|By Adrian Bridgwater||
|September 24, 2012 06:45 AM EDT||
The cloud is a commercial vehicle. This undeniable truth must now be accepted as a deeply entrenched truism by CIOs who are looking to manage the forward-looking growth of their technology architectures.
We can actually refine this statement further. The cloud is a commercial vehicle designed to facilitate customer engagement, sales and therefore profits.
These are not inconvenient truths, but it is an undeniable truth if you believe the proclamations being made by some of the new change-makers driving cloud computing from the Platform-as-a-Service level.
This commercialization of the cloud is facilitated by the way users are interacting with cloud services. Although that may sound like stating the obvious, what we mean by this use of the term "interacting" is now increasingly impacted by social applications. Analyst firm McKinsey estimates that there is $1.3 billion dollars waiting to be unlocked in the global economy if we harness enterprise level social technologies effectively.
What "Social Sharing" Means
Firms like Salesforce.com are making some big assertions in this space and now developing products to transform the older more traditional business models that suffer from unconnected data silos and customer portals that fail to "share" in the new sense of "social" as we now come to use the term.
CIOs looking to bring these new social technologies to bear will need to prepare for transformation. At risk of that also sounding too simplistic, what we are talking about here is a transformation impacting every aspect of a firm's internal operational structure.
As Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff would have it, this is a transformation of the way a company must now sell, market to, collaborate with, supply services to and then subsequently work with its customers. Sales is now social, data is now social and the modern enterprise is now social -- and this is the mantra that cloud customers in the Benioff mindset now follow.
Facebook, But for Business
Think of it as Facebook for business if you wish. These are new virtualized applications that are secure, enterprise-grade and intuitive enough for users to be able to operate them with practically zero training in some cases. Salesforce's Benioff has described Facebook as "500 million users without an instruction manual" and this is the model that firms should now look to if they are going to use connected social clouds effectively.
But didn't we just say that CIOs should brace themselves for embracing social technologies? There is the closely connected mobile and touch element to be recognized here too. The application types we have discussed here will come first and foremost from the cloud in every instance; the applications themselves then inherently suited to mobile device delivery over an Internet connection where both data storage and processing power is supported, or at least significantly shared, by the cloud server rather than on the device.
Logically then, as we move from social to mobile, our next technology layer should be touch-based functionality to ensure suitability to tablets and smartphones.
A Changing Fabric for Business
Hewlett Packard is vocal on the subject of social enterprise applications and HP senior vice president Tony Prophet had a brief keynote slot during the Salesforce keynote presentations at this September's Salesforce.com Dreamforce user and customer symposium in San Francisco.
"Our company is reengineering our processes and embedding enterprise social tools deep into the fabric of the way we work and we embrace these new concepts as a business," said HP's Prophet, "This is going to be a core part of the way HP operates as a business in the future."
Also present at this event was motivational speaker Tony Robbins who enthused that change is driving our inevitable move toward these new technology structures. "Change is automatic, progress is not," said Robbins. "Change is inevitable in our work, in our relationships and in our bodies. The future is all about the need to connect or die." Robbins likes to 'showboat' and is a showman at heart, so take those comments with a large pinch of salt.
These are the new imperatives for the modern CIO intending to run modern applications in a modern enterprise, or a modern small to medium sized business too for that matter.
But is this all just a load of hype? Well it is cloud computing driven, so there's part of your answer right there. The fact is, this stuff is true and it's happening right now.
• • •
This post was first published on the Enterprise CIO Forum.
It is with great pleasure that I am able to announce that Jesse Proudman, Blue Box CTO, has been appointed to the position of IBM Distinguished Engineer. Jesse is the first employee at Blue Box to receive this honor, and I’m quite confident there will be more to follow given the amazing talent at Blue Box with whom I have had the pleasure to collaborate. I’d like to provide an overview of what it means to become an IBM Distinguished Engineer.
Oct. 10, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 261
The cloud has reached mainstream IT. Those 18.7 million data centers out there (server closets to corporate data centers to colocation deployments) are moving to the cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Achim Weiss, CEO & co-founder of ProfitBricks, will share how two companies – one in the U.S. and one in Germany – are achieving their goals with cloud infrastructure. More than a case study, he will share the details of how they prioritized their cloud computing infrastructure deployments ...
Oct. 10, 2015 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 753
Ten years ago, there may have been only a single application that talked directly to the database and spit out HTML; customer service, sales - most of the organizations I work with have been moving toward a design philosophy more like unix, where each application consists of a series of small tools stitched together. In web example above, that likely means a login service combines with webpages that call other services - like enter and update record. That allows the customer service team to writ...
Oct. 10, 2015 02:45 AM EDT Reads: 458
As we increasingly rely on technology to improve the quality and efficiency of our personal and professional lives, software has become the key business differentiator. Organizations must release software faster, as well as ensure the safety, security, and reliability of their applications. The option to make trade-offs between time and quality no longer exists—software teams must deliver quality and speed. To meet these expectations, businesses have shifted from more traditional approaches of d...
Oct. 10, 2015 02:15 AM EDT Reads: 245
Between the compelling mockups and specs produced by analysts, and resulting applications built by developers, there exists a gulf where projects fail, costs spiral, and applications disappoint. Methodologies like Agile attempt to address this with intensified communication, with partial success but many limitations. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, will present a revolutionary model enabled by new technologies. Learn how busine...
