Archive | Cloud

Keep it Simple

 

Abstract business collage

The age-old adage of ‘keep it simple’ could never be more prevalent in today’s world.

With the sheer mountain of data growing exponentially within organisations every day, and the raft of applications and platforms in use, it’s very easy to make everything more complicated than it needs to be.
Keeping on top of technology used within your company is difficult enough as it is, without contemplating prototyping and trialling other options that your suppliers, network or your own research informs you about.
This leads to complicated matrix-style organisational structures that require skilled resources to support specific applications, and fill you with dread every time you get a holiday request from key staff or worse a resignation letter. Throw digital requirements into the mix, as well as the need to innovate, and your organisation quickly gets a lot more complicated.

That’s why it’s so important to standardise and reduce proprietary systems as much as you can. These more standardised platforms will not only let you markedly reduce the complexity of your organisation, but will also allow a much easier ride when recruiting staff into key areas due to their more plentiful availability in the market.

I know not everyone feels the same, but when you think along the lines of standardising your platforms and/or systems, you start to see the appeal of the cloud. A well interfaced, easily accessible application, which allows you some form of customisation, but not the wholesale changes your business owners normally request, and all wrapped up in a nice business continuity assurance bow.

Another key feature of cloud adoption is the ability to upgrade and take on new features or improvements at a far more rapid rate than you can on your internal and more proprietary systems. This means not only simplifying your architecture, but getting key new features to your business units more frequently, who will be able to do more at a faster rate than before, and which ultimately may well give them the competitive advantage they were looking for.
Obviously, the majority of you will end up with a blend of cloud and internally hosted systems, but in the quest for a simpler and less complex organisation, you should never discount any form or way of best serving your business.

By now you’re thinking this is easier said than done, and that everyone’s nirvana is to have standardised platforms with simple and straightforward support structures, but it’s just not achievable with everything else going on. If you plan, budget and structure your architecture correctly, you can phase your way through towards this ‘nirvana’ at a more rapid rate than you think.

This simple and standardised structure will allow you more scope to better manage and serve your organisations, as well as making it far easier to roll out any new products or solutions and integrate any acquisitions.

Your organisation will thank you for your efforts, so good luck with your journeys and remember to keep it simple.

This post has also been featured on the HP Business Value Exchange here 

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The As-A-Service Economy is here to stay

IDGAsAServiceIn modern times we have become very much a consumer culture driven by an abundance of choice spurred on by deregulation, capabilities of new technology, market disruption and innovation.
The As-a-service economy has been fuelled by all of these key factors and allowed multiple organisations to enter these markets, providing both the technology platforms and innovative products for consumers to feast upon it.

The only way for vendors to rise above the melee of available products and services is too constantly innovate and supply services or products which are not available elsewhere with Apple being the undisputed current master here for all to mimic.
Other cloud vendors such as Salesforce are also strong in the As-a-service space for similar reason, by constantly seeking to renew and energise their platform with new innovation, features and tools.
You would not be able to build such innovation, tools and features into in-house platforms and systems at this pace, which lends more strength to the As-a-service argument of whether or not to include at least subtle flavours of it in your enterprise offerings.
The cloud platform may scare many with its ‘perceived’ insecurities and lack of control of data and feature but it enables organisations to set themselves up securely and grow rapidly with little initial capital outlay compared to the complexity of how things used to be.
Cloud services provide easy access, mobility, standardised practices and instant access to well qualified product(s) and subsequent features with often straight forward upgrade paths and clear product roadmaps.
It has also enabled a whole raft of brilliant applications, services and products for organisations of all sizes to augment their system and service portfolio’s with without huge capital outlay and can no longer be ignored.

The rise of consumerisation has driven much of the innovation we see today and this drives a constant lust for innovation and the rapidity of it when utilised in the commercial space.
We all want the flexibility, tools and services we are used to using at home to be available in the workplace and organisations that don’t respond to this will quickly lose staff to those that do.

The other main driver of the As-a-service economy is customer service.
In this more interactive and collaborative mobile focused world, the need for high quality customer service does not diminish but needs to evolve with customers now deserving more dynamic and engaging interaction beyond the traditional call centre or ‘look here’ approach.
If you are not presently positioned as a socially aware organisation that offers high quality, consistent and quick response customer service, your customers may force your hand and go elsewhere or insist you rapidly change your approach. With the advent of the power and pace of social media your poor service can quickly reach epidemic levels if not quickly resolved.

Innovation plays a key part in the way the As-a-service economy evolves with many technologies and platforms to fuel this not yet developed or ready to market with the whole Internet of Things model set to explode it out even further.
As a result, the As-a-service economy is here to stay and will only grow stronger and more prevalent in augmenting the enterprise system and product portfolios that organisations deliver and the services which all of us consume in our daily lives.

 

This post has also been featured on the HP Business Value Exchange here 

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Member of Awards Judging Panel – Datacloud Global Congress & Exhibition

I was delighted to have been asked and accept the opportunity to become a Member of the Awards Judging Panel for the prestigious annual Datacloud Global Congress & Exhibition.

Datacloud creates the leading platform for datacentre and cloud IT infrastructure end users, software, solutions providers, experts, investors and all companies engaged in this expanding sector. The conferences explore the very latest in technologies and markets, to inspire through rich content and uniquely host senior executives to meet, connect, collaborate and do deals. Events include Europe (Global Congress), Nordic and South East Asia.

Datacloud Global Congress & Exhibition (DCG) returns for a third year to the Grimaldi Forum with an even better format, in Monaco, June 8-9 2016.

