Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Lori MacVittie, Ian Khan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, Apache

@CloudExpo: Article

Six Trends Driving Workers to the Cloud

The promise of working from anywhere is hardly an illusion any more. And the cloud has a lot to do with it

Automattic, the hosting company for WordPress.com servers, knows the future is now. They have 123 people who operate like self-employed workers, taking advantage of cloud and mobile apps to communicate across 26 countries and 94 cities. Everyone works from home. Here are six trends driving us out of our offices and into the cloud.

1. Increased availability of SaaS/cloud applications
The fact that you are reading this is testament to the increased buzz surrounding SaaS/Cloud computing, a buzz that was absent in previous incarnations of the technology (notably ASP during the 1990s). Whether the buzz is driving vendors to produce applications specific for the cloud, or improved applications are feeding the fervor, is a moot point. The fact is that in order to drive a greater usage of the cloud, applications written specifically for the cloud need to be freely available. Advances in technology, the availability of open-source code, and modern platforms such as AWS, are fueling the development of leading-edge applications. With innovations in distribution like the Apple app store, users are now connected with these applications like never before.

2. An explosion in mobile devices capable of accessing these apps
As evidenced by IDC, by 2015 more people in the U.S. will access the internet with a mobile device than with a PC, decreasing wired access by half. This is a huge shift in emphasis that has precipitated a disruption in the market as key players struggle for supremacy or survival. Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility, Nokia's tie-up with Microsoft and even RIM can read the texting on the screen, allowing Android to run on its devices. The bottom line is that with more devices in circulation able to access cloud-based applications, the demand from the user base to be able to access an ever-increasing number of apps will only increase.

3. Increased social media use
Social media has become ubiquitous. Proof: even my technophobic mother-in-law now has a Facebook account. This level of usage is raising user expectations from all apps. As a result of increased mobile messaging, alerts and postings, the modern workplace will function more like Facebook and Twitter than MS Office. Microsoft knows this. That's why they paid $1.2 billion for Yammer. The new norm will be that employees must be able to access their work from anywhere, just like their Twitter feed, and will no longer be chained to their desk.

4. Pressure on IT departments to reduce budgets
The global slowdown has put pressure on all aspects of our society and the IT department is no exception. I know many CIOs that are entering this budgeting cycle being told to do more with less. For them, a pay-as-you-go model offered by SaaS vendors can be attractive, or even delegating application selection to the requesting business area. It is widely acknowledged that Taleo and SuccessFactors owed much of their success to winning the hearts, minds and budgets of the HR department. Company-provided mobile devices are also declining in favor of a BYOD (bring your own device) approach, but this is doing nothing to abate the will for employees to access corporate networks and applications remotely.

5. Globalization
We live in a rapidly shrinking world. If you don't believe how close or similar we have become, just look inside your children's bedroom. "Hello Kitty," JK Rowling, Christiano Rolando and Justin Bieber graphically represent our shrinking planet. Globalization is also driving our corporations and their systems.  Increasingly, employees are required to access common data from anywhere on the planet. Old-world networked solutions are outdated and expensive; the cloud is the only practical solution. Given the ubiquitous nature of the workforce, mobile connectivity is the logical answer.

6. Greatly improved user experience
Remember green-screens and 3270 dumb terminals? You don't have to go very far to see PCs running emulators or web-wrapped mainframe applications, just visit your bank or check in for a flight. At home we have become used to a high-end user experience, whether from a Playstation, smart TV or a microwave oven, while at work we struggle with outdated corporate applications. For the first time ever the technology we all carry in our pocket is more advanced than what we are required to use at the office. As a consequence pressure is coming from employees who are happy to find alternatives and work-arounds, if they are presented with something that is not as intuitive as their smartphone.

Productivity gains through improved interfaces and access, the eager adoption of new mobile technology and increased collaboration by tech savvy employees all point to creating the anytime, anywhere workplace.

But there's a catch.

Configurable mobile business management tools may not yet be sufficiently mature. Current applications are either a one-size-fits-all solution, like those for email and chat, or are custom built by the client. Neither is an ideal solution. Certainly, custom-built applications are not only expensive to create, but the time taken to develop and deploy them could make them obsolete before any payback has been achieved. While stitching together point solutions results in hidden support costs, integration costs or compromised processes.

Smaller businesses without resources are therefore stuck with the current crop of mobile business tools until someone figures out how to build configurable applications that combine content and flexibility with low cost.

Even so, the days of being tethered to a desk are numbered. It is only a matter of time before the promise of the mobile office becomes commonplace. It is time to fly to the cloud and mobilize.

More Stories By Simon Hopkins

Simon Hopkins is cofounder of iBE.net, a developer of cloud- and mobile-based business management software for small to mid-size enterprises. For more information visit www.ibe.net. He began his career at Andersen Consulting in 1989 and was most recently Chairman and CEO of ROC Americas Inc., a global IT consultancy. Before that he was COO for Axon Solutions, an IT services firm now part of HCL. He was previously co-founder and CFO of Feanix Corporation (acquired by Axon Group), and EVP at Xansa Inc. (now part of Steria). He spent 12 years at Druid Group plc, a British IT services company, where he was part of the management team that was responsible for a successful IPO in 1996. Simon earned a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Imperial College, London.