Oct. 10, 2015 02:00 AM EDT Reads: 312
If you are new to Python, you might be confused about the different versions that are available. Although Python 3 is the latest generation of the language, many programmers still use Python 2.7, the final update to Python 2, which was released in 2010. There is currently no clear-cut answer to the question of which version of Python you should use; the decision depends on what you want to achieve. While Python 3 is clearly the future of the language, some programmers choose to remain with Py...
Oct. 10, 2015 02:00 AM EDT Reads: 271
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet condit...
Oct. 10, 2015 02:00 AM EDT Reads: 654
Achim Weiss is Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of ProfitBricks. In 1995, he broke off his studies to co-found the web hosting company "Schlund+Partner." The company "Schlund+Partner" later became the 1&1 web hosting product line. From 1995 to 2008, he was the technical director for several important projects: the largest web hosting platform in the world, the second largest DSL platform, a video on-demand delivery network, the largest eMail backend in Europe, and a universal billing syste...
Oct. 10, 2015 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 246
Somebody call the buzzword police: we have a serious case of microservices-washing in progress. The term “microservices-washing” is derived from “whitewashing,” meaning to hide some inconvenient truth with bluster and nonsense. We saw plenty of cloudwashing a few years ago, as vendors and enterprises alike pretended what they were doing was cloud, even though it wasn’t. Today, the hype around microservices has led to the same kind of obfuscation, as vendors and enterprise technologists alike ar...
Oct. 10, 2015 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 497
Opinions on how best to package and deliver applications are legion and, like many other aspects of the software world, are subject to recurring trend cycles. On the server-side, the current favorite is container delivery: a “full stack” approach in which your application and everything it needs to run are specified in a container definition. That definition is then “compiled” down to a container image and deployed by retrieving the image and passing it to a container runtime to create a running...
Oct. 10, 2015 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 273
Containers are revolutionizing the way we deploy and maintain our infrastructures, but monitoring and troubleshooting in a containerized environment can still be painful and impractical. Understanding even basic resource usage is difficult - let alone tracking network connections or malicious activity. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gianluca Borello, Sr. Software Engineer at Sysdig, will cover the current state of the art for container monitoring and visibility, including pros / cons and li...
Oct. 10, 2015 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 268
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and Containers together help companies to achieve their business goals faster and more effectively.
Oct. 10, 2015 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 221
The web app is agile. The REST API is agile. The testing and planning are agile. But alas, data infrastructures certainly are not. Once an application matures, changing the shape or indexing scheme of data often forces at best a top down planning exercise and at worst includes schema changes that force downtime. The time has come for a new approach that fundamentally advances the agility of distributed data infrastructures. Come learn about a new solution to the problems faced by software organ...
Oct. 9, 2015 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 941
Saviynt Inc. has announced the availability of the next release of Saviynt for AWS. The comprehensive security and compliance solution provides a Command-and-Control center to gain visibility into risks in AWS, enforce real-time protection of critical workloads as well as data and automate access life-cycle governance. The solution enables AWS customers to meet their compliance mandates such as ITAR, SOX, PCI, etc. by including an extensive risk and controls library to detect known threats and b...
Oct. 9, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 242
Docker is hot. However, as Docker container use spreads into more mature production pipelines, there can be issues about control of Docker images to ensure they are production-ready. Is a promotion-based model appropriate to control and track the flow of Docker images from development to production? In his session at DevOps Summit, Fred Simon, Co-founder and Chief Architect of JFrog, will demonstrate how to implement a promotion model for Docker images using a binary repository, and then show h...
Oct. 9, 2015 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 192
DevOps has often been described in terms of CAMS: Culture, Automation, Measuring, Sharing. While we’ve seen a lot of focus on the “A” and even on the “M”, there are very few examples of why the “C" is equally important in the DevOps equation. In her session at @DevOps Summit, Lori MacVittie, of F5 Networks, will explore HTTP/1 and HTTP/2 along with Microservices to illustrate why a collaborative culture between Dev, Ops, and the Network is critical to ensuring success.
Oct. 9, 2015 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 167
Overgrown applications have given way to modular applications, driven by the need to break larger problems into smaller problems. Similarly large monolithic development processes have been forced to be broken into smaller agile development cycles. Looking at trends in software development, microservices architectures meet the same demands. Additional benefits of microservices architectures are compartmentalization and a limited impact of service failure versus a complete software malfunction....
Oct. 9, 2015 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 266
Despite all the talk about public cloud services and DevOps, you would think the move to cloud for enterprises is clear and simple. But in a survey of almost 1,600 IT decision makers across the USA and Europe, the state of the cloud in enterprise today is still fraught with considerable frustration. The business case for apps in the real world cloud is hybrid, bimodal, multi-platform, and difficult. Download this report commissioned by NTT Communications to see the insightful findings – registra...
Oct. 9, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 306
Manufacturing has widely adopted standardized and automated processes to create designs, build them, and maintain them through their life cycle. However, many modern manufacturing systems go beyond mechanized workflows to introduce empowered workers, flexible collaboration, and rapid iteration. Such behaviors also characterize open source software development and are at the heart of DevOps culture, processes, and tooling.
Oct. 9, 2015 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,108
DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo 2014 Silicon Valley was a terrific event for us. The Qubell booth was crowded on all three days. We ran demos every 30 minutes with folks lining up to get a seat and usually standing around. It was great to meet and talk to over 500 people! My keynote was well received and so was Stan's joint presentation with RingCentral on Devops for BigData. I also participated in two Power Panels – ‘Women in Technology’ and ‘Why DevOps Is Even More Important than You Think,’ both ...
Oct. 9, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 8,679