More detail about the Datacloud Global Congress and Exhibition can be found hereDatacloudEuropeLogo

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EMC #HybridCloud Twitter Chat – ‘What are the catalysts for the Hybrid Cloud?’

I was delighted to work with EMC again as a featured panelist on their second #HybridCloud Twitter chat entitled, “What are the catalysts for the Hybrid Cloud?”
Following hot on the heels of the first very successful Hybrid Cloud Chat in March, we were delighted to double our reach on this chat to 2.1 million, which is a great achievement. hybridcloudchat190115

You can read a Storify write-up of the event including some fantastic illustrations here and read the entire chat via Crowdchat here.

EMC pre-event info: In our upcoming #HybridCloudChat Twitter chat, an expert panel from EMC of Suhela Dighe, Hans Timmerman and Dinko Eror with industry expert Christian McMahon (@ChristianMcM) will discuss Hybrid Cloud. Join the conversation on May 19 at 12 p.m. GMT on Twitter using the hashtag #HybridCloudChat

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EMC #HybridCloud Twitter Chat – ‘How ready are you for the Hybrid Cloud?’

EMCHybCLoudI was delighted to work with EMC recently as a featured panelist on their #HybridCloud Twitter chat entitled, “How ready are you for the Hybrid Cloud?”
It was their first chat of this type in EMEA and it achieved a social reach of 1.1 million, which they were rightly delighted with.

More information about the event and a log of the chat can be found here and you can also follow the chat on Twitter using the hashtag #HybridCloudChat.

EMC pre-event info: In our upcoming #HybridCloudChat Twitter chat, an expert panel from EMC of Suhela Dighe and Dinko Eror with industry expert Christian McMahon (@ChristianMcM) will discuss Hybrid Cloud. Join the conversation on March 25 at 12 p.m. GMT on Twitter using the hashtag #HybridCloudChat.

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What are the top cloud trends that will shape 2015?

APCloudI was asked by Atheneum Partners to write a piece for their global newsletter which goes out to over 75k registered users. The question I was posed was for my take on what are the top cloud trends that will shape 2015? The piece can be found on their site by clicking here but I have also copied in the text below:

The usage of cloud-based services continues to penetrate deeper in to the enterprise than ever before. The fear factors of security, data control, privacy and contractual exit strategies continue to be tempered by the virtues of cost savings, availability, speed to market and innovation.

If you are evaluating technology upgrades, replacements or acquisitions, 2015 is the year that cements cloud on the list of considerations.

I have detailed below in no order of importance what I think will be the main cloud focused trends in 2015 but I would love to hear what else you would add to the list?

Cost

Thanks to the price and feature wars between the biggest providers including AWS, Microsoft and Google the market is now more available than ever as organisations now look beyond raw infrastructure for value.

Hybrid Clouds

Gartner broadly defines hybrid clouds as 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.
In 2015 a blend of on-premise and cloud services is pretty normal but enterprises should adopt cloud services in a tactical way that ensure they’re getting the right match and secure model to suit the needs of their organisations. Hybrid cloud is the much-discussed direction that many organisations will ultimately follow.

Hybrid cloud management tools will improve and allow IT organisations to seamlessly administer and operate them securely.

Cloud Operating Models

As cloud services converge with social, mobile and information in what Gartner calls the. “Nexus of Forces”, organisations will need to start incorporating cloud operating behaviours in a platform for digital business.

Maturing and well-defined Cloud Market

The cloud marketplace has matured significantly and moved away from the free for all approach of the past couple of years. The global scale cloud providers such as AWS and Microsoft’s Azure will continue to operate at the high-end but there will be lots of smaller, more regional, industry focused custom providers to fill in the gaps around them.

Cloud Brokerages

There will be a rise of intermediation services that will seek to help organisations manage and integrate their cloud services. Organisations new to the cloud and those delving in to the hybrid approach will welcome such third-party providers and the niche skills they bring but will need to decide how much they cede control.

Enterprise Workloads Moving in to the Cloud

Amazon’s AWS has long been a go to choice for those offering online services but 2015 will see a greater enterprise adoption for not just AWS but Microsoft’s Azure and Google’s Compute Engine amongst others.

Cloud is the new style of elastically scalable, self-service computing and many enterprises will look to embrace all that it can offer.

Containers will gain momentum

Containers have helped solve many of the problems that the cloud poses for IT operations. Developers love containers but IT operations now need to be able to containerise different parts of an application, locate them in different types of cloud infrastructure, and manage them as discrete units whilst keeping the part acting as a whole.

Compliance and Regulations

As cloud platforms continue to mature, cloud is spurring interest from even those industries that have previously been hesitant. Think of those most beset with regulation, compliance and privacy: public sector, life sciences, financial and health care. Lots of cloud providers will take the necessary steps to receive appropriate industry certifications, creating more platforms designed to align to Sarbanes–Oxley and others.

Internet of Things

Interest in the Internet of Things will build throughout 2015. Positioning clouds and applications for it right now is difficult but if your organisation is moving in to this space you need to be prepared for how to capture and store the potentially large amounts of resulting data. Everything from orchestration to database management tools will need to evolve to better support this area.

Disaster Recovery

Traditionally this has been a problem area for IT but DRaaS enables you to address many previous problems such as testing, the high cost of installing a backup system and accurately mimicking potential issues. I think this will be a growth area in 2015.

With CIO’s under constant pressure to deliver innovation and business value whilst continuing to provide BAU services, they are always looking for new ways in which to achieve their goals. Cloud services have often provoked fear in many enterprises due to security, data and privacy issues but with the market rapidly maturing, costs falling, security and services improving could this be the year that cloud thrives?

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