaS, implementation strategies and evaluation criteria.
May. 27, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,498
The emergence of cloud computing and Big Data warrants a greater role for the PMO to successfully manage enterprise transformation driven by these powerful trends. As the adoption of cloud-based services continues to grow, a governance model is needed to orchestrate enterprise cloud implementations and harness the power of Big Data analytics. In his session at Cloud Expo, Mahesh Singh, President of BigData, Inc., discussed how the Enterprise PMO takes center stage not only in developing the app...
May. 27, 2015 03:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,557
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 happe...
May. 27, 2015 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,717
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core...
May. 27, 2015 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 5,331
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 ...
May. 27, 2015 02:00 AM EDT Reads: 6,110
Collecting data in the field and configuring multitudes of unique devices is a time-consuming, labor-intensive process that can stretch IT resources. Horan & Bird [H&B], Australia’s fifth-largest Solar Panel Installer, wanted to automate sensor data collection and monitoring from its solar panels and integrate the data with its business and marketing systems. After data was collected and structured, two major areas needed to be addressed: improving developer workflows and extending access to a b...
May. 27, 2015 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,897
When an enterprise builds a hybrid IaaS cloud connecting its data center to one or more public clouds, security is often a major topic along with the other challenges involved. Security is closely intertwined with the networking choices made for the hybrid cloud. Traditional networking approaches for building a hybrid cloud try to kludge together the enterprise infrastructure with the public cloud. Consequently this approach requires risky, deep "surgery" including changes to firewalls, subnets...
May. 27, 2015 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,168
Containers Expo Blog covers the world of containers, as this lightweight alternative to virtual machines enables developers to work with identical dev environments and stacks. Containers Expo Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Bookmark Containers Expo Blog ▸ Here Follow new article posts on Twitter at @ContainersExpo
May. 26, 2015 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 746
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. 8th International Big Data Expo, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. As advanced data storage, access and analytics technologies aimed at handling high-volume and/or fast moving data all move center stage, aided by the cloud computing bo...
May. 26, 2015 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,430
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the...
May. 26, 2015 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 3,976