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.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
"We've just seen a huge influx of new partners coming into our ecosystem, and partners building unique offerings on top of our API set," explained Seth Bostock, Chief Executive Officer at IndependenceIT, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Container technology is sending shock waves through the world of cloud computing. Heralded as the 'next big thing,' containers provide software owners a consistent way to package their software and dependencies while infrastructure operators benefit from a standard way to deploy and run them. Containers present new challenges for tracking usage due to their dynamic nature. They can also be deployed to bare metal, virtual machines and various cloud platforms. How do software owners track the usag...
The Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), which enables organizations to seamlessly run in a hybrid cloud model (public + private cloud), is here to stay. IDC estimates that the software-defined networking market will be valued at $3.7 billion by 2016. Security is a key component and benefit of the SDDC, and offers an opportunity to build security 'from the ground up' and weave it into the environment from day one. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Reuven Harrison, CTO and Co-Founder of Tufin,...
One of the ways to increase scalability of services – and applications – is to go “stateless.” The reasons for this are many, but in general by eliminating the mapping between a single client and a single app or service instance you eliminate the need for resources to manage state in the app (overhead) and improve the distributability (I can make up words if I want) of requests across a pool of instances. The latter occurs because sessions don’t need to hang out and consume resources that could ...
Alibaba, the world’s largest ecommerce provider, has pumped over a $1 billion into its subsidiary, Aliya, a cloud services provider. This is perhaps one of the biggest moments in the global Cloud Wars that signals the entry of China into the main arena. Here is why this matters. The cloud industry worldwide is being propelled into fast growth by tremendous demand for cloud computing services. Cloud, which is highly scalable and offers low investment and high computational capabilities to end us...
You often hear the two titles of "DevOps" and "Immutable Infrastructure" used independently. In his session at DevOps Summit, John Willis, Technical Evangelist for Docker, covered the union between the two topics and why this is important. He provided an overview of Immutable Infrastructure then showed how an Immutable Continuous Delivery pipeline can be applied as a best practice for "DevOps." He ended the session with some interesting case study examples.
Digital Transformation is the ultimate goal of cloud computing and related initiatives. The phrase is certainly not a precise one, and as subject to hand-waving and distortion as any high-falutin' terminology in the world of information technology. Yet it is an excellent choice of words to describe what enterprise IT—and by extension, organizations in general—should be working to achieve. Digital Transformation means: handling all the data types being found and created in the organizat...
JavaScript is primarily a client-based dynamic scripting language most commonly used within web browsers as client-side scripts to interact with the user, browser, and communicate asynchronously to servers. If you have been part of any web-based development, odds are you have worked with JavaScript in one form or another. In this article, I'll focus on the aspects of JavaScript that are relevant within the Node.js environment.
Approved this February by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), HTTP/2 is the first major update to HTTP since 1999, when HTTP/1.1 was standardized. Designed with performance in mind, one of the biggest goals of HTTP/2 implementation is to decrease latency while maintaining a high-level compatibility with HTTP/1.1. Though not all testing activities will be impacted by the new protocol, it's important for testers to be aware of any changes moving forward.
This week, I joined SOASTA as Senior Vice President of Performance Analytics. Given my background in cloud computing and distributed systems operations — you may have read my blogs on CNET or GigaOm — this may surprise you, but I want to explain why this is the perfect time to take on this opportunity with this team. In fact, that’s probably the best way to break this down. To explain why I’d leave the world of infrastructure and code for the world of data and analytics, let’s explore the timing...
Learn how to solve the problem of keeping files in sync between multiple Docker containers. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Aaron Brongersma, Senior Infrastructure Engineer at Modulus, discussed using rsync, GlusterFS, EBS and Bit Torrent Sync. He broke down the tools that are needed to help create a seamless user experience. In the end, can we have an environment where we can easily move Docker containers, servers, and volumes without impacting our applications? He shared his results so yo...
Auto-scaling environments, micro-service architectures and globally-distributed teams are just three common examples of why organizations today need automation and interoperability more than ever. But is interoperability something we simply start doing, or does it require a reexamination of our processes? And can we really improve our processes without first making interoperability a requirement for how we choose our tools?
Cloud Migration Management (CMM) refers to the best practices for planning and managing migration of IT systems from a legacy platform to a Cloud Provider through a combination professional services consulting and software tools. A Cloud migration project can be a relatively simple exercise, where applications are migrated ‘as is’, to gain benefits such as elastic capacity and utility pricing, but without making any changes to the application architecture, software development methods or busine...
The Internet of Things. Cloud. Big Data. Real-Time Analytics. To those who do not quite understand what these phrases mean (and let’s be honest, that’s likely to be a large portion of the world), words like “IoT” and “Big Data” are just buzzwords. The truth is, the Internet of Things encompasses much more than jargon and predictions of connected devices. According to Parker Trewin, Senior Director of Content and Communications of Aria Systems, “IoT is big news because it ups the ante: Reach out ...
At DevOps Summit NY there’s been a whole lot of talk about not just DevOps, but containers, IoT, and microservices. Sessions focused not just on the cultural shift needed to grow at scale with a DevOps approach, but also made sure to include the network ”plumbing” needed to ensure success as applications decompose into the microservice architectures enabling rapid growth and support for the Internet of (Every)Things.
Our guest on the podcast this week is Adrian Cockcroft, Technology Fellow at Battery Ventures. We discuss what makes Docker and Netflix highly successful, especially through their use of well-designed IT architecture and DevOps.
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 @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Arch...
Public Cloud IaaS started its life in the developer and startup communities and has grown rapidly to a $20B+ industry, but it still pales in comparison to how much is spent worldwide on IT: $3.6 trillion. In fact, there are 8.6 million data centers worldwide, the reality is many small and medium sized business have server closets and colocation footprints filled with servers and storage gear. While on-premise environment virtualization may have peaked at 75%, the Public Cloud has lagged in adop...
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with ...